Great Britain. Army collection (1699-1850, bulk 1800-1819)

Collection processed and finding aid created by Philip Heslip, June 2011
Manuscripts Division, William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan

Summary Information

Title: Great Britain. Army collection
Creator: William L. Clements Library
Inclusive dates: 1699-1850
Bulk dates: 1800-1819
Extent: 1.75 linear feet
The Great Britain Army collection (1,369 items) is a miscellaneous collection of letters and documents related to the administration and operation of the British Army. The collection relates primarily to the quartermaster general's office, and deals with military matters in Great Britain, Europe, India, the West Indies, and various outposts of the British Empire. Document types include official letters written by officers and British government officials, pay records, military returns, requests for troop movements and secret service payments, and miscellaneous orders and accounts.
Language: The material is in English, French, Italian, and Spanish
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

1919, 1956, 1981. M-1957 et al.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information

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

Preferred Citation

Great Britain Army Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


This collection is organized into two series:
  • Series I: Correspondence
  • Series II: Documents
    • Subseries I: Pay Records
    • Subseries II: Returns
    • Subseries III: Requests for Routes for Troop Movements
    • Subseries IV: Secret Service Payments
    • Subseries V: Miscellaneous Documents

Each series and subseries is ordered chronologically.


This collection contains letters and documents concerning the British military and its worldwide operations in the late 18th century and early 19th century.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Great Britain Army collection (1,369 items) is a miscellaneous collection of letters and documents related to the administration and operation of the British Army. The bulk of the material covers 1800 to 1819, with a few outlier items from as early as 1699 and as late as 1850. The collection relates primarily to the quartermaster general's office, and deals with military matters in Great Britain, Europe, India, the West Indies, and various outposts of the British Empire. Document types include official letters written by officers and British government officials, pay records, military returns, requests for troop movements and secret service payments, and miscellaneous orders and accounts.

The Correspondence series (588 items) contains letters from various British Army officers and government officials concerning administrative duties, interactions with private merchants, soldiers’ requests for transfers and promotions, regimental inspection reports, and disciplinary actions. Of note are 11 requests from Sir George Murray in Paris to Sir James Willoughby Gordon, quartermaster general of the Forces of the Horse Guards, concerning personal effects transported from England to France (April 1817-February 1818). See additional descriptive data for a list of letter writers.

The Documents series is comprised of five subseries:

The Pay Records subseries (378 items) contains proofs of payment for individual soldiers and pay accounts for regiments and groups of recruits. Included are War Office pay warrants for service members in Great Britain, the West Indies, the Mediterranean, and India, among other locations (1699-1819). Of note is a March 1699 regimental account for four companies stationed in New York under the Earl of Bellomont.

The Returns subseries (77 items) consists of detailed regimental lists; hospital returns; returns of arms and food (occasionally documenting weekly rations for men, women, and children); and lists of men employed victualing stores, repairing garrisons, and building forts and roads (1801-1819). Locations documented include the Northern District in England, London, Shelburne Castle, Canterbury, Oxfordshire, Hartfordshire, Dover, the Isle of Wight, Sussex, France, and Bermuda.

The Requests for Routes for Troop Movements subseries (231 items) is comprised of letters between officers concerning troop assignments, marching instructions, and the transportation of regiments (1802-1819). Also discussed are the movement of sick troops and the reassignment of individual service members.

The Secret Service Payments subseries (23 items) consists of receipts of payment from Lord Viscount Castlereagh (Robert Stewart, 2nd Marquess of Londonderry) to either Henry Wellesley in Madrid or Charles Stuart in Paris, spanning July 1812 to December 1819.

The Miscellaneous Documents subseries (72 items) contains various military documents (1770-1816), such as receipts for goods and services, accounts for military expenses, various signed oaths, paymasters orders, and courts martial warrants.. Of note is an account of "Bonded Debt due by the East India Company at the Presidencies of Fort William, Fort St. George, & Bombay" (December 31, 1784). Also present are several lifetime annuities records, including one dated 1746 that contains an attached engraving of Peter Lord King, printed in 1832.

Subject Terms

  • Great Britain. Army--Colonial forces.
  • Great Britain. Army--Military life.
  • Great Britain. Army--Officers.
  • Great Britain. Army--Regulations.
  • Great Britain--Politics and government--1789-1820.
Genre Terms:
  • Letters (correspondence)
  • Orders (military records)

Contents List (Request Materials)

Request materials for use in the Clements Library
Container / Location Title
Correspondence [series]
Box   1 Folders   1-43
 May 28, 1775-December 29, 1810
Box   2 Folders   1-39
 January 24, 1811-March 11, 1850
Documents [series]
Pay Records [subseries]
Folders   40-44  
 March 25, 1699-July 23, 1805
Box   3 Folders   1-27
 July 24, 1805-June 16, 1819, and  undated
Returns [subseries]
Folders   28-34  
 January 21, 1801-February 21, 1819, and  undated
Requests for Routes for Troop Movements [subseries]
Folders   29-43  
 September 7, 1802-March 6, 1816
Box   4 Folders   1-8
 May 8, 1816-November 25, 1819, and  undated
Secret Service Payments [subseries]
Folders   9-10  
 July 15, 1812-December 18, 1819
Miscellaneous Documents [subseries]
Folders   11-17  
 July 15, 1770-October 27, 1817, and  undated

Additional Descriptive Data

For more information, see the Clements Library card catalog.

