The Fife Fencible Cavalry / Fife Light Dragoons
The Fifeshire Fencible Cavalry was raised by Colonel John Anstruther Thomson in Cupar in 1794. His son and grandson would be synonymous with Fife Cavalry regiments for over the next hundred years. Colonel John Anstruther was colonel of the 62nd Regiment during the American War of Independence, he took the surname Thomson after his marriage to Grizzel Maria Thomson of Charleton. His son John was a captain in the Fife Fencible Cavalry and later formed a troop and became commanding officer of the Fife Yeomanry. The third generation, John Anstruther Thomson served in his father's yeomanry in the 1830's and after raising the Fife Mounted Rifle Volunteers saw them through their time as The Fife Light Horse and Fife Imperial Yeomanry.
Like many Fencible Cavalry Regiments the Fifes were restyled Light Dragoons shortly after formation.
The regiment spent most of its time at various barracks and camps in Britain from the very North to the Southeast Coast. In the summer of 1795 they were at Thurso, in October 1796 Carlisle and by April 1797 they were in Sheffield.In June 1797 while stationed at Sheffield Barracks, the troops printed a broadside declaring their unshaken loyalty to the King and offering a reward of thirty guineas for assisting the capture of anyone daring enough to try to circulate seditious handbills to the regiment. In 1798 they were in Kings Lynn and Norwich before heading to Hythe in Kent in 1799.
In 1799 The Times reported that the Fifeshire Fencible Cavalry would be sent with other troops to reinforce the army in Portugal. For some reason this did not occur. In June Captain Ranken, an officer who like Colonel Thomson had served in the American War of Independence died at home in Barnsmuir. In September the Dragoons seized a consignment of tin plates, said to be used in the manufacture of canister shot, from a merchant ship at Dover Harbour. This case came before an Admiralty Court in Feb 1800 when the court upheld the seizure and declared the tin plates "droits of admiralty". Later in the year Charles Erskine, The Earl of Kellie, Viscount Fenton and Captain in the F.F.C. also died suddenly whilst serving at Folkestone.
In 1800 the regiment was disbanded along with other Fencible Regiments that were not serving in Ireland, many of the soldiers transferred into regular Army Regiments.