Meredith’s Regiment of Foot was raised in Ireland on February 13th, 1702 by Colonel Thomas Meredith; it was one of twelve who were created by order of Parliament at the start of the Wars of the Spanish Succession. Meredith, who was Irish, raised his regiment around Dublin. He determinedly refused to enlist ‘Papists’, whose loyalty he believed to be suspect.
Despite his prejudice drastically cutting down his recruiting base, Meredith had no issue finding qualified officers and other ranks. Parliament had cut down the Army five years previously, and at that time a large percentage of the army’s soldiers were recruited from Ireland. Many ex-soldiers who had been cast adrift joined his new Regiment. After a year of training, the Regiment went to the Netherlands to join the Duke of Marlborough’s campaign against the French.
In 1751, it was proclaimed that regiments would no longer bear the names of their colonels, and instead were numbered in order of precedence; the regiment became the 37th Regiment of Foot.
The 37th fought at Minden in 1759: they originated the PWRR’s custom of wearing roses in their berets after they picked dog-roses from the edges of the battlefield to celebrate their victory. The regiment travelled widely. They went to America and were present when the British surrendered at Yorktown in 1781; they also fought in India in 1857 during the Indian Mutiny. Eventually, in 1881, they were amalgamated with the 67th Regiment of Foot to become The Hampshire Regiment.