Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Thomas Gage Warrants, 1763-1775

Finding aid created by
Meg Hixon and Clements Staff, October 2010

Summary Information
Title: Thomas Gage warrants
Creator: Gage, Thomas, 1720-1787
Inclusive dates: 1763-1775
Extent: 10 linear feet
The Thomas Gage warrants are financial documents authorizing payment for the British military forces in North America from the conclusion of the French and Indian War through the beginning of the Revolutionary War. The warrants are one series within the larger Thomas Gage papers.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1937. M-341.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Other Finding Aids:

The Thomas Gage warrants is one series within the larger Thomas Gage papers

The Gage Warrants Finding Aid and Index provides additional information on the Gage Warrants and an itemized list of volumes 6-36.

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the "We the People" project.


William L. Clements purchased the collection from Henry Rainald Gage, 6th Viscount Gage, in 1930. In 1937, the collection was moved from Clements' home in Bay City, Michigan, to the Clements Library.

Preferred Citation:

Thomas Gage Warrants, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The collection is organized into three series:

  • Series I: Subsistence warrants
  • Series II: Warrants
  • Series III: Accounts and miscellaneous

The Subsistence warrants series is arranged by regiment number, the Warrants series is arranged chronologically, and the Accounts and Miscellaneous series is loosely organized according to document type.


Warrants, though commonly used today with regard to property search and seizure, have historically represented a variety of legal purposes and functions, including payment authorization for civil or military functions. During the second half of the eighteenth century, the British forces in North America used two main types of warrants: subsistence warrants and warrants for extraordinary expenses.

Subsistence warrants were used to disburse Parliament-approved funding for soldiers' pay and rations (including clothing, medical care, and pensions), and were usually created on behalf of individual regiments. As commander-in-chief of His Majesty's forces on the continent, Thomas Gage (1721-1787) controlled disbursement by issuing warrants to the deputy paymaster general in North America, who would then transfer the funds to individual regiments' paymasters. Each warrant was copied in triplicate for use by the warrant issuer, the War Office in London, and the recipient of the relevant funds.

Warrants for extraordinary expenses covered other expenditures incurred by the army, including frontier expeditions, building costs for fortifications or barracks, transportation, and payments to local Native American tribes. Because these funds were approved by Parliament after they had been spent, they were first issued by the Paymaster General in London through various private (civilian) merchants. These middlemen would directly pay the contractors supplying the necessary equipment or labor, submitting the receipts to Gage. Gage would then issue a warrant for the relevant amount, sending the original to London and retaining a copy for his own records.

Various other financial documents, including vouchers, receipts, and accounts, were also generated during these processes, which relied more heavily on the issuing of credit than on actual monetary transactions.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The financial records contained in this collection represent financial accounts for British forces in North America from the conclusion of the French and Indian War to the beginning of the Revolutionary War. These documents are secretarial copies retained by Thomas Gage (1720-1787) for his personal records.

Types of documents in the collection:

  • Subsistence warrants : Documents issued by Gage authorizing payment for regular salaries and rations.
  • Warrants for extraordinary expenses : Documents issued by Gage authorizing payment for irregular expenses.
  • Temporary warrants : Documents signed by Gage allowing financial advances.
  • Annexed accounts : Detailed lists or accounts affixed to warrants, often including vouchers and receipts from various middlemen and agents. These may be lists of bills of exchange and are occasionally signed.
  • Abstracts of accounts : Abstracts or explanations of complex accounts.
  • Vouchers : Receipts showing payment.
  • These may include:

    • Bills of lading : Used when dealing with hired ships.
    • Pay rolls : Listing of personnel, their occupations, and their wages.
    • Invoices : Enumerating goods received.
    • Bills of exchange : Calling for one party to pay a certain amount to a second party; may be accompanied by receipts.

