Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Instructions for Draughting of Foot Guards, Jan. 1757

Draughting Foot Guards for the 78th Regiment of Foot, 1757
During the early recruitment of soldiers for both the newly established Highland Battalions [Colonel Montgomery's and Colonel Fraser's Regiments], leadership requested senior non-commissioned officers [serjeants and corporals] from those that were already established. Veteran soldiers were highly sought after for their ability to not only successfully train the new recruits, but it was also required they could speak the Scottish Gaelic Highland language, to be able to pass down orders from the senior officers.

A transcription of Lord Barrington's letter to the field commanders addressing these requirements is as follows.

War Office 25 Janry 1757

          The King having been pleased to direct two Highland Battalions to be forthwith raised to serve in North America and Commanded by Lieut. Col. Montgomery and Lieut. Col. Fraser and it being requested by the said Lieut. Colonels that the Serjeants and Corporals for the said Battalions should be taken from Corps, where Men shall be found qualified for such Non Commiss Officers I am therefore to acquaint you it is His Majesty's Pleasure that you will cause Twenty five men to be draughted from the Regiments of Foot Guards under your Command who can speak the Highland Language Ten of whom are to be turned over to Lieut Col. Montgomery's Battalion and the remaining fifteen to Lieut. Col. Fraser's Battalion which Men are to be Draughted with their own consent and approved of by the said Lieut. Col.s of Officers appointed for that Service in order to their being Sergts. or Corporals as the said Lieut Colonels shall think proper For each of whom the sum of Five pounds is to be paid by the said Battalions receiving them, to your Regt., but care is to be taken that none above the degree of a Corporal is to be draughted.  I am
                                                               Sir     &c.
Field Officer in Staff waiting
for the three Regts. of Foot Guards

                                    Guards . . . . 10 . . . . 15 . . . . 25

Like letters of the same date to the following Colonels or Officers Commanding their respective Regiments.

Earl of Homes
Montgomery's:  6
Frasers:  4
Total:  10

Genl. Anstruther's
Montgomery's:  4
Fraser's:  5
Total:  9

Genl. Holmes's
Montgomery's:  4
Fraser's:  -
Total:  4

Montgomery's:  4
Fraser's:  6
Total:  10

Lord Robert Manners's
Montgomery's:  4
Fraser's:  -
Total:  4

Montgomery's:  2
Fraser's:  6
Total:  8

Lord Charles Manners's
Montgomery's:  6
Fraser's:  -
Total:  6

Lord Loudouns
Montgomery's:  -
Fraser's:  4
Total:  4

Montgomery's:  40
Fraser's:  40

War Office Records: Out Letters: Secretary at War. General Letters, Dec. 1756 - Apr. 1757. LAC, W.O. 4, vol. 53 (Selections), pp. 102-3.

©  Jeffrey Campbell, The 78th Regiment of Foot, 2019.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Clothing for the Highland Regiments, 1757

The official tartan worn by the 78th Foot remains a mystery; however, many historians believe it the Black Watch plaid, same as the 42d FootIt is suspected this was also the tartan worn by Colonel Montgomery's 77th Foot, and researchers conclude any striking changes by Colonel Fraser would have probably been noted.

Colonel Fraser's army agent, George Ross, was most likely responsible for procuring uniforms for the 78th Foot [then, the Second Highland Battalion] on the colonel's behalf. Typically, the agent was responsible for handling the  administrative and financial matters, including ordering uniforms through a hired army clothier, who would employ the various trades [weavers, tailors, cordwainers, lace and button makers, etc.] to fulfill contracts and ship goods. As there were numerous army clothiers supplying the regiments, identifying the specific clothier used might assist in locating the exact cloth worn by the regiment. Two known army clothiers during the war were James Mann [St. Martin in the Fields], and Richard Lowe [King St., Covent Garden], both of Westminster, UK. Coincidentally, Ross also maintained an office in that city on Conduit Street.

Early Scottish Manufacturing
The British Linen Company was established in Edinburgh by royal charter in 1746. The Company was empowered to 'carry on the Linen Manufactory in all its branches' and was granted limited liability. The word 'British' in its title was an attempt to deflect the suspicion aroused by all things Scottish, after the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745. The Company's key promoters were the 3rd Duke of Argyll; Lord Milton; the Earl of Panmure; and George Middleton, a London banker.

