Showing posts with label Judicials. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Judicials. Show all posts

Friday, April 20, 2018

Court Martial of Corporal Angus McDonald, 78th Regiment of Foot, 1761

Court martial of Corporal Angus McDonald, 78th Regiment
In his Sketches, Stewart of Garth maintained that the high moral code of the early Highlanders meant that misconduct was virtually unknown within their regiments. Although it is true that Highlanders feature far less frequently in the General Courts Martial records than miscreants from other battalions, it would be wrong to go to the other extreme and suggest that their ranks were filled with plaster saints. A worthy champion of this violent heritage was Corporal Angus McDonald of Fraser's Highlanders, who was brought before a General Court Martial at Quebec in September 1761.

The following is a complete transcript of the corporal's legal proceedings.

Official proceedings
Proceedings of a General Court Martial held at Quebec the 25th Day of September 1761, By Virtue of a Warrant from his Excellency Governor Murray dated the 24th said Month.

Major James Agnew President.

Captain Samuel Gardiner
Captain George Byrd
Captain Robert Rutherford
Captain John Carden
Captain Edmund Malcome
Captain John Brown
Captain Nicholas Cox
Captain James Dalrymple
Captain Thomas Smelt
Captain Robert Brigstock
Captain Henry Alt
Captain Edward Crymble

Hector Theophilus Cramaché Deputy Judge Advocate.

Opening statement
The Court being duly Sworn the Prisoner Angus MacDonald of the 78th Regiment was brought before the Court and tried for quitting his Post, and robbing several of the French Inhabitants under Pretence he had orders to take Quarters for some Troops.

Deposition of Lieutenant Henry Marr
A Letter from Lieutenant Marr of the 47th Regiment dated the 21st of September at St. Lawrence to Lieutenant Mills as Town Adjutant.

St. Lawrence 21st September 1761
Dear Sir,
When I left St Francois to proceed to this Place, I was ordered by Major Irving to leave a Corporal, and two Men, as a Guard, to the King's wood; I accordingly ordered the Prisoner Corporal Macdonald of the 78th Regiment to remain there, but he either tired with Solitude, or fond of Novelty and Frolick, determined to leave his Guard and cross the River to the Parishes of St. Joachim, St. Anns, and Chateau in the North Shore, where he behaved in a very extraordinary manner; as you will see by the enclosed Letter, which fully represents the Affair, when I first heard of his being absent I imagined he had deserted, and ordered Strick Search to be made for him every where till Sunday last, when I was favoured with the enclosed relating to him.

Henry Marr Lieutenant
47th Regiment

Deposition of Ensign Philip Pitman
A Letter from Ensign Pitman of the 19th September dated at Chateau River

Chateau River 19th Sepr. 1761
Dear Sir,
One Angus Monro or McDonald has been up and down the Parishes of St. Joachim, St. Anns, and Chateau for this week past, imposing on the Inhabitants of said Parishes in a most Vilinous, and extraordinary manner, by extorting from them Money, Horses, and anything he had occasion for shewing as he pretended an order for so doing in writing; and sometimes on refusal threatened to beat, or put them to Death, pretending to be an officer, he is a Soldier of the 78th Regiment above the middle size, and has Caroty Hair, is of Captain Nairns Company, and I understand belongs to your Party, I this Day rode from Chateau to St. Anns privetly to apprehend him, but unfortunately he was gone over to the Island an Hour before I got there, I hope you will take all possible Care to secure him, that he may be brought to Justice, I write this Letter which I send with the Captains of Malitia of whom he got four Dollars, as he did from the Captains of Malitia of the other two Parishes.

Ph: Pitman

Deposition of John Morris
John Morris Soldier of the 58th Regiment was sworn and deposes, that the Prisoner is a Soldier belonging to Lieutenant Marrs Party, on the Island of Orleans, and was ordered with two other Men to take some Wood, at St. Francois in that Island, and that Lieut. Marr, having received Information the Prisoner had drawn some Money from the Captains of Militia on the North Shore, the Deponent was sent by him for them, where he saw the Houses marked with scores for Quarters and Magazines as he was informed by the Canadians that he returned, and was sent to St. Francois by Lieutenant Marr with four Men, to take him up, which he did, and Carried him to Town.

