Friday, May 1, 2020

Colonel Fraser's Request for Levying Assistance, 1757

Letters from the Treasury Board concerning the raising of troops in the Scottish Highlands, and those estates fortified in 1747 as well as those relating to fortified estates that were annexed to the Crown in 1752 and managed by the Board of Commissioners for the Fortified Estates, at the request of Lieutenant-Colonel Simon Fraser and a copy letter to the factors ordering their assistance.

Commissioners Office for the Annexed Estates
Edinr. 7th January 1757
By a minute of the Board of this date I am ordered to acquaint you; That His Majesty having directed a Body of Forces to be raised in the Highlands of Scotland; And Application having been made by Lieut Colonel Fraser To The Lords Commissioners of his Majestys Treasury, That the Factors & other officers upon the Annexed Estates might have orders from this Board, for each of them to give their utmost aid & assistance to the military officers who shall be employed in raising the said Troops. The Commissioners therefore, In pursuance of Instructions from the Lords of the Treasury for that effect, Have ordered that you do give your utmost aid and assistance towards the raising of the said troops; But that this is not to be understood to Supercede the orders you formerly had from this board for giving your Assistance in Levying the Quotas to be furnished by each County for Compleating the additional Battalions.

I am 
your most Humble Servt.

Cover sheet:
Copy Letter to the 
Factors on the Annexed Estates
Directing them to give their
assistance for raising the Highland Battalions

Letter of Samuel Martin
My Lords and Gentlemen,
His Majesty having directed a Body of Forces to be raised in the Highlands of Scotland; And application having been made by Lieutenant Colonel Fraser, to the Lords Commissioners of his Majesty's Treasury that the Factors and other officers on the Annexed Estates under your management may have directions for each of them to give their utmost aid and assistance to the Military Officers who shall be employed in raising the said Troops; And My Lords thinking the same may be for his Majesty's Service, They desire you will imediately transmit to your officers the necessary orders for that purpose.  I am

My Lords and Gentlemen
your most obedient Servt.
Saml: Martin

Treasury Chambers
26 January 1757

Cover sheet:
Letter from the Treasury
To The Commissioners for
managing the Annexed Estates
in Scotland.

26th Janry. 1757
Letter from the Treasury directing orders to be given for assisting Lieut Coll. Fraser in Levying Forces for his Majesty on the Annexed Estates.

Read 7th Febry. 1757.

Members of the Board for the Fortified Annexed Estates
Year of Appointment: 1755
Archibald, 3rd Duke of Argyll, 1682-1761.
John Hay, 4th Marquis of Tweedale, 1695-1762.
James Douglas, 14th Earl of Morton, c.1702-1768.
James Olgivie, 5th Earl of Findlaster and 2nd Earl of Seafield, c.1689-1764.
Hugh Hume, 3rd Earl of Marchmont, 1708-1781.
John Hope, 2nd Earl of Hopetoun, 1704-1781.
James Olgivie, Lord Deskford, 1714?-1770.
Charles Shaw, 9th Lord Cathcart, 1721-1776.
James, 12th Lord Somerville, 1697/8-1765.
Charles Hope Weir of Craigiehall, 1710-1791.
Andrew Fletcher, Lord Milton, 1692-1766.
Edward Edlin, d.1760.
John Maule of Inverkeillor, 1706-1781.
William Grant, Lord Prestongrange, 1701-1764.
Robert Dundas of Arniston, 1713-1787.
James Oswald of Dunnikier, 1715-1769.
Andrew Mitchell of Thainston, 1708-1771.
Gilbert Elliot of Minto, 1722-1777.
William Alexander, 1690-1761.
George Drummond, 1687-1766.
Lieutenant-Colonel David Watson, c.1713-1761.
Mansfeldt Cardonnel, 1697-1780.
Alexander Le Grand, 1682-1766.
Joseph Tudor, d.1774.

"Commissioners for the Annexed Estates: Miscellaneous Letters." 1757-1782. NRS, E727/61.

Smith, Annette M. The Fortified Estate Papers, 1745: a study of the work of the Commissioners for the Fortified Annexed Estates, 1755-1784, with particular reference to their contribution to the development of communications in Scotland in the eighteenth century. Thesis, PhD, University of St. Andrews, Scotland. 1975. [Accessed 13 August 2019].

