Muster Books and Pay Lists (WO 12/4866): 34th (Cumberland) Regiment of Foot: 1759-1761; 1768-1787

Call Number: HIL-MICL FC LMR .G7W3M8C8
Category: Military
Creator: Great Britain. War Office.
Description: 2 microfilm textual records () ; 35 mm
            War Office 12, generated by the Commissary General of Musters Office, comprises the Household troops, the cavalry, Guards and regular infantry regiments of the line; as well as, special regiments or corps, colonial troops and various foreign legions and troops.

The muster rolls record the name, rank, military station and pay period of each soldier while they were with the regiment. They were prepared by the commanding officer of each company of a regiment for the purpose of paying the officers and soldiers. During a muster, each man was physically checked against his name on the roll and a note was made if their circumstances had changed since the last muster, for example, on duty, recruiting, sick, furlough, deserted, transferred or died. In addition, notes related to officers include promoted, absent, and resigned. Pay lists record rate of pay.

Formed in 1702 as Colonel Lord Lucas's Regiment of Foot, it was designated as the 34th Regiment of Foot in 1751. From 1754 to 1760 command of the regiment was held by Colonel Thomas Earl of Effingham. His successor, Lord Frederick Cavendish, formerly Colonel of the 67th Regiment of Foot, led until 1797.

During the Seven Year's War, it was sent to the West Indies for the successful siege of Havana, Cuba in 1762. It stayed until the treaty of peace was concluded and the Spaniards ceded to Great Britain the country of Florida on condition of having Havana restored to them. Afterward, it was sent to West Florida, and was garrisoned at various times at St. Augustine, Pensacola, New Orleans and Natches, until relieved of duty, and returned to Europe in 1769 as part of the Irish Establishment.

The 34th were in Canada during the War for American Independence and saw much service in the backwoods. In the spring of 1777, the flank companies were detached and served with General Burgoyne until the surrender at Saratoga. Its soldiers were made prisoners of war in contravention of the terms of surrender. On this campaign, there were many casualties for the 34th, Captains John Harris and John Ross were two that were wounded. Captain Alexander Fraser commanded, what became known as, the Company of Select Marksmen, during the Burgoyne campaign at the same time in 1777. It participated in the Battles of Hubbardton, Bennington, and Saratoga. In late July 1777 a detachment of the regiment took part in the unsuccessful siege of Fort Stanwix while under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Barry St. Leger, also commanding the 34th.

Throughout the remainder of the war, the regiment garrisoned numerous forts in the St. Lawrence and Lake Ontario, conducted raids and acted as marines on gunboats. It assumed the title 34th, or Cumberland Regiment of Foot in August 1782 and remained in Canada until 1787, thereafter, returning to England.

            The muster rolls listing men in the 34th Regiment of Foot are arranged in chronological order and the pay periods range from 25 December 1759 to 24 June 1760, 25 April 1768 to 24 December 1787.  The muster pay periods for Reel 1 date 1759 to 31 March 1770; Reel 2, 1 April 1774 to 1787. 

The signed locations for the regiment, by company, include in order, England (Winchester Camp, Colchester, Chelmsford and Sand Heath Camp) 1759-1760; Philadelphia April 1768-April 1769; Ireland (Galway, Dublin, Monaghan, Ballynahinch, Armagh, Moira, Dromore, Lisburn, Newtown Limavady, Rich Hill, Castle William, Kinsale, Cork, Dingle, Castle Island, Inchegela, Ross Castle. Millstreet, Carrickfergus, Killilea, Bellammy, Portglenone and Monkstown) July 1770-2April 1776; Quebec (Quebec, Verchere, Sorel, St. Francis, Point Levy, St. Johns, Isle aux Noix, and Chambly) 3 April 1776-24 June 1787; and Shrewsbury, England 25 June 1787-24 December 1787.

The regiment typically had 9 or 10 companies mustered; the companies for the following officers are found on the first muster at Quebec: Lieutenant General Lord Frederick Cavendish, Lieutenant Colonel Barry St. Leger, Major Alexander Dundas, Captains George Churchill, Thomas Garland, John Harris, Robert Hoyes, Gordon Forbes, John Ross and Hunter Sedgwick.

The Commissary's Oath, Proof of Effectives, was usually attached indicating totals of effectives by rank. The last document is a Return of Recruits Inlisted from 1 December 1784 to 24 June 1787.

Originals: The original records are held by The National Archives, England.
Archival Ref. No.: TNA: PRO WO 12/4866
Finding Aids:
Electronic Finding Aid Record: WO 12-4866 Muster Books and Pay Lists.pdf
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