GEORGE III, KING OF ENGLAND

An unusual George III military document regarding payments for various ranks

$900

Item #17754


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GEORGE III, KING OF ENGLAND - An unusual George III military document regarding payments for various ranks
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GEORGE III, KING OF ENGLAND - An unusual George III military document regarding payments for various ranks

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GEORGE III, KING OF ENGLAND. (1738-1820). King of England. DS. (“George R”). 1p. Large Folio. N.p., N.d. (Between 1760 and 1788). A schedule of per diem payments for various ranks of the Horse Guards and Grenadier Guards.

 

Regulation of subsistence to be paid to every officer and soldier, on the foregoing Establishment

 

 

Subsistence per diem

 

Horse Guards

Grenadier Guards

 

£

S

D

£

S

D

Captain and colonel and in lieu of his Servants___________

1

7

1

2

6?

Lieutenant &  Lieutenant Colonel & in lieu of his Servants_

1

Cornet and in lieu of his Servants_____________________

19

6

Guidon & Captain and in lieu of his Servants____________

18

Exempt and in lieu of his Servants____________________

12

1 5/7

Lieutenant & Captain and in lieu of his Servants_________

13

Guidon & Captain and in lieu of his Servants____________

12

Brigadier________________________________________

8

2 4/7

Sub Brigadier____________________________________

4

8 4/7

Sub Lieutenant___________________________________

7

Chaplain________________________________________

5

5

Adjutant________________________________________

8

6

5

Surgeon________________________________________

6

6

Quarter Master___________________________________

4

9

Trumpeter______________________________________

4

2

Serjeant________________________________________

3

6?

Corporal________________________________________

3

9

2

6

Kettle Drummer__________________________________

4

Private Gentleman________________________________

2

10 2/7

2

Marshal to the Home and Grenadier Guards____________

5

6

Purveyor________________________________________

10 5/7

Rough Rider_____________________________________

10 5/7

 

George III succeeded his grandfather, King George II, at a pivotal time in English history, marked by wars on the continent and in the New World. Although the 1763 Peace of Paris ended the conflict with France shortly after the beginning of his reign, George’s policies provoked the 1776 American revolt that resulted in England’s defeat and loss of her colonies in 1783. A decade later England was again at war with France, this time against Napoleon’s revolutionary forces. These and other conflicts changed the British Empire and demanded the king’s continuous involvement in military actions.

 

During this time George was fighting his own personal battle with mental illness. Only five years after becoming King he began to experience episodes of madness, now thought by historians to have been caused by the metabolic disorder porphyria. His madness worsened until his son, the future King George IV was declared regent in 1811.

 

Founded in 1650 on the orders of Oliver Cromwell, the Royal Regiment of Horse Guards was the largest cavalry regiment at the time. The Horse Guards were also the highest paid in the army and the most expensive regiment to maintain, making its ranks swell with aristocratic elites, the only ones who could afford to secure such a commission. When George III came to the throne in 1760, the Horse Guards were fighting the French in the Seven Years War. Despite the regiment’s absence from London, it was from the ranks of the Horse Guards that the king’s bodyguards – the Gold Sticks – were taken. In 1788, the Horse Guard was reorganized and the rank of cornet, listed in our document, was replaced with that of second lieutenant. Of the reform a 1902 history of the British Army states, “the hand of reform overtook the… useless corps known as the Horse Guards and the Horse Grenadier Guards. It was none too soon, for though the two troops of Grenadiers might have accounted in some degree soldiers, the Horse Guards were simply a collection of London tradesmen, and, in the Duke of York’s judgement, ‘the most unmilitary troops that ever were seen.’ Both Horse Grenadiers and Horse Guards were now reorganized into the two regiments which still stand at the head of the Army List with the title First and Second Life Guards. In spite of their exalted positions these are in reality the youngest, in one sense, of our regiments of disciplined horse,” (A History of the British Army, Volume 3, Fortescue).

 

Our schedule of per diem payments to the two regiments was penned prior to the 1788 reorganization. Broadly and clearly signed in the upper left corner and framed with an engraved portrait of the sovereign. Lightly browned around the edges and folded. Not examined out of the frame. An unusual George III document.

 

 

Item #17754

$900


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