Donald Farquharson of Monaltrie’s Highland Regiment of Foot

Not having been frightened off from 'painting tartan' a second highland regiment rolls off the painting table. This time Donald Farquharson of Monaltrie’s Highland Regiment of Foot.

Donald Oig Farquharson of Monaltrie was called ‘the pride of Braemar'; he spent six months at court and clearly made an impression, as Charles would always call him "my man". Whilst visiting Edinburgh King Charles was informed of Donald being threatened in a fray by some Covenanters, the King angrily exclaimed, “Who dares be so bold as to touch my man, Donald Farquharson?” 


Donald would be slain by a pistol-shot in street fighting in Aberdeen on 16th March 1645. His death was much lamented by the Marquis of Montrose, who had his body buried with military honours in Drum's Aisle of St. Nicholas Church, Aberdeen. A Victorian plaque marks the supposed spot.


When I paint 'tartan' I pick about four base colours and paint randomly, on this occasion the two highland officers in this regiment are both wearing green based tartan. They were the only two figures that I chose to give a green base to; at this point I hadn't painted the stripes on. I then started researching the regiment and Donald Oig. It was then that I discovered the design of the ancient Farquharson tartan was a green base with blue stripes. So, despite my research into the concept of clan tartan, and it's apparent absence in seventeenth century Scotland... well it just had to be done.


Raised  in 1639 they fought at Megray Hill in the First Bishops War where they were soundly beaten by the Covenanters. They were raised again in 1644 and they fought at Fyvie, Inverary, Auldearn, Alford, Kilsyth, and the Storming of Aberdeen. They were raised from the Highlands and were initially equipped with bows and firelocks. Although they may well have added pikes by Megray Hill as they are described as 'a standing regiment'. It has been suggested that in the First Civil War they were equipped and formed as a regular regiment of foot as part of Montrose’s army. It is believed that Donald's brother James Farquharson of Whitehouse had taken command of the regiment early in 1645 prior to Auldearn.


I've chosen to represent the regiment as highlanders, no bows here though. A handful of headswaps and an officer in 'English garb' albeit with a blew bonnet.

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Comments

  1. That’s another great unit. Excellent research as usual.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks nundanket. They look better in the flesh than super sized on screen. I can see lots of bits of 'tartan' that need tweaking on screen - in real life they are just fine.

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