Deposition of Captain Jacques Perrault
Jacques Perrault Captain of the Militia of St. Famille in the Island of Orleans being sworn deposes, that the Prisoner came to his Parish, saying he had Orders to see what Houses in his Parish were capable of receiving Men, that he asked him for his Orders, that he said he had none, and must make a Report to the General first, that afterwards he demanded four Dollars of the Deponent and upon his saying he had none, he ordered him to get a canoe with three Men and that he would go straight to Quebec, to complain, that fearing the Consequence he offered him two which he accepted, that he commanded a Canoe to carry him over to the North Shore.

Deposition of Captain Jean Lesarre
Jean Lesarre Captain of the Militia of St. Anns being sworn deposes, that he found on his Return, from Town, the Prisoner at his House, where he had landed from St. Famille, that the Prisoner told him he must shew him the best Houses to Lodge 48 Men, and they must cut and carry to the water Side every Week 48 Cords of Wood, that he, or his Serjeant must go with him to St. Joachim what he made him assemble the whole Parish, nay even ordered the Women to appear, and said he would not Quarter Men in the Houses where there were young Women, that he demanded five Dollars, that the Deponent not having a farthing was obliged to search the whole Parish to borrow three, for which he pretended to give a Receipt, now produced, being a Scrap of paper, with some scratches on it, the Deponent further says the Prisoner was there three Days backwards and forewards in this Parish, and that he appeared to him the whole Time very much in his Senses, in the same manner he does now, and further that he ordered a Canoe to carry him back to St. Famille.

The Deponent being asked upon what pretense the Prisoner demanded the Money, says, he informed him, it was the Generals order he should have five Dollars of each Captain for his Expenses, produced five, or six Papers, which he said were these orders, and threatened to send him to Quebec, if he did not comply.

Deposition of Captain Francis Raneour
Francis Raneour Captain of the Militia of St. Joachim being sworn deposes, he was sent for by the Prisoner to a Publick House, about ¾ of a League from his, that after some Time he told him he must Quarter 48 Men, and some Officers; to the amount of Sixty, and demands four Dollars, which the Deponent protested he could not comply with, after pressing, the Man of the Publick House lent the Man four Dollars, which he gave the Prisoner, who returned him a Shilling, that he did not give a Receipt, but took his name down upon a Piece of Paper.

The Deponent being asked upon what Pretence he demanded the four Dollars, says by the Generals Order, and it would be repaid by his Secretary.

Deposition of Captain Eustache Bacon
Eustache Bacon Captain of the Militia of Chateau Richer being sworn deposes that he was sent for by the Prisoner to a House where he was told to assemble the Company next morning at Six Oclock, that representing this was a little too early he put it till eight o'clock, that he afterwards demanded four dollars of him, by order of the Governor, and after making some Difficulty, he borrowed two French Crowns, and two Dollars, which he gave the Prisoner who returned one Shilling.

The Deponent being asked if the Prisoner appeared at all wrong in the head, answers on the Contrary appeared very Sensible.

Deposition of Corporal Angus McDonald
The Prisoner in his Defence says he was out of his Senses at that Time, that he is subject to the falling Sickness, for which he was marked down by Doctor Russel to be discharged, and that he is generally out of his Senses three Days after he comes out of a Fitt, one of which he had before he left the Island of Orleans.

Deposition of Ensign Gregarson
Ensign Gregarson of the 2d Battalion of the Royal American Regiment being sworn Deposes, that he was in the 78th Regt. and heard that the Prisoner had Fitts, but never heard that he was Mad; being asked if he ever saw him in Fitts, or Mad, says not.

Deposition of Ensign Robert McPherson
Ensign Robert McPherson of said Battalion being sworn, Deposes, that he remembers the Prisoner, in the Regiment in which he was Volunteer, and never heard of his having Fitts, till this day.

Deposition of Serjeant James Robinson
Serjeant James Robinson of the 78th Regiment being Sworn, Deposes, that he heard a Serjeant who kept the Hospital say the Prisoner had the falling Sickness. 