As the production of Scottish manufacturing grew slowly in the 1730s, the commercial output of linen doubled from an annual average of 3.5 million yards in 1728-32 to 7.8 million yards by 1748-52. The British Linen Company's prospects brightened in the mid-1750s as war promised to disrupt German competition, and internal correspondence indicates an eagerness to secure clothing contracts with Agent George Ross, as he represented a number of British regiments at the time. 

10 April 1755
To William Tod, London
"My Lord Milton desires you would wait on Mr. George Ross who is agent for the Earl of Home's and sundry other regiments and Make Lord Milton's compliments to him and let him know that if proper samples were fixed upon 'tis believed this Company could supply most of the regiments [at least in time] with their shirting linens and that if Mr. Ross thought it fit a trial might be made of supplying Lord Home's regiment which is now in Scotland & if that pleased others might be contracted for hereafter. And likewise the Company could engage to supply them with their linen for splatterdashes."

Mr. Tod was a sales agent for the British Linen Company operating from an office in London. Although it is unclear if he was successful signing George Ross to contract for clothing any of his regiments, including the 78th Foot, the amount of cloth needed to outfit a large army in such a short period of time [over 10 miles of material] would have definitely required the services of a company with considerable output capabilities. 

Clothing for a Highland Regiment
From the document titled "A State of Clothing for a Highland Regiment at first raising, 1757.
For each man, 1st year:
- 1 Coat
- 1 Waistcoat
- 1 Plaid
- 1 Bonnet
- 2 Shirts
- 2 Stocks
- 2 Pairs shoes
- 4 Pairs hose

For each man, 2d year:
- 1 Coat
- 1 Bonnet
- 1 Shirt
- 1 Stock
- 2 Pairs shoes
- 2 Pair hose

N.B. The plaid to last two years, the Shoes & hose to be deliver'd half yearly, Viz, one pair of Shoes & two pairs hose in June, and one pair Shoes wth. the other two pairs hose in December. The old Coat makes the vestcoat after the first cloathing.

From the document titled "Regulation of Cloathing for a Highland Regt. of Foot, c. 1757.
For a Serjeant:
- A Plaid of good tartan Cloth to be delivered once in two years at 1s/6d p. yard
- A Short Coat of Red Cloth every year
- A Waistcoat made out of the coat of preceding year
- A Bonnet every year at 1/2 a piece
- A good Shirt and Stock once a year
- A Pair of Short Hose every 3 Months at 1/5 p. pc
- A Pair of Shoes at 3/4 every 6 Months or money

For a Drummer:
- A Plaid of good Tartan Cloth once in two years containing 12 yards at 1s /p yard
- A Short Coat of good Cloth every year
- A Waistcoat made out of the Coat of the preceding yr
- A Bonnet every Year at 9d apiece
- A good Shirt and Stock once a year
- A pair of Short Hose every 3 Months ¾ yd. each at 10d p yard
- A pair of Shoes every 6 Months
- A belt and Sling once a year if wanted

For a private Soldr: as a Drummer:
Memoranda for Coll. Montgomery
- One of the Selvages to be Twiled
- Prices to be like Lord John Murray's
- Commission to Scott 2½ p cent
- Regimental buckles are got
- Regimental Garters to be bought at Glasgow
- Belts for Kelting Men provide
- Plaids, Bonnets, and Hose provided for the officers and charged to Paymaster

Note: It's worth mentioning, Lieutenant John Robertson, 42d Foot, gazetted 21 July 1758, paid James Scott, merchant in Edinburgh, for the following goods prior to his departure for North America. Scott operated a shoppe of eleven windows in the Canongate District near St. John's Cross to the foot of St. Mary's Wynd. Dated 23 August 1758. [NAS, GD132/395].

