84th Regiment of Foot

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Known as the York and Lancaster Regiment.


  • 1759 raised as the 84th Regiment of Foot
  • 1763 disbanded
  • 1775 raised in Canada by Lt-Col Allan Maclean as The Royal Highland Emigrants
  • 1783 disbanded
  • 1793 raised by Lt-Col George Bernard as the 84th Regiment of Foot
  • 1809 renamed the 84th (York and Lancaster) Regiment of Foot
  • 1881 amalgamated with the 65th (2nd Yorkshire, North Riding) Regiment of Foot to become 2nd Battalion the York and Lancaster Regiment
  • 1968 disbanded

Service in British India

1st Battalion 2nd Battalion
1798 Madras 1882 Egypt
1799 Goa 1897 Agra
1810 Battle of Mauritius 1921 Karachi
1815 Kattiawar & Kutch 1925 Jullunder
1817 Pindari War 1927 Dinapore
1819 Kandeish & Kutch 1931 Delhi
1842 Burma 1933 Secunderabad
1845 Madras 1935 Kamptee
1857 Indian Mutiny 1936 Ahmadnagar

The History and Regimental Details sections below form a history of H.M. 84th Regiment of Foot (York and Lancaster Regiment), extracted by Peter Brown from The York and Lancaster Regimental Museum - Guide & Short History published by the Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, Department of Libraries, Museums and Arts, and from other sources. These sections were part of the Family History in India website, which was designed to help people trace their British and European ancestry in colonial India by Cathy Day. Cathy has kindly allowed us to transfer this page to our wiki.


The Raising of the Regiment

From inception, the 84th Regiment of Foot has had close connections with India. The first raising of the 84th on the 13th January 1759 was a result of requests made by the East India Company for extra military support. The Regiment arrived in Madras in 1759 where it was immediately committed to the Mysore War, fighting at Wandewash, the sieges of Arcot and Pondicherry, and the capture of the rock fortress of Permacoil. Under Major Thomas Adams, the 84th, alongside other British and native troops, took part in campaigns which, although little known today are said to have been among the most impressive achievements in terms of military success against an enemy that was vastly superior in numbers. The 84th was disbanded in December, 1763 after which many officers and men transferred to service with the East India Company. On display in the York and Lancaster Regimental Musuem in Rotherham is a fine oval miniature of Eyre Coote, first colonel of the 84th and later Commander-in-Chief in India.

The Royal Highland Emigrants

At the beginning of the American War of Independence, the 84th Foot was raised for a second time on 13th June, 1775, when Lt. Colonel Allan Maclean was commissioned to raise two battalions in Canada, known first as the Royal Highland Emigrants. This new regiment drew its recruits from Scottish settlers, many of whom were former soldiers. They wore full Highland dress similar to that of the 42nd Highlanders, the Black Watch Regiment, with purses of raccoon. The 1st Battalion remained in Canada notably in the defence of Quebec while detachments of the 2nd Battalion saw service in Virginia and South Carolina, taking part in the Battle of Eutaw Springs and the British surrender at Yorktown. The Regiment was again disbanded at the cessations of hostilities in 1783. The Royal Highland Emigrants' banner, despite being over two hundred years old, on display in Rotherham, is extremely well preserved.

Revolutionary France

A third and final raising of the 84th took place on 2nd November, 1793, by Lt. Col. George Bernard. It served in the ill-fated first Walcheren Expedition of 1794 and later moved to the Cape of Good Hope (1796) and India (1799). The 2nd Battalion of the 84th was involved in a second Walcheren campaign (1809) and the Peninsular War (1812-14). It was here that the first of the Regiment's medals were gained at the battles of Nive and Nivelle. The Army Gold Medals of Lt. Col. R. Lloyd (Col. of the 2nd 84th) and Major J. Tonson are both preserved in the Rotherham collection.

India - First Decades 19th Century

In October 1798 the 84th sailed from the Cape of Good Hope to India. A detachment, which had occupied Isle of Perim, Red Sea in April 1799, rejoined the Regiment in Goa in March 1802. Local operations moved to Bombay in 1807.

In 1809 the 84th was given the secondary regional title, York and Lancaster Regiment, which was retained in 1881 when numbers were discarded, and the 84th was joined with the 65th Regiment.

The 84th participated in the capture of the island of Mauritius in 1810. Mauritius was a French-held island used as a base for harassment of East India Company trade routes. It was here that the 65th and the 84th came into direct contact for the first time. Following capture of Mauritius from the French in 1810, the 84th was stationed four years in Bangalore. In late 1815 the Regiment helped recapture Kurnool.

Companies of the 84th served in final campaign against Mahratta princes and Pindari bandits in central India. which resulted in extension of British rule to two-thirds of the Indian sub-continent. The 84th returned to England December 1819 for 7 years service at home. In 1826 Royal approval was granted to bear the Union Rose and the title "India" on colours and badges.

From manuscript records of the 84th Regiment, held in the National Army Museum, London:

On 28th May 1819 six companies embarked on the Albert from Madras; on 26th June the HQ and four companies on the Lady Nugent (Capts. Prendergast and Burns repectively.) Alfred arrived Portsmouth 9 November 1819 and Lady Nugent on 29 November. On 6 December the Regiment embarked for Ireland and arrived at the Cove of Cork.

