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About the Original 84th

Lt Col Allan MacLean

After several years of meritorious service and much lobbying from its senior officers, the regiment was given the honour of being placed on the Regular Establishment of the British Army as the 84th Regiment of Foot, Royal Highland Emigrants.

The regiment was raised in Canada at the start of the American rebellion in 1775 by LtCol, Allan MacLean.  MacLean was a former Jacobite who had been pardoned and enjoyed a distinguished career as an officer in the British army.  He requested and received permission to raise a corps of soldiers from amongst the highlanders who had received land grants and settled in North America at the end of the French and Indian War in 1763.  These men had served in such famous regiments as Gordons Highlanders and Frasers Highlanders and MacLean knew many of them personally, since he had also served in North America at that time.

The colours of the Royal Highland Emigrants

As the War went on, new members were recruited from among the loyalists who fled north from rebelling American colonies.  Some were Scotish, but there were many from other ethnic backgrounds like Irish, French and German/Dutch.

At the end of the American Revolutionary War in 1783, the regiment was disbanded and the men and officers of the regiment were offered land grants in Canada.  The men of the 1st battalion settled in Upper Canada, along the St Lawrence River, while the 2nd Battalion men received land in rural Nova Scotia.


Modern impression of an officer in the 84th

Originally raised as a provincial corps called The Royal Highland Emigrants, the regiment was to have 2 battalions of 10 companies each, all under the command of MacLean. 

MacLean held personal command of the 1st battalion, which served mostly as garrison troops for the border forts and participated in the large raids into the Mohawk Valley, New York and Vermont.  
The 2nd battalion was commanded by Major John Small, and served in the southern campaign and in Nova Scotia.

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