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The 79th Regiment of Foot (Royal Liverpool Volunteers) was an infantry regiment of the British Army, also known as the Liverpool Blues, which served in the Americas during the American War of Independence.

In common with other volunteer regiments formed elsewhere in Britain during the conflict,[1] the 79th was raised at the expense of the port of Liverpool, with the town's corporation contributing £2000. On the 79th's creation in 1778,[2] Major Pole assumed command as its lieutenant-colonel.[3]

The regiment arrived in Jamaica in March 1779 and had detachments assigned the role of marines.[4] In February 1780, the regiment took part in an expedition against the Spanish colony of Nicaragua, ferried by young Captain Horatio Nelson. An evacuation was carried out later in the year because of disease which had become rife in the inhospitable climate, decimating the expedition.[5]

In 1781, Banastre Tarleton became the lieutenant-colonel of the Liverpool Volunteers, though remained in command of the 5th American Regiment (British Legion). An infamous cavalry officer during the American Revolution, Tarleton was the son of a former Mayor of Liverpool.[6]

The regiment returned to Liverpool in early 1784 and disbanded after the war ended.[2] On 4 February 1784, a contingent of seven officers received the freedom of the borough while the regiment's colours were laid up at Liverpool Town Hall.[7]


  1. Curtis, Edward Ely (1969), The Organization of the British Army in the American Revolution, p.75
  2. 2.0 2.1 "79th Regiment of Foot (Royal Liverpool Volunteers)". Archived from the original on 14 August 2004. Retrieved 21 December 2005. 
  3. Brooke, Richard (1853), Liverpool as it was during the last quarter of the eighteenth century, 1775 to 1800, p.359
  4. Katcher, Philip R. N. (1973), Encyclopedia of British, provincial, and German army units, 1775-1783, p.71
  5. Marley, David (1998). Wars of the Americas: a chronology of armed conflict in the New World, 1492 to the present. Santa Barbara, USA: ABC-CLIO. p. 326. ISBN 978-0-87436-837-6. 
  6. Scotti, Anthony J. (2002) Brutal Virtue: The Myth and Reality of Banastre Tarleton, Heritage Books, ISBN 0-7884-2099-2, p. 14
  7. Touzeau, James (1910), The Rise and Progress of Liverpool from 1551-1835, p.582

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