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honor to enclose you, and I desire the favor of you to lay it before His Majesty, for his royal approbation.
"I am, with great respect,
"Your obedient humble servant,
"P.S.-I think it necessary to inform you that Lord Viscount Torrington is by his own particular desire placed as ensign; and as the Battalion is 400 strong, I think two Field Officers will be sufficient.
To the Right Hon. Mr. Secretary Pitt."
A List of Noblemen and Gentlemen who offered themselves as Officers in the Militia of the County of Bedford.
The Marquis of Tavistock-Colonel.
Sir George Osborn, Bart.-Major.
The Right Hon. the Earl of Upper Ossory.
Sir Philip Monoux, Bart.
John Marshe Dickinson, Esq.
Thomas Potter, Esq.
Richard Orlebar, Esq.
George Edwards, Esq.
Ambrose Reddall, Esq.
Commissions were issued to these noblemen and gentlemen, and they were the first officers of the Bedfordshire Militia. At the same time several County gentlemen were appointed Deputy Lieutenants, to arrange and carry out the balloting of men to serve in the Militia.
I found a curious old copy of a notice to the Dorset Militia, issued by their Colonel, June 23rd, 1759:
"To the Militiamen of the County of Dorset. "The law enacts that in case of actual invasion, of imminent national danger, or in case of rebellion, the Militia, or any part of it, may be drawn out as His Majesty shall judge necessary, and marched to any parts
of this kingdom. But none of the Militia are ever to be sent out of it, nor are they to be commanded by any other regimental officers than their own, qualified as the law directs; and if any man ordered out leave families not of abilities to support themselves during their absence, such families are to be maintained, by order of any Justice of the Peace, at the expense of the county."
The following letter of an officer of Militia would show that the Militiamen of 1759 commenced with the same spirit and good conduct which has been handed down to those now serving in the force.
'July 8th, 1759. "The business I am engaged in employs me continually. But the great spirit seen in every part of our Corps, and the cheerfulness of our private men, who observe the strictest discipline, make fatigue agreeable."
In July of this year, for the first time, mention is made of Militia regiments marching through various towns. The London Chronicle of July 21st, 1759, says :
Yesterday morning, six companies of the Norfolk Militia marched from Kingston in Surry to Cobham and Ripley, on their way to Portsmouth. They came into Kingston on Tuesday evening, and made a very good appearance; they were commanded by Major Wilton. Their drummers and fifers were all little boys with fur caps, and looked very pretty. Their uniform is red, faced with black.
"When they were drawn up on Tuesday evening, His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales passed through Kingston, and rode through the front of them with his hat in his hand in the politest manner. After he had passed by the whole, he sent the Marquis of Bute to Major Wilton with a bank-note for £50 to distribute among them to drink the King's health. Never were men in higher spirits."
The Middlesex Militia were one of the regiments ordered to be raised at the same time as the Bedfordshire, and they appear to have had some difficulty in getting gentlemen to come forward as officers, and the following lines appeared in the newspapers of the day :
"Addressed to the Gentlemen of Middlesex.
'O shame to the land!
Like cowards to stand
When France threatens to tread on our heels.
Female hearts you possess
And may well be call'd The Middle-sex."
The Bedfordshire Militia was embodied for service on the 4th March 1760.
The early Army Lists do not give the dates of officers' commissions, nor at this time had Militia regiments
numbers; but they appear to have taken precedence according to the dates of the warrants under which they were formed.
The Daily Register of the 25th June 1760 states: "A large camp is to be formed at Winchester, consisting of the 34th Regiment, with the Berkshire, Gloucestershire, Dorsetshire, Wiltshire, and Bedfordshire regiments of Militia. The Earl of Effingham is to have the command of the camp; the Earl of Shaftesbury Brigadier-General; and Edward Montagu, Esq., of the Wiltshire Regiment, Major of Brigade. The Warwick and Hertfordshire are to be in the city, and are to do duty at the French prison, under the command of Lord Denbigh."
The Bedfordshire Militia has kept a record of nearly every detail connected with it, and by it the regiment marched from Bedford on the 2nd June 1760 for the camp at Winchester, halting on the march at Newport Pagnell, Buckingham, Thame, Wallingford, Reading, Basingstoke, Alton, and Alresford, arriving at Winchester Camp on the 13th June. The Regimental Record, which is more likelv to be correct than the newspaper, states that the regiments at the Camp were the 34th Foot, Dorset, Bedford, Berkshire, Wiltshire and Buckingham Militias; Col. Howard, 34th Foot, commanding.
At the time of the accession of George III. (1760), the Militia of England and Wales were raised by lot or