The miscellaneous documents in the collection include:

  • Memorials : Signed statements certifying that a service has been performed.
  • Legal documents : Depositions, testimonies, contracts, or other witnessed and sworn statements.
  • Discharges : Documents releasing men or vessels from military service.
  • Wrappers : Papers in which documents were originally contained.

See the Gage Warrants Finding Aid and Index (pdf) for more information on the Gage Warrants and an itemized list of volumes 6-36.

See the finding aid for the Thomas Gage papers for a complete description of the collection.

Subject Terms

    • Canada--History--1763-1791.
    • Florida--History--English colony, 1763-1784.
    • Fort Michilimackinac (Mackinaw City, Mich.)
    • Great Britain. Army.
    • Requisitions, Military.
    • United States--History--Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775.
    • Gage, Thomas, 1721-1787.
    • Maturin, Gabriel.
    Genre Terms:
    • Accounts.
    • Certificates.
    • Financial records.
    • Letters (correspondence)
    • Warrants.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Warrants (Subsistence) [series]
    Box   1  
    Regiments 8-17
    Box   2  
    Regiments 18-29
    Box   3  
    Regiments 31-59
    Box   4  
    Regiments 60-63
    Box   5  
    Regiments 64-80
    Warrants [series]
    Box   6  
     January 1763-February 1764
    Box   7  
     February-April, 1764
    Box   8  
     May-August, 1764
    Box   9  
     August-December, 1764
    Box   10  
     December 1764-May 1765
    Box   11  
     May 1765
    Box   12  
     June-November, 1765
    Box   13  
     1766-November 1767
    Box   14  
     December 1767-March 1768
    Box   15  
     April-June, 1768
    Box   16  
     June 1768
    Box   17  
     June-December, 1768
    Box   18  
     December 1768-January 1769
    Box   19  
     January-April, 1769
    Box   20  
     April-June, 1769
    Box   21  
     June-October, 1769
    Box   22  
     October 1769
    Box   23  
     November 1769-January 1770
    Box   24  
     January-May, 1770
    Box   25  
     May-July, 1770
    Box   26  
     August-October, 1770
    Box   27  
     October 1770-April 1771
    Box   28  
     April-June, 1771
    Box   29  
     July-November, 1771
    Box   30  
     December 1771-April 1772
    Box   31  
     May-August, 1772
    Box   32  
     August-October, 1772
    Box   33  
     October 1772-January 1773
    Box   34  
     February-April, 1773
    Box   35  
     May-June, 1773
    Box   36  
     July 1774-September 1775 and miscellaneous
    Box   37  
    Accounts and miscellaneous [series]
    Boxes   38-40  
    Accounts, pay certificates, and correspondence
    Additional Descriptive Data

    Regiments and Offices Covered in Subsistence Warrants:

    • 8th Regiment of Foot
    • 9th Regiment of Foot
    • 10th Regiment of Foot
    • 14th Regiment of Foot
    • 15th Regiment of Foot
    • 16th Regiment of Foot
    • 17th Regiment of Foot
    • 18th Regiment of Foot
    • 21st Regiment of Foot
    • 26th Regiment of Foot
    • 28th Regiment of Foot
    • 29th Regiment of Foot
    • 31st Regiment of Foot
    • 34th Regiment of Foot
    • 42nd Regiment of Foot
    • 46th Regiment of Foot
    • 52nd Regiment of Foot
    • 55th Regiment of Foot
    • 59th Regiment of Foot
    • 60th Regiment of Foot
    • 64th Regiment of Foot
    • 65th Regiment of Foot
    • 77th Regiment of Foot
    • 80th Regiment of Foot
    • Queen's Royal American Rangers
    • Royal Artillery Regiment
    • Staff officers, Civil Branch of Ordnance
    • Deputy Commissioners of Provisions
    • Artificers and Labourers in His Majesty's service
    • Recruiting Parties and Small Detachments at various posts
    Related Materials

    The larger body of Thomas Gage papers also contains correspondence between Gage and the War Office and additional financial accounts.

    The British Public Record Office holds contemporary military accounts.