Muster Books and Pay Lists (WO 12/4493): 29th (Worcestershire) Regiment of Foot: 1765-1783

Call Number: HIL-MICL FC LMR .G7W3M8W6
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.

The 29th served under various colonels’ names until designated the 29th Regiment of Foot by 1751. Leaving Ireland in 1765, the 29th sailed to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where it remained until 1768 when it was ordered to Boston. On the evening of March 5, 1770, men of the 29th Grenadier Company under the command of Captain Thomas Preston took part in the Boston Massacre. In this incident five colonists died and Prescott and the men were put on trial. In 1771 a light company was added to the regiment, then stationed in Florida. The 29th returned to England in 1773 but in 1776, under the command of Lt. Col. Patrick Gordon, embarked for Quebec, at that time besieged by the Americans. On July 25 Gordon was mortally wounded; Lt. Col. Thomas Carleton of the 20th Regiment of Foot took over command. During their stay in Quebec the 29th attacked Americans at Trois Rivieres, Sorel and Montreal. In October it embarked on board the Thunderer, Inflexible, and Carlton and was present in the several naval actions on Lake Champlain, for example, the Battle of Valcour Island.

In the Saratoga Campaign of 1777, the flank companies of light infantry and grenadiers formed part of General Bourgoyne's ill-fated expedition to gain military control of the strategically important Hudson River valley. They were actively engaged at Hubberton, Stillwater, and Saratoga, at which they were interned. At the Battle of Saratoga, which included the Battles of Freeman's Farm and Bemis Heights, the grenadiers were under the command of Major Acland; the light companies were commanded by Major Lord Balcarres.

During the planning of Sir John Johnson's October raid on the Mohawk Valley in 1780, Sir Frederick Haldimand, Governor-General of Quebec Province, felt a diversion was needed to draw off a major portion of the Rebel militia. To that end, Haldimand ordered Major Christopher Carleton to lead a force down the Champlain Valley into the upper Hudson River area. Fort Anne surrendered. Carleton continued south along the upper Hudson destroying farms, mills, and livestock on the way. While returning to Lake Champlain from Saratoga, he captured Fort George at the southern end of Lake George on October 11th. The headquarters and battalions companies were employed in Canada throughout the war and thereafter until the 5th of October, 1787 when it departed for England. In 1782 the 29th received the county designation Worcestershire Regiment.

            The muster rolls are organised chronologically and cover the pay periods for 16 July 1765 to 24 Dec. 1778; 25 June 1780 to 24 June 1783.  They include proof tables indicating the number of effectives that were present, absent and casuals.  There are gaps in the holdings for the following pay periods:  

  • 25 June 1775 to 24 June 1776
  • 25 Dec. 1776 to 24 June 1777
  • 25 Dec. 1778 to 24 June 1780

The muster signed 14 April 1778 indicates Captain Archibald Campbell is “under Convention.”

The senior officers listed on the musters include: Lieutenant General George (Forbes), 4th Earl of Granard, and Lt. Gen. William Evelyn; Lieutenant Colonels Maurice Carr, Patrick Gordon, and Thomas Carleton; Majors Pierce Butler, Jeremiah French, and Christopher Carleton. The musters for the period 25 June 1776 to 24 Dec 1776 include the following Captains: Nicholas Vigors, Archibald Campbell, John Crozier, James Basset, William Monsell, Paul Minchin, and Charles (Stanhope) Lord Petersham. Captain David St. Clair appears on the muster for the last half of 1777; Hugh Dickson, the last half of 1780.

The places assigned to each signature are: America - Boston, Perth Amboy, ElizabethTown New Jersey, Brunswick, St. Augustine Florida; England - Dover Castle, Chatham Barracks; Canada - Fort Alibie, Montreal, Verchere, Isle Aux Noix, Belail, St. Charles, St. Dennis, St. Antoine, Terrebonne, Mascouche Lachenaye, St. Johns, and Worcester.

Originals: The original records are held by The National Archives, Public Record Office, Kew.
Archival Ref. No.: TNA: PRO WO 12/4493
Finding Aids:
Electronic Finding Aid Record: WO 12-4493 Muster Books and Pay Lists.pdf
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