©  Jeffrey Campbell, Fraser's 78th Regiment of Foot, 2020. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Four Soldiers Named William Ross

Of the original 1600 soldiers that served with Colonel Fraser during the Seven Years' War in North America, we have identified birth locales for about 250 of the nearly 900 men that officially discharged from the Regiment in the fall of 1763. William Ross was a common name found among the troops, and four men from the Regiment found on the surviving muster rolls at the conclusion of the war shared that same name. Albeit there is a limited amount of surviving paperwork available for the soldiers, the birthplace of Corporal William Ross has been positively identified. Further known details and the post-war disposition of each of these soldiers bearing the same name are as follows.

Corporal William Ross
Discharged from Captain John Nairn's Company on 23 August 1763, he was part of a larger group of 170 soldiers that discharged from the Regiment at the conclusion of the war and remained in Canada. He had follow-on service and bore arms in the late rebellion and was wounded in 1779 in Nova Scotia on an expedition with Lord Harvey. He had a wife by the name of Mary, and six sons, to wit: Alexander, William, John, Donald, Hector, and Lauchlan. He and his family settled in the Parish of Rimouskie, he was a merchant by trade, and was originally from the city of Tane [sic, Tain], in the shire of Ross, North Britain (Scotland). [LAC, Lower Canada Land Papers, RG1 L3, vol. 157].

Private William Ross
Discharged from the 78th Regiment in August of 1763, he re-entered service that same month with the 2d Bn, 60th Regiment of Foot, where he continued to provide guard over Quebec for a number of years.  He is located on the following muster roll with the 60th Regiment.

Captain Samuel Holland's Company
Reporting at Fort William Augustus, 25 July 1765 

His disposition beyond 1765 remains unknown. [TNA, W.O. 12/6935].

Private William Ross
Discharged from the 78th Regiment in August of 1763, he reentered service that same month with the 15th Regiment of Foot, where he continued to provide guard over Quebec for a number of years.  He is located on the following muster rolls with the 15th Regiment.

Captain James Cuthbert's Company 
Reporting at Quebec, 24 October 1763
Reporting at Quebec, 24 August 1764

Captain Andrew Cathcart's Company
Reporting at La Prairie, 8 August 1765
Reporting at St. John's, 9 October 1766
Reporting at Quebec, 18 July 1767

As the 15th Regiment returned to England in August 1768, his disposition beyond 1767 remains unknown. [LAC, W.O. 12, vol. 3228; film C-9202].

Private William Ross
Returned home to Scotland at the conclusion of the war in the fall of 1763, and his further disposition is currently unknown.

It's worth mentioning, as with all Colonel Fraser's soldiers, considering less than 900 men of the original Regiment remained at the conclusion of the war, we must be observant of the other approximately 700 men who share the same names. There is a distinct possibility other William Ross' were once present at some point during the conflict.

©  Jeffrey Campbell, Fraser's 78th Regiment of Foot, 2020.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Searching for a Commission

Enquiry of Archibald Campbell, 78th Regiment of Foot, 1757
Writing from Dublin Castle to Sir Robert Wilmot, Thomas Waite, who served as Under-Secretary to the Chief-Secretary of Ireland between 1747-1777, informs him that he has been visited by a gentleman named Archibald Campbell, purportedly an ensign in the First (or Royal) Regiment of Foot, 2d Battalion Am. It emerged that Hon. Henry Seymour Conway had promoted Campbell to become a lieutenant in Colonel Fraser's Highland Regiment, but that either his place was still awaiting him or else it had been filled by fraud. Campbell had been permitted to go to Scotland and find out the circumstances.

Dublin Castle 9th April 1757

Dear Sir,
This evening a young gentleman, who call'd himself Archibald Campbell, call'd upon me for a commission, which he said, he was inform'd, had been signed in Sept. last appointing him Ensign in the Royal: and he told me, that he was a Brother of Kilberry Campbell who is related to Lady Aylesbury, & had been recommended for that commission by General Conway. In answer hereto I acquainted him, that if he really was the person for whom the commission of that Date [?] was intended, He would find it in the possession of a gentleman of the same name, who was now doing duty with the 2d [Highland] Battalion at this date and ready to embark with it for America: But that according to accounts which I had received from the 2d Battalion of the Royal, the Archibald Campbel [sic] who was appointed on the 21st Sept., had been promoted to a Lieutenancy in Lt. Col. Fraser's Highland Battalion before he could get hither to take out his first commission; and I related to him what I had heard from young Paterson [?] thereupon. The Result of the whole was, that he would immediately repair to Lt. Col. Fraser's Battalion, & enquire if any one of the name Arc. Campbell had taken possession of the commission of Lieutenant, & if not, that he would put in his claim to it, But if he found it occupied, he said he would repair to London & lay his case before General Conway.

