26th January 1778

83rd Regiment of Foot is founded

The 83rd Regiment of Foot was otherwise known as the Royal Glasgow Volunteers, on account of its founding in the city. The American Revolutionary War was in full swing, which was having a detrimental effect on trade between Britain and the new world. One of those whose Glasgow business was suffering was James Finlay who, on 26 January 1778, marched through the city streets looking for recruits for a band of volunteers he was forming. They would be sent to America to fight for King and country. A week later, 1000 men had signed up.

The regiment leaves Scotland

The regiment was soon dispatched to the Channel Islands. Half settled in Guernsey, and the rest in Jersey, where they established Fort Henry in Gorey, originally under the name Fort Conway.

They were still on the island when, three years later, Baron Philippe de Rullecourt invaded, intending to capture it for France. Although it wasn’t involved in the main fight, which centred on St Helier, the 83rd Regiment of Foot played its part by securing La Rocque Battery, which the French had occupied as part of the invasion. Seven members of the 83rd Regiment of Foot were killed in the operation and buried at Grouville Church, where a monument was erected in their honour.

A move to the US

That was the regiment’s last notable action in Jersey: it was soon after transferred to New York and, following the American Revolutionary War, disbanded in Glasgow.

However, a similarly-named 83rd (County of Dublin) Regiment of Foot, settled in Jersey for two years from 1803 before sailing to Spain to take part in the Peninsular War, in which the United Kingdom assisted Spain in repelling Napoleon and the forces of France.


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Other events that occured in January