The regiment was one of those ordered to be raised by James II to meet the challenge of Monmouth's Rebellion of 1685, loyal residents of Devon, Somerset and Dorset were formed into a regiment, under the command of Henry, Duke of Beaufort.
Following Monmouth's defeat, at the Battle of Sedgemoor, the Duke relinquished command of the Regiment to his son. Charles, Marquis of Worcester was appointed its Colonel on 26th October 1685. In 1687, he it turn was succeeded by William, Viscount Montgomery. However, in the autumn of 1688, while stationed at Hull, the Regiment declared allegiance to William III and all Roman Catholic officers were arrested including Viscount Montgomery.
Lieutenant-Colonel Sir John Hanmer was appointed the Regiment's new Colonel on 31st December 1688. Six months later, on 15th June 1689, Hanmer's Regiment of Foot arrived in Ireland as part of William III's forces resisting James II's attempt to regain his kingdoms.
The Regiment saw action at the lifting of The Siege of Londonderry and then in July 1690 at The Battle of the Boyne. The following year it was present at the siege and the surrender of Limerick.
Hanmer was the son of Sir Thomas Hanmer, 2nd Baronet of Hanmer and his first wife Elizabeth Baker. In 1659, he was elected Member of Parliament for Flint in the Third Protectorate Parliament. He was knighted on 9 August 1660 and was High Sheriff of Gloucestershire from 1664 to 1665, In October 1669 he was elected MP for Evesham for the Cavalier Parliament. He succeeded to the Baronetcy on the death of his father in 1678. In 1681 he was elected MP for Flintshire . He was elected MP for Flint again in 1685. Hanmer married Mary Alston, daughter of Joseph Alston, of Netherhall, Suffolk. He was killed in a duel in 1701 leaving no issue, and was succeeded in the baronetcy by his nephew Thomas.