I am Dear Sir

Yours most sincerely

[signed] Thos. Waite

This letter suggests two men, both named Archibald Campbell, were unknowingly competing for a single commission in the First (Royal) Regiment of Foot. Archibald Campbell, brother to Kilberry, appears to have been taking out his first commission, while history has shown that Archibald Campbell, son of Glen Lyon, (commissioned 23 January 1757 in Colonel Fraser's Second Highland Battalion) ultimately received the nod and completed a successful military career. The final disposition of the former Campbell is not known.

Waite, T. "Waite, Dublin Castle, to Wilmot. Has." 9 April 1757. Dublin, Ireland. PRONI, T3019/3146.

©  Jeffrey Campbell, Fraser's 78th Regiment of Foot, 2020.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Bon Voyage: Libera nos Domine!

Colonel Fraser, writing to his closest Inverness confidante and dear friend, Baillie James Fraser; completing the letter 25 December 1757, from New York.

My Dear Sir,
     After a halt of Five Days at Cork to recover the fatigues of a march of 400 miles the Battalion Embark'd consisting of 1000 fine fellows besides the 170 Supernumerarys being 40 more than the Secretary at War desired me to bring, those 40 men were intended to answer any deficiency that might arise by death or Desertion, but I did not lose a man by either from the day we left Glasgow and but 7 before. We had even the good luck to seize two Deserters from Montgomery's in the March thro' Ireland. And here I cant help mentioning that in the whole of this March, Man and Woman gave us the preference over the other Battalion even beyond comparison, particularly at Dublin; I shoud not have mentioned this but that I know that pains has been taken to give merit to the other Battalion.
     My conduct towards them has been of that honourable kind which a conscious advantage makes it easy to hold, but what I tell you is so sure that you may aver it. Being obliged to leave about 17 men sick at Cork you will not blame my attachment to them in leaving directions to have them sent after us at my private expense, in case the publick shoud grudge it, and think of incorporating them to other Regiments to save expence.
     As I think no voyage can be agreeable, I must only say of ours that it was as tolerable as any for without it being tedious we have extremely fine weather which gave us opportunity of changing the scene a little by visiting from ship to ship; In one of these excursions I surprised a fine Turtle and had him in the boat before he was well awake. In short the last day of eight very ill spent weeks we anchored in Halifax harbour leaving in the whole 17 men sick.
     We remained 7 days aboard while the General deliberated about out destination, at length we were ordered to disembark and to encamp a quarter of a mile out of Town where the Second Battalion of the Royal was already encamped. In this Camp in less than a fortnight the 2 Field Officers 6 Captains seventeen subalterns and above 300 men were down with the Flux whither occasioned by the sudden encamping after so long a March and voyage, or by the climate I cannot say: most of the Officers are now recovered, but I have lost 20 men and there are about 200 still ill. As you have heard so much about this place I must endeavour to describe it to you, but remember whatever I attempt of this kind is upon condition that you do not expect descriptive precision from so rambling a pen as mine.
     Halifax extends itself about a mile in length along the declivity of a rising ground, and about a quarter of a mile in breadth from the sea to the height of a rising ground, the streets run parallel the length of the town, houses are of wood and in general but indifferent tho' the Church the Governor's house and some of the publick offices are neat enough buildings. Towards the sea there are large batteries of 24 pounders, one of the same weight of metal on the opposite shore, and several on a small Island about half way between the two shores, which is so happily situated as to form already the chief security of the Harbour and might at little expense be made of much greater consequence. Towards the Land the Town is surrounded with a line of picquets or tall strong palisades and along