Monday, 26 November 2012

Reduced officers in 1699 ~~ preview

A sneak preview of what is currently under preparation. Please check the site of Drenth Publishing for more information.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

The Irish Establishment and Tangier garrison in 1682

The internet, or more specifically online archives, is like a box of chocolates as you never know what you will find. The Calendar of Treasury Books is like one of those boxes: lots and lots of letters, memos, notes, snippets on all kinds financial. Sometimes the information is quite detailed (someone requesting reimbursement for something he paid for at this and that period in time), sometimes you will find complete lists of half-pay officers.

Volume 7 of this CTB, covering the years 1681-85, gives us details on the Establishment of Ireland, Civil and Military, starting on Christmas 1682. It is found under Entry Book: March 1683. For example for the Civil List: the Earl of Burlington, who was Lord Treasurer, received 336£ a year, whereas the keeper of the records in Birmingham Tower had to do with 10£ a year. All together, this Civil List required a little over 23,335£ a year.

The military forces kept in Ireland requested, however, six times that amount: 167,113£ per year. The Master of the Ordance earned a comfortable 453£ 9s, the colonel of the Royal Regiment of Guards was good for 201£ 12s. A private soldier in one of the 74 foot companies had to do with a modest 6d a day, or 8£ 8s per year.

The whole military establishment for Ireland comprised one troop of horse guards of 100 men, twenty-four troops of horse, each of 45 men. There was company of foot guards, armed and clad as the Yeomen of the Guard in England, a regiment of foot guards, with 12 strong companies, of over 1,100 men in total. The Scotch Regiment, the future Royal Scots, was also in Ireland with twenty-one companies, each 50 men strong. The backbone, probably, was formed by 74 companies of foot, each consisting of 60 privates.

The amounts in this overview are given as being per month, and a -- financial -- month seems to have numbered 28 days.

Interesting on this document is the inclusion of the Tangier Garrison, which was paid for from the Irish Treasury, apparently! We find two regiments of foot, each consisting of sixteen companies of 50 privates each, and four troops of horse, each of 25 privates. These regiments are of course the Tangier and 2nd Tangier Regiments, better known in our era as the Queen's Royal Regiment and King's Own Royal Regiment. I may have overlooked this in literature, but this piece of information tells somehow that these regiments were on the Irish Establishment whilst in Tangier. As an aside, though the Scotch Regiment is listed under the troops in Ireland, sixteen companies were actually serving in Tangier between 1680 and 1684.

The Governor of Tangier received a nice income of 1,500£ per year! A colonel of foot had to do with 219£ a year, and a humble private with 4£ 11s 3d, i.e. 3d a day. A little algebra tells that the yearly income of a private was about what the governor received in just one day. Though his stay in Tangier was a kind of all-inclusive -- victualling was taken care of and trips for a meet-n-greet with the locals were also scheduled -- a memorandum informs us that clothing, and other necessaries, were to be paid from that 3d. Despite this meagre income for the private soldiers, the Tangier Garrison still cost about 42,338£ per year.