The Court having heard and examined the Allegations against the Prisoner, together with what he has to offer in his Defence Is of opinion that Angus McDonald Soldier of the 78th Regiment is Guilty of the Charge brought against him, and doth adjudge him to receive two thousand Lashes, To repay the Captains of Militia the Money said McDonald extorted from them, if there is so much owing to him by his Captain, or be put under Stoppages, not exceeding one half of his Pay till the whole is repaid.

Sentencing confirmation
I do hereby confirm the foregoing Sentence, that Angus McDonald Soldier in the 78th Regiment shall receive two thousand Lashes and repay the Money extorted from the Captains of Militia.

Given under my Hand at
Quebec this 26th Sept. 1761
Ja: Murray

Note: Corporal Angus McDonald does not appear on any known muster rolls after this date and is presumed to have been discharged prior to the official disbandment of the regiment in December 1763.

General Courts Martial records, Quebec, 25 September 1761, TNA WO 71/71.

Stewart, Sketches of the Highlanders, I, 235-6.

Brumwell, Stephen, Redcoats: The British Soldier and War in the Americas, 1755-1763, pp. 280-1. Cambridge University Press, 2002.

©  Jeffrey Campbell, The 78th Regiment of Foot, 2018.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Letter from Colonel Simon Fraser to General Forbes, Feb. 1758

The following letter, dated 10 February 1758, is from Lt.-Col. Simon Fraser, Second Highland Battalion [78th Regiment], to Colonel John Forbes, Adjutant General. The main body of the letter focuses on the pending litigation against Serjeant Fraser for his involvement in the death of Corporal Mackay [an indictment laid for murder] in Connecticut, both men of the regiment. The colonel appears to be wrestling with the idea of having to turn the serjeant over for civil trial.

Dear Sir

Capt. Crauford Surprized me greatly yesterday by saying you wanted the Monthly Return of our Regiment for the 24th January, that Return I sent as I did the one for the former Month in a sealed Cover to General Webb, & my Servant deliver'd it Sunday was tonight the 29th at the Genl's house to an Elderly Man who seem'd to be a Servant out of livery.

From what you wrote me some weeks ago I was in hopes to have had Orders for Serjeant Fraser's tryal here by a Court Martial or for sending him to New York for that purpose. I have had great difficulty to prevent him being claim'd hitherto, not that they are desirous of trying him, on the contrary they had rather avoid it but they are afraid if they don't claim him he will not be tryed at all & that his guilt will fall upon the land; they declare all they desire is that he shou'd have a fair tryal, & that they woud chuse it shoud be a Military rather than a Civil one, but unleſs some directions are given imediatly about his tryal by a Court Martial, it will be impossible for me to persuade them that it is intended to be done at all; they consider it as a great compliment taking my word for it for some weeks past, during which time they say they have avoided interfering in order to see if My Lord intended a Military trial, for God's sake My Dear Sir, put My Lord in mind to do something about this poor unhappy Man, whose 'twere pity shoud be in the hand of uncultivated creatures, for the King has not a better Soldier.

I find you heard of a Soldiers being given up for a peccadillo at Stanford, it was done without my knowledge & I have since got him released, I don't know how far My Lord will chuse to have Men given up for triffling Offences when the people are capricious enough to desire it, especialy as our united experience thro all the Cantonments proves, that the people of the Country are apt to grow rather insolent upon great indulgence, & that a mixture of the Soure with the Sweet if necessary to keep upon good terms with them.

                                I am with great regard
                                                               Dear Sir

                                                                        Your most Obedient & most humble
                                                                            Servant S. Fraser

Stratford Febry 10th 1758

Colonel Simon Fraser, "Letter of Col. Simon Fraser to Colonel Forbes, Adjutant General, at His House in the Broadway or at the Fort, New York." NAS, GD45-2-29, pp. 15-16. 

©  Jeffrey Campbell, Fraser's 78th Regiment of Foot, 2018. 

Monday, January 1, 2018

Letter from Colonel Simon Fraser to General Forbes, Jan. 1758

Dear Sir

I had the pleasure of your letter Saturday, & acording to your directions have sent the ten drafts with a carefull Serjeant, they are clear by our Regiment to the 25th decr.