this line at certain distances there are five stockaded Forts. When I say it is necessary to observe to you that a stockaded Fort is nothing more than such picquets as I have just mentioned stuck into the ground so as to form the Figure of a Fort of course there is no wall to mount artillery upon so that a few swivel gunns [are] stuck here on a angle. Picquet is all the artillery of Halifax toward the land. There cannot be a more advantageous spot that the rising ground above the Town, it commands the Town and the whole extent of the line round it. Without being fully commanded by any ground within reach, and uncommon circumstance in this country & withal includes so proper an extent of ground as would neither require a very great expense to Fortify not a very great garrison to defend. This place has another great natural advantage from its being situated in a small peninsula the Isthmus of which is not above a mile across and might with little expense be made a very strong pass.
     The country round the Town affords as Disagreeable a prospect to an English eye as any part of old Scotland. There is little more than a mile even along the shore clear'd and above half a mile in breadth into the Country, the rest is impenetrable wood, the worst kind even of American, the closets; the fulest of rough underwood & swamps or morasses, in short it gave me a better idea than ever I had chaos. On the opposite shore where the battery I mentioned is raised there is only about a mile in circumference cleard opposite to the Western end of Halifax at a place called Dartmouth, there are on this ground a good number of houses which have been deserted for some time the Indians having on one or two occasions broke in and scalped several of the inhabitants. After what I have said you will not be sorry to hear that since I began my letter I have received orders to embark in three days for New York. Congratulate me on being in the middle of the army, and of course in the way of the first of next year's operations, perhaps of something this winter tho you must allow if we were dispos'd to desire it we are entitled to some rest for by the time we reach New York, out of seven months three will have been employed in voyaging and two in Marching. . . . .  American news are stale now, besides what this year affords may as well be pass'd over, pray what you will in Brittain of your Louisbourg Expedition being given up and of the surrender of Fort William Henry? If you should be so impertinent as to say our sailors were too nice calculators of pounds and ounces to find out a superiority in the French, fled when the number of line of Battle ships were equal of that Fort William Henry might have held out longer or might have been relieved, we will in return throw all upon you by saying if you had sent the Fleet out sooner there woud have been no room for calculation of Metal, or if you had sent a sufficient Land force My Lord Loudoun woud not have been put to the necessity of Draining the continent & exposing its Frontier in order to form any army for the Expedition.
     I got this far at Halifax, I now write from New York 25th December having got here about eight days ago, after the most tedious and disagreeable voyage that has been known, in the course of which we had six very hard gales that your fresh water sailors woud call storms. In one of these we were all separated, one ship drove upon the Nantucket Shoal, another lost her Masts, a third her sails, and we who got off as well as any you may believe were not entirely at our ease during 36 hours that we drove with our helm lash'd under a balance mizen, however we thank God we have all got in one after another without any material loss, but from the Atlantic Ocean in the Month of November Libera nos Domine.
     We dont after all remain here this winter but go to Cantonments in Connecticut from 40 to 90 miles from hence among a set of Cromwelians imported about the year 1640. . . . . . I wish you woud send me 2 hogshead of your best vintage to the care of Mr Hugh Wallace at New York to Mr Abthorp & Compy at Boston. Farewell my Dr Alderman Remember me most affectionately to the wifie and to all my friends & if you dont write me often may you be 7 years longer a getting to heaven.

