The Black Watch Museum


Housed within the walls of Balhousie Castle in Perth, Scotland, is a collection dedicated to charting the long and illustrious history of The Black Watch regiment.

In 1715, King George I authorised the formation of six independent Highlander companies to be stationed across Scotland. Their task was onerous – to deter raiding, and assist in enforcing the laws of the British Government under the Disarming Act. Soon enough, the ubiquitous dark tartans of the violent watch companies were a feared sight across the Highlands, earning them the enduring Gaelic moniker of Am Freiceadan Dubh – The Black Watch.

In 1739, the watch companies were amalgamated into a regiment of the line, the 42nd Regiment of Foot. In recognition of its worth over the following decades, the regiment earned the title ‘Royal’ and was allowed to raise a 2nd Battalion – which soon became its own unit, the 73rd Foot.

By the Childers Reforms of 1881, the 42nd Royal Highland Regiment merged with the 73rd Perthshire Regiment. With this act, the unit officially adopted its long-held moniker and became The Black Watch Royal Highlanders.

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