Muster Books and Pay Lists (WO 12/4949): 35th (Dorsetshire) Regiment of Foot: 1760-61, 1765-1782

Call Number: HIL-MICL FC LMR .G7W3M8D6
Category: Special Collections
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 1701, the 35th served under various colonels' names until designated the 29th Regiment of Foot by 1751. At the commencement of the Seven Years' War, 1756-63, the 35th was sent out to Nova Scotia under General Hopson. A year after it took part in the siege of Louisbourg, on the 13th of September, 1759, it was involved in the battle of Quebec, also known as the battle of the Plains of Abraham. The regiment helped with the defence of Quebec and the capture of Montreal in 1760, completing the conquest of Canada. In November 1761 it was sent to the West Indies and saw action at the Battles of Martinique and Havana (1762). January 4, 1762 Britain had declared war on Spain. With the end of the Seven Years' War in 1763, the regiment left Cuba for Pensacola, Florida which Spain had exchanged with Britain for Havana. Here it lost many lives due to the ravages of disease until it returned home to England in 1765.

The regiment returned to North America to take part in the American War for Independence arriving in Boston in 1775 with the flank companies taking part in the battle of Bunker Hill. General Howe took over command of the forces in North America from General Gage on the 10th of October, 1775. Under Lieutenant General Earl Percy, the 35th was posted to the 2nd Brigade. In 1776 during the New York campaign, as a unit, it was present during the battles of Long Island (Aug. 26), and engaged at White Plains (Oct. 28); battalion companies operated in the battles of Pelham (Oct 18), and Fort Washington (Nov 16). It was then given garrison duties in New York City. During this time the grenadiers and light companies left the parent regiment to participate in General Howe's Philadelphia campaign and later the withdrawal across New Jersey, culminating in the battle of Monmouth (June 28, 1778). The same year, the 35th was sent to the island of St. Lucia in the West Indies, under General James Grant, to take the island from the French, which it did successfully on December 28th. During the battle for the Island, the flank companies, part of the grenadier and light company battalions, were under the command of General Medows; the rest of the regiment was under General Prescott.

In 1782 the regiment was given the county title, Dorsetshire.

            The muster rolls of men in the 35th Regiment of Foot lists the men attached to the regiment for a particular pay period, with additional information of any changes since the last pay period. Proof Tables are found at the end of each muster giving numbers for those present and absent by rank; during the American Revolution, the number of casuals were also included.  From the musters, it is clear that during its stay in the West Indies and Pensacola a large number of soldiers were "sick."


Reel 1.  25 Oct. 1759-24 Oct. 1761, 25 Dec. 1764-24 Dec. 1772
Reel 2.  25 June 1772-24 June 1778, 25 Dec. 1779-24 June 1780, and 25 June 1782-24 Dec. 1782

The senior officers listed on the musters include:  Colonels - Lt. General Charles Otway, Lieutenant General Henry Fletcher and Major General Henry Campbell; Lieutenant Colonels - Henry Fletcher, Thomas Hall, William Masters, Charles Heathcote, Richard Allen, Robert Carr, James Cockburn; Majors - Rodger Morris, Thomas Addison, William Forbes, Richard Allen, Robert Sherwood, William Gaull, George Berclay, Edward Drewe, William Chester and Hunt Fitzgerald.  Captains listed on the first muster signed 4 Oct. 1760 at Quebec includes:  Richard Baillie, William Bellew, Luke Gardiner, Charles Ince, Robert Machinen, John Maunsell and John Ormsby.  Captains on the first muster in Boston include:  James Cockburn, William Browne, Edward Drewe, Hunt Fitzgerald, Henry Jenkins, James Lyon and Charles Stuart.  Browne and Lyon (commander of the grenadiers company) died after the battle of Bunker Hill and were replaced on the next muster by Colin Campbell and Peter Hedman Elliston.
Originals: The original records are located in The National Archives, Public Record Office, Kew.
Archival Ref. No.: TNA: PRO WO 12/4949
Finding Aids:
Electronic Finding Aid Record: WO 12-4949 Muster Books and Pay Lists Finding Aid.pdf
Notes: In reference to the names Henry Fletcher and Henry Campbell, Henry Fletcher Campbell as one name has been found in published works. The officers' names are spelled as seen on the musters.
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