Provisioning the Troops

On receipt of their Lordships Minute of the 23 July I set myself about procuring the necessary provisions and forage to transport the same to the Isle of Man for the use of the troops there which are now ready to be embark'd but it is necessary I should first receive their Lordships directions on the following particulars - Vizt.

The Name of the Officers to whom my Agent is to deliver the Weekly allowance of Bread and forage and at what places who is to provide Magazines to store the quantity of flour &c for the supply of the Troops, on whether my Agent is to provide Storehouses with the Governor or Commander in Chief approbations, when? Governments' Account. And I believe it will be necessary that some order from the Treasury should go to the Collector of the Island of Man, to permit this Importation of the Forage from Ireland. As I have some doubts whether Difficulties may not arise with respect to the Importation of them under the late Act of Parliament. Notwithstanding the Troops did bring those Articles with them from Ireland, from whence only they can be had at any reasonable Rate.
I am Sir Your most Obedt Servt
Antho Bacon
Capt Hall Court
14th Aug 1765


Anthony Bacon, who is obviously ignorant of the Island, was a significant London based contractor to the Army, for example he supplied the garrisons in Senegambia - his contract to buy slaves there was thwarted by the Governor of that area who also raised questions over his accounts.

Prior to the coming into force of the Revestment Act the then Lord of the Isle, Duke of Atholl, had maintained a small number of soldiers and officers mostly based at Castle Rushen but with a few at Peel. These foot soldiers used mainly in ceremonial roles or in a police role to support the courts in arresting and guarding those suspected of offences against civil or church laws. Post revestment there would eventually be a small detachment based at a Barracks in Castletown however for the period around the official proclamation of the transfer of political control to Westminster there were worries that there may well be demonstrations by the 'natives' and thus troops were landed in readiness. What is surprising is the use of mounted troops - Light Dragoons, for whose horses the forage was needed, but there is no mention of mounted troops at the official proclamation held at Castletown.

It is known from other letters that these troops were sent from Ireland and arrived on the 26th June 1765 - they were encamped near Douglas, according to Lutwidge the 'Natives' were not willing to billet the troops. Elsewhere is an order that two troops of Light Dragoons under Col John Hale and the 2nd (Queens Royal) Regt of Foot. - the Dragoons, "being judged neither requisite nor proper for the Defence thereof", were removed by 28th March 1766. Some, or all?, of the 2nd Regiment of Foot were transferred to Scotland about the same time.

There is a note in the Treasury documents [T 1/433/356] dated 15th November 1764 that Irish Foot Regiments were to be normalised to the same size vizt 9 Companies each of 2 Sergeants, 2 Corporals, 1 Drummer and 28 Privates beside the Commissioned Officers.



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