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William Bayard of Greenwich Village, New York, was determained to support the Crown in the civil war we now call the American Revolution. He did so in 1776 by forming the King's Orange Rangers, a Royal Provincial Loyalist Regiment comprised mainly of men from New York and New Jersey.

The KOR saw action in coastal New Jersey. They were present at actions in Kingsbridge, Harlem Heights, and Fort Knyphausen in New York. Gaining a reputation for fractiousness, they were assigned to duties in Nova Scotia in 1778. As part of the Halifax garrison, they served in the Eastern Battery in Dartmouth and from time to time went on missions to the Annapolis Valley.

Captain John Howard's Company of the KOR came to Liverpool at the request of the local citizens. They arrived December 13, 1778 and remained until August 23, 1783. Their purpose was to deter rebel privateers which since 1776, had been harassing the people and stealing their property.

At first the KOR was quartered in the Town, but this lead to many fights between them and the local men, especially around the taverns. Simeon Perkins and Captain Howard quickly decided it would be better to have the soldiers moved out of Town to Fort Point.

Deploying out of Liverpool, the KOR responded to rumours of rebel presence along the shore from La Have to Barrington. Often they returned to Liverpool with rebel prisoners and Crown deserters, sometimes from the KOR itself.

In the early years the KOR were often used as marines. Local vessels, crewed by Liverpool sailors and filled with soldiers from the KOR, sallied out of Liverpool Bay to attack Congress privateers. Perkin's diary makes several references to such actions.

When not on duty, men of the KOR earned extra money to support their families by working as local labourers. Perkins provides the names of many of these men and women who were so far from homes which they increasingly came to understand, would never see again.

The darkest moment for the KOR came on September 13, 1780 when six of their own men helped rebel privateers capture Fort Point and most of their comrades. It was only the coolness of Colonel Perkins and the determination of the Queen's County Militia which saved the Town and the day.

In spite of this debacle, the KOR continued to provide valuable support for the community until the end of the American Revolution. With the arrival of peace, the King's Orange Rangers along with all of the other Loyalist corps were disbanded.Many left for St. John to take up soldier grants there. Others quietly returned to the new United States to try to re-establish themselves there. A few like Sergeant Fadey and Jesse Philips chose to make Liverpool their home.

Thus the King's Orange Rangers faded from history and out of memory .....until 1996...



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