Muster Books and Pay Lists (WO 12/7164): 62nd (Wiltshire) Regiment of Foot; 1772-1783

Call Number: HIL-MICL FC LMR .G7W3M8W5
Category: Military
Creator: Great Britain. War Office.
Description: 1 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. Four regiments of the British Army have been numbered the 62nd Regiment of Foot. The fourth was formed in 1756 as the 2nd Battalion of the 4th King's Own, and became its own corps of 62nd Foot in 1758. Segments of the regiment took part in the siege of Louisbourg at Cape Breton and General Wolfe's campaign in Quebec; and sent to Germany to serve with the forces there in 1761. United, it was deployed to the West Indies from 1764-69. For the period of these musters, the Colonels are Lieutenant General William Strode, late of the Foot Guards, from 1772 to 1776; Brigadier General Valentine Jones, late of the 52nd, to November 1779; and Major General Edward Mathew until war's end. The Lieutenant Colonels on the musters are John Deaken, 1772; Edward Hawk, 1773; William Anstruther, late of the 63rd, 1774-1781; and John Thompson, 1782. From Monkstown, Ireland the regiment was dispatched to Canada early in the American War for Independence to help with its defence. Under the direct leadership of Lieutenant Colonel John Anstruther, the regiment took part in the Northern Campaign of 1776. As part of Governor Carleton's counter offensive to the American's offensive on Quebec, which had begun in 1775, the regiment's flank companies participated in the Battle of Trois Rivieres on June 8, 1776. Reunited, the regiment supported the drive to clear the Americans from the rest of Canada, including the Battle of Valcour Island, 11 Oct 1776. Under Major General Burgoyne's command, it contributed to the Northern Campaign of 1777 to separate the New England states from those of the south by moving south from Quebec to gain control of the Hudson Valley. This included the successful but deadly Battle of Freeman's Farm and flank companies fought at the Battle of Hubbardton. It surrendered with the rest of the force at the Battle of Saratoga on 17 October 1777 and, most remained prisoners (known as the Convention Army) for the next three years until repatriated home to England in 1781. In 1782, the regiment was given the county title, 62nd or Wiltshire Regiment of Foot and returned to America.

            The muster lists of men in the 62nd Regiment of Foot are arranged in chronological order with a complement, on average, of 10 companies at one time.  The pay periods cover April 1772-24 Dec. 1776, and 25 Dec. 1780-24 Dec 1782.  They include Proof Tables indicating totals for effectives but do not include pay lists indicating amounts of pay allotted. Subject matter deals with the British Army during the American Revolution and military engagements in present-day United States, specifically the State of New York, and Quebec, Canada; and also a few years in garrisoned at Ireland before the war.

After the defeat at Saratoga (autumn of 1777), the musters include the note "prisoner in America" or "convention prisoner" where applicable.  It is evident from the musters that both Colonels Jones and Mathew were not present with their regiment; for example, a remark beside Maj. Gen. Jones' name, signed 28 Jan. 1777, states he is "with General Howe's army" leaving the Lt. Col. in command most often.

Using the 1777 muster rolls as an example, the Quebec musters were signed at various locations including:  St. Valier, La Prairie, Point Levy and Vercheres; and the companies were lead by the following officers:  Major General Valentine Jones, Lieutenant Colonel John Anstruther, Major Henry Harnage, Captains Abraham Bunbury, Alexander Campbell, Charles Dawson, Erle Hawker, John Shrimpton and William Sotheron .  Capt. George Marlay for some reason is not on this muster.
Originals: The original records are held by The National Archives, Kew.
Archival Ref. No.: TNA: PRO WO 12/7164
Finding Aids:
Electronic Finding Aid Record: 62nd Regiment Muster Books and Pay Lists.pdf
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