I did not at all grudge the trouble of making up the controut & only mention'd it as an apology for it being so long unsent.

The people here at present fancy themselves oblig'd to furnish our Officers with fireing & their genius in such that they do easily whatever they think themselves oblig'd to do, but not a lot more; therefore if any reference is made to head quarters, if it cannot be determined for us I wish the matter of right may not be determin'd against us, & then I think we can persuade them; for it will be very expensive for a Subaltern to pay a dollar a week for firing, which is what the people askd at the beginning when they thought themselves under no obligation to furnish it.

I shall follow your directions about Serjt. Fraser, but I imagine you will think it proper to let me have as soon as conveniently may be The Earl of Loudoun's further orders, because I was told two days ago that the Governor had wrote to the Authority of this place & left it in their discretion to claim Serjt. Fraser or not, directing them at the same time to take care that guilt shoud not come upon the land. Now if he was tried by a Court Martial they woud be satisfied there was no guilt to come upon the land & woud think no more of claiming him, which I know they want to avaoid if they can conscientiously.
                                                                                       I am with great regard
                                                                                       Dear Sir

                                                                                       Your most obedient & most
                                                                                        humble Servant
                                                                                                                     S. Fraser

Stratford Janry 23d. 1758.

Note: The ten drafts Colonel Fraser spoke of were being sent to Otway's 35th Regiment to augment heavy losses during the siege on Fort William Henry. The colonel was ordered to send 90 men in December 1757, but it's not clear if these ten are fulfilling that original requirement or if they are additional augmentees, thus possibly raising the final number to 100.

Serjeant Fraser was involved in the killing of Corporal Mackay, at the guardhouse, and his chain of command was in turmoil about turning him over to the civilian authorities, or try him internally by military court martial.

Colonel Simon Fraser, "Letter of Colonel Simon Fraser to Colonel Forbes, Adjutant General, at His House in the Broadway or at the Fort, New York." NAS, GD45-2-29-12.

©  Jeffrey Campbell, Fraser's 78th Regiment of Foot, 2017.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Unlucky Accident in Connecticut Involving Soldiers of the 78th Regiment of Foot, Dec. 1757

Dr. Sir
I have just heard of an unlucky accident that happened today at Stratford, a Sergt. & Corporal of our grenadier Company having quarrel'd (both I'm afraid drunk) the Corporal was killed, the account I have had is very imperfect but from it the deceased seems to have been the Aggressor, how soon I can have it properly enquired into I take the Opportunity of the bearer who is just setting out to beg you will if you think it necessary mention it to My Lord Loudoun for his directions whether the Man should be try'd by civil or Military Law, Or if you don't think it necessary to trouble My Lord with it, Be so good to let me have your Advice how I am to proceed - If You happen not to be in a writing vein Make Maj. Halket write me a few lines by the first Opportunity to, Stratford ----- Examining the quarters, as far as I have got We seem pretty well off.
                                                                               I am
                                                                               Dr. Sir Your obedient & most
                                                                               humble Servt. S. Fraser

Fairfield Dec. 28th. 1757

Colonel Simon Fraser, "Letter of Colonel Simon Fraser to Colonel Forbes, Adjutant General, at His House in the Broadway or at the Fort, New York." NAS, GD 45-2-29-1.

©  Jeffrey Campbell, Fraser's 78th Regiment of Foot, 2017.

Court of Inquiry Regarding the Death of Corporal James Macky, 63rd Regiment, Jan. 1758

Proceedings of a Court of Inquiry held by Order of Lieut. Colonel Simon Fraser of his Majesty's 63d or Second Highland Battalion concerning the Manner of the Death of Corporal James Macky of the above regiment.

Captain Charles Baillie, President
Lieut. John Cuthbert
Lieut. Charles McDonnell
Lieut. John Fraser
Ensign Simon Fraser

The Evidence of William McKardy then acting as Corporal.

