Black Watch Clan and Scottish Family Affiliations

The original Independent Companies of The Black Watch were raised in the wake of the 1715 Jacobite Rising by Lord Lovat, Sir Duncan Campbell of Lochnell and Colonel Grant of Ballindalloch. Loyal clans such as Campbells, Grants, Frasers and Munros were recruited. Upon the commission of the 42nd Regiment in 1739, lowlander John Lindsay (20th Earl of Crawford) was appointed colonel, in order to prevent any ill-feelings between clans. The Crawfords were a scion of the ancient Scottish Border family of Lindsay.

The 73rd regiment was first commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Norman MacLeod, forming a historic bond between The Black Watch and Clan MacLeod, which continues to this day. In 2011 the Clan MacLeod Society of Scotland presented a new Pipe Banner to the Black Watch in memory of their late chieftain. The banner is used by a piper of The Black Watch during parades, and hangs in the officer’s mess at Fort George near Inverness when not in use. The original Colours of the Battalion are still at Dunvegan Castle on the Isle of Sky, ancient home to MacLeod chiefs.

Alike other Scottish regiments, The Black Watch retain close family ties amongst officers and soldiers, and it is not uncommon to find sons following fathers, uncles and grandfathers into the regiment.