The Indian Mutiny

On return from India in 1819 the 84th absorbed its 2nd Battalion and in 1827 went to Jamaica where it helped quell slave riots. Having returned home in 1839 the 84th moved to Burma in 1842 and once more to India in 1845. At the outbreak of the Indian Mutiny on 10th May 1857 the 84th became heavily involved. Of the sixty strong detachment at Cawnpore only one man survived and the main contingent was committed to the defence, relief and recapture of Lucknow. No less than six Victoria Crosses were awarded for these actions, four of which are now in the Rotherham collection. The 84th was saluted from the battery of Fort William upon leaving Calcutta in 1859 (one of only two regiments to be so honoured) after seventeen years in India. On return to England, the 84th received an address of welcome from the Mayor of Sheffield and the men were presented with penknives from the Cutlers' Company. The next twenty three years were relatively calm for the 84th, serving in Ireland, Canada and the Channel Islands.

Egypt and Warren Hastings

In the Egyptian Expedition of 1882, the 84th (now the 2nd Battalion, the York and Lancaster Regiment) as part of General Graham's Brigade, was present at the battle of Tel- el- Kebir. Casualties were confined to twelve non- commissioned officers and men wounded. After service in Bermuda, Nova Scotia, South Africa and India, the 2nd Battalion was stationed in Limerick in July, 1912. It was during movement from South Africa to India in 1897 that the 2nd Battalion lost many treasured possessions when the troopship Warren Hastings foundered off the Island of Reunion. Of the 1,246 persons on board no loss of life occurred which says much for the calm and orderly manner in which the survivors were brought ashore. Lloyds and the Royal Humane Society silver medals awarded to the Battalion in connection with the event.

The York and Lancaster Regiment was disbanded in December 1968, and the Colours laid up in the Regimental Chapel of Sheffield Cathedral. Memorabilia are housed in Regimental Museum of the York and Lancaster Regiment in the Central Library and Arts Centre, Walker Place, Rotherham, S65 1JH.

Regimental Details


Foreword by Brigadier R. Eccles, D.S.O., Representative Colonel, The York and Lancaster Regiment to 'The York & Lancaster Regimental Museum - Guide & Short History':

"The Regiment has recruited from South Yorkshire and has close connections with the area for well over a hundred years. There can be few families with their roots in South Yorkshire who do not have a relative who served with the York and Lancaster. The Regiment is delighted that Rotherham have agreed to take custody of our historic collection, and that so much care and thought has been put into the display. It is a display which represents over two hundred years of service, involving tens of thousands of Yorkshiremen. I suggest you keep in mind as you walk around the collection that what you see can never tell the full story. The great achievements are reflected but, over the years, there were a vast number of instances of great endeavour, sacrifice and bravery which were never recorded or rewarded with medals - so many unsung heroes."

Regimental Medals

Army of India Medal 1799 - 1826.

Blue ribbon.

Awarded for various battles and campaigns India, Burma between 1803 and 1826.

This medal was not authorized until 1851 when it was issued to survivors only.

Battles: Mauritius, 1811 Kurnool, 1817 Pindari (2 Coys) Mahratta.


Royal Tiger {65th} with The Union Rose (84th)

Ickety Pips (65th, coined in N.Z. Maoris used this name)

Cat and Cabbage

Rabbit and Geranium

The Twin Roses

Young and Lovelies (Yorks. and Lancs.)

The Cork and Doncaster (do.)


Scarlet - facings yellow.

Regimental March

(Quick) - The Jockey of York (traditional)

(Slow) - Untitled

Battle Honours

Nive Peninsula

India (with Royal Tiger)


Officers of the 84th

Officers of the 84th are listed in Roll of Officers (84th) York and Lancaster Regiment, Raikes and Key, William Clowes and Sons 1910. Know also as 'Raikes' Roll', this roll is compiled by Major G.A. Raikes F.S.A. in 1885 and revised by Captain R.E. Key 1910. The book includes a record of officers services, including dates of commissions to which is added the Officers Medal roll for the Peninsular War and short account of the colours used by the battalion for 1759 - 1810. The 1885 edition is available online, refer below.


The following is an extract from Raikes,of postings, or stations, of the 84th in the early 19th Century:

First Battalion 84th

Goa - April 25 1805

Bombay - Mar 18 1807

Isle of France (Mauritius) - Sept 12 1810

Bangalore - Mar 10 1811

Trichinopoly - April 1813

Bangalore - May 25 1815

Bellary - June 27 1816

Dover - Dec 11 1820

Plymouth - June 14 1820

Portsmouth - Feb 22 1821

Cork - Dec 18 1821

Clonmel - Apr 9 1823

Templemore - June 23 1823

Dublin - Dec 8 1823

Clonmel - Sept 28 1824

Second Battalion 84th

Ireland ( Kilkenny & Dublin) 1810, 1811

Embarked at Cove June 30,1811

Landed at Passages in Spain July 27,1811

Served in France & Spain 1811-1814

Landed at Cove September 22,1814

Limerick November 1814

Detachments to Adare, Askton Tipperary September 1815

To Athlone February 1816

Embarked at Cove April 9,1818

Chatham April 14, 1818

Joined 1st Battalion at Dover Dec. 6,1818

Regimental journal

The Tiger and the Rose. A monthly journal of the York & Lancaster Regiment. Published from 1887. At least some editions are available at the British Library, but the catalogue does not give details. Also available at the Regiment Museum, see below. Another possible source is the National Army Museum

External Links

Royal Highland Emigrants Wikipedia
84th Regiment of Foot Wikipedia
York & Lancaster Regiment Wikipedia
2nd Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment Wikipedia
84th (York and Lancaster) Regiment of Foot including deployments Regiments.org, an archived site.
The York and Lancaster Regiment Regiments.org, an archived site.
The York and Lancaster Regimental Museum part of the Clifton Park Museum, Rotherham. The regimental Archive is located at the Archives and Local Studies Service, also at the Clifton Park Museum. The Archive includes regimental histories and copies of The Tiger and the Rose Regimental Journal.

Historical books online