William McKardy declares that about 11 o'clock Tuesday night the 27th Serjt. Alexander Fraser came to the gaurd and inquir'd if they were all present & if they had their Arms, they reply'd they had, upon this Corporal Macky who acted as Serjt. of the gaurd & was lying asleep in Bed, got up, & how soon he saw Serjt. Fraser he damn'd him for disturbing his gaurd, & said he woud confine him, for he knew what for a fellow he was, Serjt. Fraser gave up his sword & sat down, after a few minutes he got up & went to the door, Macky immediately follow'd him, & getting before him gave him a desperate cut with his sword upon the Temple, and seiz'd him by the hair, the men of the gaurd disengaged them & laid hold on Fraser, disengaged his righthand, and getting hold of his durk, struck a Blow at hazard over his shoulder, for he was almost blinded with the Blood that guſh'd from his Wound, Macky received the Blow in the Neck & immediately drop't down.~

William McPherson Granadier & Robert Robertson Soldier in the Colonels Company concur in everything with the preceeding Evidence.

The Prisoner Serjt. Fraser being examin'd says, that being the Night of the 27th in Company with some of his Acquaintances at the Quarters of Alex'r McLeod Soldier, about half a Mile from the gaurd, he was surpris'd to see Corporal Macky, who acted as Serjt. of the gaurd come there about nine of the Clock, & advised him in a friendly manner to return to his gaurd as he might remember what happen'd others, for the like offence, about 11 o'Clock Serjt. Fraser was inform'd, that there was some shot fir'd about the gaurd, & that a party from the gaurd was inpursuit of some offenders, He then recollected that Macky was drunk, & perhaps not at his gaurd, & therefore he thought it his duty to repair there immediately, upon coming to the gaurd, found two firelocks at the door of the gaurd, on the outside, which made him conclude the gaurd was not alert, As to what happen'd from the time of his coming to the gaurd, till the blow was given, he gives the same Account as the preceeding Evidence and says that his Intention in coming to the door was to bring in the firelocks that were left out in the rain.
Sign'd Chas. Baille Captain

Captain Charles Baille, "Court of inquiry concerning the manner of death of Corporal James Mackay." NAS, GD 45-2-29-2B.

©  Jeffrey Campbell, Fraser's 78th Regiment of Foot, 2017.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Letter from Colonel Simon Fraser, 2d Highland Battalion, to General Forbes, Feb. 25, 1758

Dear Sir

I hope you are Satisfied before now that I am not so much to blame as you Imagin'd with regard to the Returns but to prevent a poſsibility of mistake I send inclosed the Return for this Month, & have sent one also by this bearer to Genl. Webb.

The 35th, 44th, & 48th have kept the vests the drafts from our Regt. had on, the reason assigned is that those Regts. have no vests to give them, however that be, I fancy you will think it unreasonable that so many Men of our Regiment shoud go about without vests, while those Regts. wear the vests bought for our Men and paid for by me - the original price will not be an equivalent, because if those vests are not return'd, I must buy new ones at a leas'd rate than those cost at home, & yet perhaps those Regts. may grudge paying the Reginal price; I beg you may be so good to Advise me what I shoud do in this Matter, which I have mention'd to Genl. Webb, but without making any demand.

Serjt. Fraser was tried for the death of Corporal McKeye by the Superior Court yesterday, the indictment was laid for Murder, of which the Jury brought him in not guilty & the Court acquitted & dismissed him; I must do them the Justice to say that the Court & Jury behav'd with such moderation decency & propriety as Surprized me. The Colony of Connecticut & the 2d Highland Battalion are hand & glove & we are the only old countrymen they believe capable of performing great exploits, not but they hold themselves as the great Warriors, & suffer us only to follow longo intervallo.
My Lord preſs'd last Sunday in great health - your warm room was ready, but I own I was not sorry you did not apear for such a jaunt in rich weather coud hardly be Salutary.
                                                                                I am with great regard
                                                                                Dear Sir
                                                                                Your most obedt. & most 
                                                                                humble Servant
                                                                                S. Fraser

Cover sheet:
Stratford Febry 25th 1758

Col. Simon Fraser, "Letter of Col. Simon Fraser to Colonel Forbes, Adjutant General, at His House in the Broadway or at the Fort, New York." NAS, GD45-2-29, pp. 18-19. 

©  Jeffrey Campbell, Fraser's 78th Regiment of Foot, 2017.