Partial Contributor List

  • For more information, see the Clements Library card catalog.
  • Abbot, Charles, 1st baron Colchester.
  • Abercromby, James.
  • Adair, Sir Robert.
  • Airey, Sir George.
  • Albemarle, William Charles Keppel, 4th earl.
  • Anson, George.
  • Arbuthnot, Charles, 1767-1850.
  • Arthur, Sir George.
  • Balfour, Nisbet.
  • Barlow, John James.
  • Barrow, Sir John.
  • Bathurst, James.
  • Bayly, Henry.
  • Beaufort, John Henry Somerset, 7th duke.
  • Benson, George.
  • Bentinck, Lord Frederick.
  • Bentinck, Lord William.
  • Beresford, William.
  • Berkeley, William FitzHardinge.
  • Blaquiere, William.
  • Boner, Robert.
  • Booth, Edward Wilbraham.
  • Bourne, William Sturges.
  • Brisbane, Sir Charles.
  • Brodrick, W.
  • Brown, Sir George.
  • Brown, John.
  • Browne, J.
  • Brownlow, John, first earl.
  • Brownrigg, Sir Robert.
  • Bruce, Alexander.
  • Bruen, Henry.
  • Burke, Francis.
  • Burne, Robert.
  • Butler, William.
  • Cadogan, George, 3rd earl.
  • Campbell, Colin.
  • Campbell, James.
  • Campbell, John.
  • Carew, R.P.
  • Carleton, Sir Guy, 1st baron Dorchester.
  • Cathcart, Sir William, 1st earl.
  • Cavan, Richard Ford, William Lambart, 7th earl.
  • Cockburn, James.
  • Coffin, John Pine.
  • Collett, E.M.
  • Cooke, Edward.
  • Cooke, Sir George.
  • Cornwall, Charles Wolfran.
  • Courtenay, Thomas Peregrine.
  • Craufurd, Robert.
  • Crawfurd, Charles.
  • Cresset, James.
  • Crosbie, William.
  • Cumberland, Richard.
  • Cust, Richard.
  • Cuthbert, David.
  • Dalrymple, Sir Hew Whiteford, 1st bart.
  • D'Arcy, Robert.
  • Davies, R.
  • Dawson, Louisa.
  • De Grey, George.
  • DeLancey, Oliver.
  • Derby, Edward Stanley, 12th earl.
  • Dickson, Sir Jeremiah.
  • Disney, Daniel.
  • Donkin, Sir Rufane Shaw.
  • Douglas, Sir Howard, 3rd bart.
  • Douglas, Sir Kenneth, 1st bart.
  • Downes, Sir Ulysses Bagenal Burgh, 2nd baron.
  • Doyle, Sir Charles William.
  • Doyle, Sir John.
  • Doyle, Welbore Ellis.
  • Drummond, Sir William.
  • Dundas, Francis.
  • Dyer, Sir Thomas Richard.
  • Dyott, William.
  • Effingham, Kenneth Alexander Howard, 1st earl.
  • Eglinton, Hugh Montgomerie, 12th earl of.
  • Elley, Sir John.
  • Ellice, Robert.
  • Elliot, Hugh.
  • Ellison, Richard.
  • Engel, James Samuel.
  • England, Richard.
  • Erskine, David-Stewart, earl of Buchan.
  • Evelegh, John.
  • Farnborough, Charles Long, 1st baron.
  • Fisher, Gerritt.
  • Fitzherbert, Jonas.
  • Fitzpatrick, Richard.
  • Fitzroy, Lord Charles.
  • Forbes, James Ochoncar, 17th baron.
  • Fox, Henry Edward.
  • Freeling, Sir George Henry.
  • Freeth, James.
  • Freeth, Samson.
  • Fuller, Sir Joseph.
  • Gambier, James Gambier, 1st baron.
  • Gardiner, William.
  • Gledstanes, Sir Albert.
  • Goldfinch, Henry.
  • Goldie, Alexander John.
  • Gordon, Sir James Willoughby, 1st bart.
  • Gosset, William.
  • Goulburn, Henry.
  • Grace, Henry.
  • Graeme, C.
  • Graham, James.
  • Graham, Thomas, baron Lynedoch.
  • Graham, William.
  • Greenock, C. Murray.
  • Gregory, George.
  • Greville, F.
  • Grenville, George.
  • Grenville, William Wyndham, 1st baron.
  • Grosvenor, Robert, 2nd earl.
  • Gwyn, Francis Edward.
  • Hadden, James Murray.
  • Hallyburton, D.G.
  • Hamilton, Digby.
  • Hammond, Francis Thomas.
  • Harcourt, William, 3rd earl.
  • Harker, Henry.
  • Harrington, Charles Stanhope, 3rd earl.
