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.
The 16th was raised in 1688 under the colonelcy of Lieutenant Colonel Archibald Douglas and initially is known by its Colonel's names until 1751, when it is designated the 16th Regiment of Foot. During the years of these musters, the Colonels are Lieutenant General James Gisborne, formerly of the 121st Foot, 1766-1778; and Lieutenant General James Robertson, formerly Lieutenant Colonel of the 16th, 1778-1788. The Lieutenant Colonels on the musters are Joseph Gabbett, 1767-8; James Robertson, 1768-69: Alexander Dickson, 1781-83; and James Henry Craig, 1783-86.
Earlier, it had been involved in the Nine Years War (1688-1697) and the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714). According to the Historical Record of the 16th, the regiment embarked for Florida in 1767, making Pensacola its head-quarters for the next eight years. As the American War heated up, it was ordered to join Lieutenant General Sir William Howe, under Lieutenant Colonel William Earl Harcourt, at New York where it took part in the Battle of White Plains. The following and successive years of the war, the 16th helped to defend the South. In 1782, March, after being ordered home due to their losses, arrived in England.
In 1782 the regiment was authorized to use the county designation, 16th (Buckinghamshire) Regiment of Foot. In 1783 it moved to Ireland as a small peace time compliment.