Saturday, January 17, 2009


Welcome to the 47th Foot in North America Blog. I wanted to start this Blog to organize, save and share interesting and useful information I found on the 47th and on Redcoats in North America during the Revolution.

The 47th was formed as Mordaunt's Regiment in 1741. The regiment fought in Scotland in the 1740s and was deployed to North America first during the French and Indian War. It played an important role in the battle ending the Siege of Quebec in 1759, earning the name Wolfe's Own for General James Wolfe who was killed in the battle. The 47th later added a black line to the wool tape that decorated each soldier's uniform.

In 1773 the 47th was stationed in New Jersey and was transferred to Boston in 1774, they fought in the Battle of Bunker Hill, then moved with the British forces when they evacuated next spring to Halifax, Nova Scotia. The 47th was added to the command of General Carleton (the regiment's Colonel)who commanded the British expedition to move down Lake Champlain to the Hudson, attempting to cut the Colonies in two.

After Carleton's command was stalled at Valcour Island, the expedition was continued (including the 47th) in 1777 under the command of General John Burgoyne. Most of the Regiment was captured at the battles of Saratoga, but two, and one partial companies of the 47th escaped, as they had been left behind to guard some of Burgoyne's supply dumps.

These remaining companies were later transferred west to build a fort on Carleton Island at the mouth of the St. Lawrence River near the east end of Lake Ontario. In 1779, 47th soldiers were moved west to reinforce the Great Lakes posts at Niagara, Detroit and Mackinac. By 1782 the officers, sergeants and drummers were sent back to England to recruit a new 47th, while the men were transferred (or drafted) into the 8th Regiment.

The 47th was amalgamated with the 81st in 1881 to form the Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire). In 1970 the Loyal Regiment was amalgamated with the Lancashire Regiment to form the Queens Lancashire Regiment, then finally in 2006 linked with the King's and King's Own Border Regiments to form today's Duke of Lancaster's Regiment.


  1. I found your blog while researching the 47th Regiment of Foot. My 5x great grandfather, John Darby, was a LT/Col in the 47th Regiment. Taken from his land grant application "had been a soldier in and during the whole length of the French Indian war ending in 1764 and he had been a resident of the Niagara district upwards of ten years.” He settled in Niagara in 1782. John Darby did receive 200 hundred acres in the Niagara Region of Ontario. He was buried on his land along with other family members. This land is now part of a city park. I recently requested that the city put a historical plaque on the burial plot. They have agreed and the reconsecration ceremony will take place June 18. I am putting together a presentation of John's life and I wonder if you have come across his name in any of your research. I would appreciate any help you could offer. I am sorry to contact you this way, I could not find any contact information. Thank you. Nancy (nancylmartin at

  2. Nancy,

    I have looked mostly at the 47th during the American War of Independence. I will see what I can find. H.C. Wylie's "The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment (London, 1933) is a good overview. If you have checked with the Public Archives of Canada, you might also try the Queen's Lancashire Regiment Museum ( They offer research help. Hope this helps. I will keep my eyes peeled. Sounds really interesting.


  3. Eric, thank you for this. I am having trouble finding if John was American born of British descent and joined the 47th infantry from the States or actually came over from Britain with the Regiment. I do know he was at Fort Niagara when the French Indian War ended and received his first 100 acres through a "draw". Will check into the Museum you mention. Thanks again. Nancy