Guide to the Papers of Establishments of His Majesty's Land Forces, March 1775


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Manuscript Name Papers of Establishments of His Majesty's Land Forces, March 1775
Manuscript Number MSS 162
Last Updated April 2008
Extent 1.5 cm (1 box)
Location Academy Library, UNSW Canberra
Abstract Contemporary manuscript recording the number of British Land Forces and Garrisons throughout the world in March 1775.

Collection Subject Type

Military

Scope and Content

Small red leather bound contemporary manuscript (A5 size) recording the number of British Land Forces and Garrisons throughout the world in March 1775. 4 page index, 68 pages and 9 pages in a neat and clear legible hand, recording the strength of His Majesty's forces, and lists the daily and annual payments to all ranks from brigadiers to privates, as well as a detailed record of the number of officers and enlisted men in The First and Second Troops of Horse Guards, The First Troop of Grenadier Guards, The Royal Regiment of Horse Guards, The 1st (or the King's) Regiment of Dragoon Guards, The 2nd (or the Queen's) Regiment of Dragoon Guards, The 17th Regiment of (or Light) Dragoons, 1st Regiment of Foot Guards, 2nd (or Coldstream) Regiment of Foot Guards, 1st Battalion of 1st (or Royal) Regiment of Foot, 2nd Battalion of the 1st (or Royal) Regiment of Foot, 7th Regiment of Foot (or Royal Fusiliers), 21st Regiment of Foot (or Royal North British Fusiliers), 29th Regiment of Foot, 41st Regiment of Foot (or Invalids), 60th Regiment of Foot (or Royal Americans), indicating the number of Companies, Battalions etc. Also included are the numbers in various parts of the world including A Corps of Foot in Africa and 26 Independent Companies of Invalids. The disposition of the Forces on the British Service in Great Britain, Gibraltar, Minorca, West Indies, North Africa, North America; 'Particulars of pay of General and Staff Officers in Great Britain'; 'Charge of the Garrisons in Great Britain' in alphabetical order; 'Regulation of Fire and Candle for the several Guards and Barracks in the Garrisons in Great Britain'; details of pay for 'General and Staff Officers and officers attending the forces in North America', 'Garrisons in North America & the West Indies'; 'Charge of the Garrisons of Gibraltar and Minorca'; 'Additional staff and other officers in North America'. The 9 page section on 'Forces on the Irish Establishment' provides details on the 1st Regiment of Horse, 5th (or Royal Irish) Regiment of Dragoons, 8th Regiment of Dragoons, 17th Regiment of (or Light) Dragoons, 1st (or Royal) Regiment of Foot - 1st Battalion and 'Abstract of the forces on the Irish Establishment'.

Date Range of Content

1775

Biographical Note

'Curator's Pick' 20 May 2019

I love this important “little red book” from our collection. It has a delightful cover gold embossed with a royal crown and flowers and such beautiful neat handwriting inside fit for a king. The establishment of his majesties land forces records the number, location and cost of British Land Forces and Garrisons throughout the world in March 1775. The item was written for King George III, who reigned for 60 years. During his reign there were many military conflicts involving his kingdoms (England, Ireland, Hannover), much of the rest of Europe, and places farther afield in Africa, the Americas, and Asia. Early in his reign, Great Britain defeated France in the Seven Years' War, becoming the dominant European power in North America and India. However, many of Britain's American colonies were lost in the American War of Independence. Further wars against revolutionary and Napoleonic France from 1793 concluded in the defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. King George therefore had great interest in how much his defence forces around the world were costing him and this record sums it up concisely.

The daily and annual payments to all ranks from brigadiers to privates are listed, as well as a detailed record of the number of officers and enlisted men in each location. It enabled King George III to know exactly how much the army was costing him in 1775 to try and retain the ‘colonies’ (America) and France. There is a detailed record of the number of officers and enlisted men in:

  • The First and Second Troops of Horse Guards, The First Troop of Grenadier Guards, The Royal Regiment of Horse Guards, The 1st (or the King's) Regiment of Dragoon Guards, The 2nd (or the Queen's) Regiment of Dragoon Guards, The 17th Regiment of (or Light) Dragoons, 1st Regiment of Foot Guards, 2nd (or Coldstream) Regiment of Foot Guards, 1st Battalion of 1st (or Royal) Regiment of Foot, 2nd Battalion of the 1st (or Royal) Regiment of Foot, 7th Regiment of Foot (or Royal Fusiliers), 21st Regiment of Foot (or Royal North British Fusiliers), 29th Regiment of Foot, 41st Regiment of Foot (or Invalids), 60th Regiment of Foot (or Royal Americans), indicating the number of Companies, Battalions etc.

 

  • Also included are the numbers in various parts of the world including A Corps of Foot in Africa and 26 Independent Companies of Invalids. The disposition of the Forces on the British Service in Great Britain, Gibraltar, Minorca, West Indies, North Africa, North America; 'Particulars of pay of General and Staff Officers in Great Britain'; 'Charge of the Garrisons in Great Britain' in alphabetical order; 'Regulation of Fire and Candle for the several Guards and Barracks in the Garrisons in Great Britain'; details of pay for 'General and Staff Officers and officers attending the forces in North America', 'Garrisons in North America & the West Indies'; 'Charge of the Garrisons of Gibraltar and Minorca'; 'Additional staff and other officers in North America'. The 9 page section on 'Forces on the Irish Establishment' provides details on the 1st Regiment of Horse, 5th (or Royal Irish) Regiment of Dragoons, 8th Regiment of Dragoons, 17th Regiment of (or Light) Dragoons, 1st (or Royal) Regiment of Foot - 1st Battalion and 'Abstract of the forces on the Irish Establishment'.

 

In the latter part of his reign George III had recurrent, and eventually permanent, mental illness. Although it has since been suggested that he had bipolar disorder or the blood disease porphyria, the cause of his illness remains unknown. After a final relapse in 1810, a regency was established. George III's eldest son, George, Prince of Wales, ruled as Prince Regent until his father's death in 1820, when he succeeded as George IV. Portrait of King George III (1765?) is held at the Art Gallery of South Australia. Image courtesy of the Google Cultural Institute.

 

Administrative Information


Access and Copying Conditions

Access: Open Access

The collection may contain a variety of copyright material. Copyright is held by the creator of each item. Specific conditions for this collection are listed below. If no conditions are stipulated then the standard terms of the Copyright Act apply for published and unpublished items. Digitised material from manuscript collections is provided to clients by UNSW Canberra in good faith for private study and research only, and may not be published or re-purposed without the express and written permission of the individual legal holder of that copyright. Refer also to the UNSW copyright, disclaimer and takedown policy. 

Copying: Copying of material under section 51 (1) of the Copyright Act (more than 50 years since the death of the author) is approved.

 

Preferred Citation

[Manuscript Item], Papers of Establishments of His Majesty's Land Forces, March 1775, Academy Library, UNSW Canberra, Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra, MS 162, Box [Number], Folder [Number].

Provenance

The volume was purchased from Maggs Brothers Rare Books in September 1985.

 

Subject Keywords

Little red book, budget book, rare binding, royal arms

Soldiers -- Great Britain -- Statistics


Corporate Names

Great Britain. -- Army -- Statistics

Great Britain. -- Army -- History -- Sources

Great Britain. -- Army -- History -- 18th century

Personal names

King George III 1738-1820

Occupations

King

Container List


Box 1

Folder 1
Bound manuscript of Establishments of His Majesty's Land Forces, March 1775