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General => Armed Forces => Topic started by: ainslie on Wednesday 27 December 17 15:01 GMT (UK)

Title: What was a "St James's Commission" in 1726?
Post by: ainslie on Wednesday 27 December 17 15:01 GMT (UK)
In the summer of 1726 Francis Lind was appointed surgeon in the Regiment of Foot later numbered as 14th .  His commission was noted as being "from St. Jamesís" which must carry some significance, as others were not marked as such.
Does anyone know the significance of this type of commission please?

Ainslie
Title: Re: What was a "St James's Commission" in 1726?
Post by: stanmapstone on Wednesday 27 December 17 15:59 GMT (UK)
The Court of St James's is the Royal Court for the Sovereign of the United Kingdom. It appears to mean it was a King's Commission

Stan
Title: Re: What was a "St James's Commission" in 1726?
Post by: MaxD on Wednesday 27 December 17 16:24 GMT (UK)
Not seeing the original wording in context, could it be that the expression is, in his case as a surgeon, referring to the place at which he trained/had come from?  All commissions are/were King's/Queens Commissions "given at the Court of St James" so the others should be similar??

MaxD
Title: Re: What was a "St James's Commission" in 1726?
Post by: stanmapstone on Wednesday 27 December 17 16:57 GMT (UK)
You said " He qualified as a doctor of medicine and served as surgeon in the 14th Regiment of Foot before becoming an officer in the same regiment." http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=784347.0
Was his commission in 1726 as a surgeon or as an officer? That is if surgeons were commissioned.

Stan
Title: Re: What was a "St James's Commission" in 1726?
Post by: John915 on Wednesday 27 December 17 22:29 GMT (UK)
Good evening,

As Stan said, this would be a standard commission. At this time army commissions for cavalry and infantry were purchased. They were issued from St James Palace which was, and is to this day, the premier Royal Palace. The commission manuscript ends, not sure of exact first words but something like. "Issued by us, at St James's Palace, on the .....day of the .......mth in the year of our lord ........ It is then signed by the reigning monarch.

RA and RE commissions were issued from Woolwich where these officers undertook training. Promotion for them was on merit and seniority. Not the ability to buy and moving up beyond your cababilities.

There was no medical service as such and surgeons and doctors were civilians. They did not hold commissions in the same way but had honorary ranks.

John915
Title: Re: What was a "St James's Commission" in 1726?
Post by: MaxD on Thursday 28 December 17 09:47 GMT (UK)
For the record, the wording at the end of an EIIR manuscript is
Given at Our Court at Saint James's, the ...day of ...[month year] in the [n]th Year of Our Reign.  It is then, By Her Majesty's Command,  signed by the then Adjutant General and a civil servant.  Dumbing down!

MaxD
Title: Re: What was a "St James's Commission" in 1726?
Post by: ainslie on Thursday 28 December 17 09:53 GMT (UK)
Sorry for delayed reply:unexpected visitors.
Much of my information came from visits several years ago to the BL and the Wellcome Library and I would nowadays have taken a camera and have a better record of what I saw.
I noted sources as 'George I's Army', vol 2, by Charles Dalton and 'Historical Records of 14th Foot'.  The latter included pages from Army Lists of 1754 and 1755 which showed Lind as both surgeon (1726) and Lieutenant, the latter dated 22 June 1745.  I had another thread here about this dual entry and was offered the explanation that surgeons were known to purchase a cornet's commission for extra pay and status.
My local large library does not hold Army Lists for that period, and I have been trying to find online versions for any years between 1726 and Lind's death in early 1759, but without success to date.

I am grateful for all help.
Ainslie
Title: Re: What was a "St James's Commission" in 1726?
Post by: John915 on Thursday 28 December 17 10:18 GMT (UK)
Good morning,

The term "cornet" is only used in the cavalry and not infantry. Much the same as the infantry had the rank of "ensign". They were both 2nd lieutenants on their commissions.

I would have thought surgeons commanded more pay than a 2nd lieutenant anyway. The lowest honorary rank I have come across is "captain" for the doctor with an infantry regt.

Thanks for the correction Max, knew I didn't have it word perfect.

John915
Title: Re: What was a "St James's Commission" in 1726?
Post by: MaxD on Thursday 28 December 17 10:25 GMT (UK)
The edition of the "Historical Records of the 14th etc" I saw on the internet archive doesn't have his name or the 1754/55 lists you saw.  I don't find his name in the LG.

The Genealogist does apparently have Army Lists for those years, perhaps they have a short period sub?
Title: Re: What was a "St James's Commission" in 1726?
Post by: ainslie on Thursday 28 December 17 10:42 GMT (UK)
John915
I typed 'cornet' when I should have put 'ensign'.
MaxD
I think the online version of the 'Historical Records' is incomplete, and would like another shot at the printed version but cannot get to London now.  I have also failed with the LG.  The Genealogist seems to have no editions of the Army List for the years of my interest.
A
Title: Re: What was a "St James's Commission" in 1726?
Post by: ainslie on Friday 29 December 17 15:53 GMT (UK)
I have now been able to see vol.2 of "George Ist's Army" by Charles Dalton, where there is a list of commissions 1719-1727 set out by regiment.  Lind's commission is among those marked as "St James's", which account for 37 of the 50 officers listed.  5 are marked as "Kensington", 5 as "Hampton Court", 2 as " Windsor" and one as "Gohre".  This seems likely to mean that the court was at the place stated when the commission was issued and does not imply a different type of commission.

 I have also found that some of the 18th century Army Lists can be seen online, via The National Archives, ref.WO 65/5, including 1755, 58 & 59.  The 1758 volume includes scales of daily pay:  Lind as a Lieutenant of Foot would have 4 shillings and eight pence a day, plus 3s 6d subsistence.  As surgeon he would have 4s plus 3s, so it was worth his while to draw both, if he could.

A publication of 1740, "A List of the Colonels,..." [title reduced here] has Lind entered as "Lynd" among the ensigns in Lieut. Genral Clayton's Regiment of Foot, but I have not found any Gazette entry under either spelling.
A
Title: Re: What was a "St James's Commission" in 1726?
Post by: MaxD on Friday 29 December 17 16:22 GMT (UK)
Perseverance always pays off - good sleuthing!

MaxD

General Jasper Clayton, appointed Colonel of the 14th Foot in 1713, remained as such until killed at Dettingen in 1743 - but you know that  :)