- 4 yards scarlet and white tartan
¾ yard superfine scarlet cloth
- 4 yards trustian
- 4½ yards tartan for phealbeg [sic]
- 2 yards broad linen for drawers
- Bonet [sic]
- Ribbons, cockade
- Black feathers
- 1 pair broad rib'd silk hose

Additionally, the lieutenant discharged an account to Jean Murray, merchant in Blair [Atholl], for tartan, ribbons for cockades, etc. Dated 29 March 1759. [NAS, GD132/397].

Alexander Grant, 77th Foot, had an account due with Peter Leith, for his military uniform. Dated 24 January 1757. [NAS, GD248/83/3]. This may be the same man listed as journeyman tailor in Edinburgh's South West Parish, Oct. 1754.

Calcraft, John. "Regulation of Cloathing for a Highland Regt. of Foot, c. 1757." James Grant of Ballindalloch papers, 1740-1819, Library of Congress.

"A State of Clothing for a Highland Regiment at first rising, 1757." James Grant of Ballindalloch papers, 1740-1819, Library of Congress.

“British Linen Bank.” Lloyds Banking Group. www.lloydsbankinggroup.com/Our-Group/our-heritage/our-history/bank-of-scotland/british-linen-bank/. Accessed 10 January 2019.

Durie, Alastair J. The British Linen Company, 1745-1775. Scottish History Society, 1996. Internal company letter written to William Tod, 10 April 1755. 

©  Jeffrey Campbell, Fraser's 78th Regiment of Foot, 2019. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Payroll Account of Corporal James Smith, 1758

Corporal James Smith, 78th Regiment of Foot, 1758
Much like today accounting books were used in the eighteenth century for documenting military pay and other related expenses accrued over periods of time. The payroll account of Corporal James Smith, 78th Regiment, covers the period of July 5, 1757, through April 24, 1758. 

Note: Category headers and bracketed script have been added for clarification and do not appear in the original document. Additionally, it would not be uncommon to discover accounting errors as these were gentlemen who created inaccuracies the same as you and I.


To 9 Weeks Pay & arrears from y'e. 5th July to y'e. 5th Sept'r.
     £: 2. 0. 10½
To 5 Weeks arrears of Pay Due from y'e. 5th Sept'r. to 10th Oct'r.
     £: 0. 8. 1½
To 3 Weeks arrears @ 5p week
To 6 Weeks Pay & arrears Due from y'e. 17th Oct'r. to y'e. 28th Nov'r. 1757
     £: 1. 7. 3
To 21 Weeks arrears of Pay from y'e. 28th Nov'r. 1757 to y'e. 24th Apr'l. 1758
     £: 1. 14 . 1½

[Total]  £: 5. 10. 4½


To 1 Pair Shoes & 1 Nap Sack
     £: 0. 6. 6
To 1 Haversacks & 1 Cocade
     £: 0. 1. 8
To 1 Pair Garters & 1 Sett buckles
     £: 0. 1. 4
To 1 Kilt & 1 Small belt
     £: 0. 1. 4
To 1 Turn Key Screw brush & wire
     £: 0. 0. 9
To Provisions at Glasgow
     £: 0. 4. 8
To Spruce Beer at Halifax
     £: 0. 2. 8
To 2 Cheq'd. Shirts
     £: 0. 7. 0
To 10 Months Stoppages for y'e. Payment Serjt. @ 1p month
     £: 0. 0. 10
To 7 Months D'o. for y'e. Barber @ 2p D’o.
     £: 0. 1. 2
To y'e. Proportion of a Cook's Frock
£: 0. 0. 8
To Cash given you at Fairf'd. & Boston
     £: 0. 18. 8

  [Total]  £: 2. 7. 3

 [Income minus Expenses equals Cash Paid]

To Cash Paid as Bala'ce of Above
       £: 3. 3. 1½

[Total]  £: 5. 10. 4½

Halifax 11th May 1758 Rec'd. y'e. above Bala'ce. in full of my Pay & arrears of Pay from y'e. Date of my Attestation to y'e. 24th Apr. last as witness of my hand.     [signed]  James Smith

Major James Clephane, "Payroll account of Corporal James Smith, 1758." Military Account Book at Halifax. NAS GD125-34-5, pp. 16-17.

©  Jeffrey Campbell, The 78th Regiment of Foot, 2019.