  • Harris, James.
  • Harrison, Sir George.
  • Hay, James.
  • Herries, John Charles.
  • Hope, Sir Alexander.
  • Hope, Charles.
  • Hope, Sir John.
  • Hopetoun, John Hope, 4th earl.
  • Houston, Sir William, 1st bart.
  • Howe, Sir William, 5th viscount.
  • Hunter, Thomas Orby.
  • Huskisson, William.
  • Ilchester, Stephen Fox-Strangeways, 1st earl.
  • Jackson, Sir Richard Downes.
  • Jervis, Sir John Jervis White, 1st bart.
  • Johnson, E.A.
  • Johnson, Richard.
  • Johnstone, Andrew James Cochrane.
  • Kearney, James.
  • Kennedy, James.
  • King, G.
  • Lambert, J.
  • Lawson, Robert.
  • Layard, John Thomas.
  • Leicester, H.
  • Leigh, Charles.
  • Leighton, Baldwin.
  • Leven, Alexander Melville, 7th earl.
  • Liverpool, Charles Cevil Cope Jenkinson, 3rd earl.
  • Lowther, James.
  • Lushington, Stephen Rumbold.
  • Lygon, Henry Beauchamp.
  • Lyon, Sir James Frederick.
  • MacCarthy, Sir Chalres.
  • MacClesfield, George Parker, 4th earl.
  • MacClesfield, Thomas Parker, 3rd earl.
  • McGrigor, Sir James, 1st bart.
  • Manning, Coote.
  • Maxwell, Charles W.
  • Maxwell, John Shaw.
  • Milsintown, Lord.
  • Mitchell, James.
  • Moir, John.
  • Molesworth, Richard.
  • Montresor, Henry Tucker.
  • Monstrose, James Graham, 3rd duke.
  • Morse, Robert.
  • Mulgrave, Constantine John Phipps, 2nd baron.
  • Mulgrave, Henry Phipps, 3rd baron and 1st earl.
  • Murray, Henry.
  • Napier, Sir Thomas Erskine.
  • Nepean, Sir Evan, 1st bart.
  • Neville, Charles.
  • Newcastle, Henry Fiennes Pelham Clinton, 9th earl of Lincoln.
  • Nicolay, Sir William.
  • Nicolls, Oliver.
  • Nightingall, Sir Miles.
  • Norman, Charles.
  • Norris, William.
  • Nugent, Sir George, 1st bart.
  • Oliphant, J.L.
  • Orde, Sir John, 1st bart.
  • Otway, Sir Loftus William.
  • Palmerston, Henry John Temple, 3rd viscount.
  • Oayne, William.
  • Pigot, Sir Henry.
  • Pitt, Joseph.
  • Pownall, Thomas.
  • Pritzler, Sir Theophilus.
  • Pulteney, Sir James Murray, 7th bart.
  • Quintin, George.
  • Raglan, Lord Fitzroy.
  • Richmond, Charles Lenox, 4th duke.
  • Roberts, Thomas.
  • Robertson, Archibald.
  • Robertson, William.
  • Robinson, John.
  • Rose, George.
  • Rosslyn, Sir James St. Clair Erskine, 2nd earl.
  • Rudyerd, Henry.
  • Scott, David.
  • Seton, James.
  • Smith, Edward.
  • Smith, Sir William Sydney.
  • Somerset, Lord Charles Henry.
  • Stephens, Sir Philip, 1st bart.
  • Stewart, Charles.
  • Stewart, James.
  • Stewart, Ludovick.
  • Story, George.
  • Strafford, Sir John Byng, earl.
  • Sullivan, John.
  • Tarleton, Sir Banastre.
  • Taylor, G. Watson.
  • Taylor, James.
  • Thornton, Sir William.
  • Thynne, Lord John.
  • Tilson, Christopher.
  • Torrens, Sir Henry.
  • Trench, Sir Frederick William.
  • Trotter, Coutts.
  • Turner, Sir Tompkyns Hilgrove.
  • Vansittart, Nicholas, 1st baron Bexley.
  • Vaughan, John, earl of Lisburne.
  • Vivian, Sir Richard Hussey, 1st baron.
  • Vyse, Richard.
  • Walpole, Robert.
  • Walsh, Anthony.
  • Watson, James.
  • Wharton, R.
  • Whetham, Arthur.
  • Whitbread, Samuel.
  • Williams, Daniel.
  • Windham, William.
  • Woodford, Sir Alexander George.
  • Woodford, Sir John George.
  • Wright, Charles.
  • Wyndham, Thomas.
  • Wynn, Charles Watkin Williams.
  • Wynyard, Henry.
  • Wynyard, William Clinton.
  • Yorke, Charles Philip.
  • Yorke, Sir Joseph, 1st baron Dover.
  • Young, William.