Tel: 01738 638152

The Black Watch

Castle | Shop | Cafe | Museum

The Name

Throughout its history, The Black Watch has had several "official titles". The conferring of the various titles is a matter of some debate. The following is taken from the Official History of the Regiment by Victoria Schofield.

  • 1725-39  The Independent Companies or The Black Watch
  • 1739-41  The Earl of Crawford’s Highlanders, or the Highland Regiment, listed as the 43rd in order of precedence in the British Army
  • 1741-45  Lord Sempill’s Highlander’s, or the Highland Regiment, listed as the 43rd
  • 1745-49  Lord John Murray’s Highlanders, or the Highland Regiment, listed as the 43rd
  • 1749-51  Lord John Murray’s Highlanders, or the Highland Regiment, listed as the 42nd
  • 1751-58  The 42nd Regiment of Foot, The Highland Regiment
  • 1758-1861 The 42nd or Royal Highland Regiment of Foot, also known as the Royal Highlanders
  • 1861-81 The 42nd Royal Highland Regiment of Foot, The Black Watch

"Her Majesty has been graciously pleased to authorise the 42nd Highland Regiment being designated in addition to that title, the “Black Watch” by which name it was popularly known at, and for some time after the period of its being raised."
Reference: General Orders, Horse Guards, 20th June 1861 in Schofield V, The Official Regimental History, The Highland Furies, The Black Watch 1739-1899, page 482.

  • 1881-1934 The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders)

"1881 73rd returns from India. Cardwell Reforms: amalgamation of the 42nd and 73rd to form the 1st and 2nd Battalions under the title The Royal Highlanders (The Black Watch)."
Reference: Record of Service, 42nd, 1873-1939 in Schofield V, The Official Regimental History, The Highland Furies, The Black Watch 1739-1899, p35.

  • 1935-2006 The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment)   

  • 1786-1816  The 73rd (Highland) Regiment of Foot (the former 2nd Battalion 42nd raised in 1779
  • 1816-62 The 73rd Regiment of Foot
  • 1862-81  The 73rd (Perthshire) Regiment of Foot

In 1881 the 73rd (Perthshire) Regiment became the 2nd Battalion The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders)