Muster Books and Pay Lists (WO 12/1306): 17th Light Dragoons: 1772-1783

Call Number: HIL-MICL FC LMR .G7W3M8L5
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.

Two cavalry corps have been numbered as the 17th. The second, originally called the 18th, was renumbered the 17th Light Dragoons in 1769. The Colonels written on these musters are Lieutenant General George Preston, late of the Scots Greys, 1770-82; and Lieutenant General Honourable Thomas Gage, 1782-5; the Lieutenant Colonel named is Samuel Birch; the Majors are Samuel Birch, Harry Bishopp, Richard Crewe, Oliver Delancey and Robert Archdale. While stationed in Ireland, the regiment was the first cavalry selected to proceed to North America on the outbreak of hostilities between Britain and her American colony. Shortly after landing at Boston in May 1775, it was engaged successfully at Bunker Hill. It contributed throughout the war, such as in the Long Island campaign in August 1776 which forced the Americans out of New York, and one detachment, in December 1779, was attached to Lieutenant Colonel Banistre Tarleton's British Legion in the southern campaign. The regiment returned to Ireland in 1783.

            The musters are arranged chronologically and within by company with the names of the officers and men listed by order of rank.  The pay periods range from 1 October 1771 to 24 June 1783 with 6 companies normally.  During the American Revolution, the musters contain more detailed information than the ones for earlier years; for example, details about its horses such as numbers recruited, dead and lost; as well as, proof tables indicating effectives.  In the 1777 muster from Perth Amboy, data is included for its members:  the dates joined, the numbers recruited and the dates of enlistment, and the numbers and dates when individuals died.

Here is a listing of the company Captains included: Richard Crewe, Chichester Fortescue Garstin, Turner Van Straubenzee, Harry Bishopp, Samuel Birch, James Cook, James Poole, Joseph Moxham, Robert Archdale, George Ramsey, Oliver Delancey, Francis Needham, Peter Hedman Elliston, Thomas Stanley, Thomas Leigh, Lord Cathcart, Henry William Talbot, Samuel Baggott, Erasmus Corbett, John Smith Bradshaw and John Stapleton.

Originals: The original records are held by the Public Record Office, Kew.
Archival Ref. No.: TNA: PRO WO 12/1306
Finding Aids:

A finding aid showing the organisation of the material, listing each of the company captains and time periods for each muster, is available; see Electronic Finding Aid section.

Electronic Finding Aid Record: WO 12-1306 17th Light Dragoons Muster Books and Pay List .pdf
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