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The Raising of
The King's Own Scottish Borderers
18th March 1689


It pays to know your History: the petition of the King’s Own Scottish Borderers Association to the Sherriff Court Edinburgh, February 2005

Most are now aware of the dangers posed by the Secretary of State’s proposals to merge all the remaining Scottish Regiments into a new “Royal Regiment of Scotland”. These proposals include combining the KOSB with Scotland’s oldest Regiment, The Royal Scots.

Link to painting "Raising the Regiment - The Kings Own Scottish Borderers March 1689" by Terence Cuneo

The members of the Edinburgh Association of the King’s Own Scottish Borderers (KOSB) Association through a thorough knowledge of their Regiment’s history have thrown a legal spanner into the works of Mr Hoon’s plans. For the Regiment was raised on 18th March 1689 by the Earl of Leven in Edinburgh, to the beat of drum, with a Warrant issued by the Scottish Parliament. Edinburgh was threatened by the Jacobite Highland Army of “Bonnie Dundee”, or “Bluidy Clavers”, John Graham of Claverhouse, depending on which end of the opposing weapon you were on. Within hours the Regiment reached its establishment of 800 men in two hours and they marched off north and would meet an early setback at the Battle of Killiecrankie four months later.

The KOSB campaigners lodged a petition at Edinburgh Sheriff Court arguing that the Government may not proceed with proposed merger, and a writ has been served on Linda Clark, QC, the advocate general for Scotland, who has 21 days to respond as the senior legal representative of the Whitehall government in Scotland. This is being handled by Alexander Moffat and Co, on behalf of the KOSB Regimental Association. The same firm took care of the return of the so called "Stone of Destiny" to Scotland in 1996.

Donald Fairgrieve, a signatory to the petition and a former KOSB officer, said: "The Act which brought the regiment into being was never rescinded. We have done our homework thoroughly."

The petition also questions the legality of the events that led to the disbandment of The Cameronians, Lanarkshire's Infantry Regiment, in 1968, under a previous defence cut. This Regiment, drawn from the ranks of Covenanters, was also raised by Scottish parliamentary warrant before the United Kingdom came into being.

The petition itself, is confidential while it is before the court, but will certainly make interesting reading.

This will probably only delay the loss of the Regiments, but makes it more difficult.