Edited extract from web text - LOYAL TAY FENCIBLES by David Thomson
Fencible Regiments were historically raised by the Heritors under feudal obligations at such times as necessary as, for example, during the Civil War from 1639 to 1651 and at other times of unrest. They were also raised at the time of the Napoleonic Wars when there was a panic in the land, a French invasion being feared.
The Loyal Tay Fencibles was such a regiment, raised in 1794 and taking its enlisted men from Central and Lowland Scotland, including Fife and Forfar, and also from England.
It was a regiment of foot and spent some time in Ireland, until December 1801, when it marched from Ballymena to Belfast, via Antrim, proceeding thereafter to Portpatrick, thence to Stranraer, Wigtown and Port William. The Regiment also spent time in Glasgow and Stirling.
In 1802 Scotland had ben divided into several Military Districts for Army purposes and Fife was in Centre District with Angus, Perth, Kinross, Clackmannan, Stirling and Dumbarton. Its H.Q. was in Perth under temporary overall Command of Lieutenant General Richard Vyse - in the temporary absence of Major General Sir James St. Clair Erskine.
The Colonel of the Regiment was Colonel Robert Anstruther of Balcaskie. In addition to him and Lieutenant Colonel the Hon. David Leslie, there were over 70 Commissioned and Warrant Officers and over 200 Sergeants, Corporals and Drummers classified together. There were also more than 1400 enlisted men during the time the regiment existed, it being disbanded sometime after 1802.