In all times & places yrs
S. Fraser

MacDonald, Archibald, Rev. The Old Lords of Lovat and Beaufort. Inverness, 1943, p. 135-7.

©  Jeffrey Campbell, Fraser's 78th Regiment of Foot, 2020. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Petitions of Lieutenant John Fraser, 78th Regiment

John Fraser, 78th Regiment of Foot
Petition of John Fraser, tenant in Easter Bunchegavie, and John Fraser, his eldest son, joint possessors of said farm. The Petitioner, now in his 76th year, has possessed the lands on a Tack of the late Lord Lovat for a yearly rent of £5, 17s, 11d. for 46 years, and continued loyal to his sovereign notwithstanding the temptation he was under of joining in the rebellion of 1745. John, the son, had served seven years in his Majesty’s 78th Regt. of Foot, Simon Fraser, Colonel, when, on account of the Regiment being reduced, he obtained his discharge, which is enclosed, of date at Glasgow 14 Decr. 1763. Also a certificate in favour of the old man John, from the Kirk session of Boleskin. Fear that they were to be dispossessed to let in Donald Fraser in Easter Borlum, brother-in-law of Mr. Fraser of Gortuleg, had brought them to Edinr. At that severe season to lay their case before the Board. Read Feb. 1769.

Petition of Lieut. John Fraser, late of the 78th Regt., praying to be put in possession of Bunchegavie and for a lease. William Fraser of Belloan is dead, and is succeeded by his brother Donald, late in Borlum, whom the Board ordered formerly to be put in possession of Bunchegavie. The Petitioner is a nephew of Donald, who is willing to cede possession of the farm to the Lieut. Read 26 June 1769

Petition of Lieut. John Fraser, late of Col. Fraser’s Regt. Late Wm. Fraser of Balloan, was the Petitioner’s uncle, relative to a competition as to parties who should get possession of a farm. Read 3 July 1769, - Memorial for Elizabeth Fraser, widow of deceased Wm. Fraser of Balloan, and others, read 3 July 1769. Memorial of Lieut. Alexr. Fraser of Col. Fraser’s Regt. who was preferred to the farm (Ruthven). Read 3 July 1769.

Millar, A. H. A Selection of Scottish Fortified Estate Papers, 1715; 1745. Edinburgh, Scottish Historical Society, 1909, p. 130; 142. Print.

©  Jeffrey Campbell, Fraser's 78th Regiment of Foot, 2019.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Taking Title of Mount Murray

Title.-- "Grant of the 27th of April, 1762, by the Honourable James Murray, Esq. Governor of Quebec, to Lieutenant Malcolm Fraser, of His Majesty's 78th Regiment of Foot, of all that extent of land lying on the North Shore of the St. Lawrence, from the North side of the River of Malbay to the River Noire, and for three leagues back, to be known hereafter, at the special request of the said Lieutenant Malcolm Fraser, by the name of Mount Murray, together with the woods and rivers or other appurtenances within the said extent, right of fishing or fowling, within the same, included. All kinds of traffic with the Indians of the back country hereby specially excepted."

History of Mount Murray
MOUNT MURRAY, is a British grant en fief et seigneurie, in the co. of Saguenay; it reaches from the north side of the R. Malbay, along the bank of the St. Lawrence, as far as the River Noire or Black River, and is three leagues in depth. Granted Apr. 27, 1762, to Lieut. Malcolm Fraser, Esq, this seigniory is separated from Murray Bay by Malbay River, and contains only a small proportion of cultivated land in comparison to its size. The general surface is mountainous, but in some places the soil is moderately good: timber of all kinds is plentiful and very fine, particularly pine. The lands under the best state of improvement are those along R. Malbay for about six miles. A tolerable good road passes through these settlements, on which are many farm houses and dwellings. The manor-house, belonging to Colonel Fraser, called Mount Murray, is well situated at the entrance of the bay on the east side, and is surrounded by a large tract of well-cultivated lands. This grant is watered by several streams, whose waters are not more than sufficient to work the mills. From the River Noire, along the borders of the St. Lawrence, and as far into the interior as the country has been explored, are only mountains of stone almost without the slightest vegetation. Limestone is abundant in this S. The chief articles of trade are deals, boards, fire-wood and some wheat: the salmon caught between the River Noire and Malbay are sold at Quebec.

Bouchette, Joseph. "A Topographical Dictionary of the Province of Lower Canada." Longman & Company, Quebec, 1832.

©  Jeffrey Campbell, Fraser's 78th Regiment of Foot, 2019.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Arms Issued to the Highland Regiments, 1757

War Office, 13 January 1757


His Majesty having thought fit to order two Highland Battalions of Foot to be forthwith raised each Battalion to consist of Forty Serjeants Forty Corporals Twenty Drummers and One thousand Effective Private Men besides Commission Officers, I have the Honour to acquaint you herewith that you may be pleased to receive His Majesty's Commands thereupon and Signify the same to the Master Gen'l of the Ordnance that the Arms &c mentioned in the Annexed List for the said two Battalions may be delivered out of His Majesty's Stores & the Expence thereof charged to the Estimate of Ordnance for Parliament.

Iron Ramrods:
First Battalion: 1040
Second Battalion: 1040
Total: 2080

Firelocks & Bayonets:
First Battalion: 1040
Second Battalion: 1040
Total: 2080

Side Pistols:
First Battalion: 1080
Second Battalion: 1080
Total: 2160

First Battalion: 40
Second Battalion: 40
Total: 80

First Battalion: 40
Second Battalion: 40
Total: 80

I am
Sir &c

Rt. Honble Wm. Pitt His Majesty's
Principal Secry of State

Note: A list of accoutrements issued to soldiers of the 78th Regiment can be found here.

Lord Barrington, "Letter to William Pitt requesting arms." War Office Records: Out Letters: Secretary at War. General Letters, Dec. 1756-Apr. 1757. TNA, W.O. 4, vol. 53 (Selections).

©  Jeffrey Campbell, Fraser's 78th Regiment of Foot, 2019.