Monday, 3 September 2012

The pity of war

The Calendar of Treasury Books are a real goldmine for all kinds of detail on regiments, their movements, payments due to regiments, etc etc. One will also find many details related to individuals. Sometimes in the form of a petition, when officers from a regiment reduced long ago demanded payment of arrears. In this post the example of a pension granted to a captain who had to leave active service because of illness. This captain had to wait, and suffer, for more than four years for his pension, because of some mistake in the bureaucratic machinery.
Royal warrant dated St. James's [to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland] to insert on the list of French pensioners on the Establishment of Ireland the name of Moses Caries with 3s. a day pension as from Sept. 29 last, he having been Capt. of a Company in the late Foot Regiment of Col. Charles Dubourgay, and being by sickness and other infirmities contracted in the service rendered unable to repair to his post in Spain, whereupon the late Queen granted him a pension of 3s. a day on the Establishment of Ireland in lieu of his Company, but the said Queen's warrant for that purpose to the Marquess of Wharton, then Lieutenant General of Ireland, being by mistake countersigned by Robert Walpole, then Secretary at War, whereby said Caries could never obtain any benefit of the said pension, whereby he has been there 4½ years in a starving condition, being now bedridden and almost blind. Out Letters (Ireland) IX, p. 622.
This makes one wonder about the fate to ordinary soldiers, who had fallen ill during service. (Excerpt taken from Warrant Books, February 1715, Calendar of Treasury Books, Volume 29.)

No comments: