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“Account of Subsistance 18th Royal Regiment of Foot of Ireland Philadelphia October 24, 1767” This Regiment Participated at Lexington & Concord and Bunker Hill

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October 24, 1767-Dated, “Quartering Act” British Stamp Act Period, Manuscript Document Signed, Account of Subsistance (sic) 18th Royal Regiment of Foot of Ireland, while Garrisoned at Philadelphia, Choice Extremely Fine.

“Account of the Days Subsistance for the 18th Royal Regiment of Foot of Ireland Commencing 25th Octobr: 1767 & Ending 24th Decembr 1767, Both days Inclusive.” A beautifully handwritten British military document (per the hated “Quartering Act” of March 24, 1765). It is easily readable, nicely written in deep brown ink on clean fine quality watermarked laid period paper, 1 page, measuring about 7.5” x 9” plus having an extra 3” wide back panel, written at Philadelphia (PA) and Signed, “J Wilkins Lt. Colonel”.

The British 18th Royal Regiment of Foot of Ireland arrived in North America during July of 1767 and spent the next eight years on “Quartering Act” garrison duty primarily in Philadelphia, and in some parts of Illinois. At the very beginning of the American Revolutionary War, the 18th Royal Regiment was in Boston. The 18th Regiment saw significant action at the Battles of Lexington & Concord, and at Bunker Hill.

This Regiment was later Evacuated to British Nova Scotia when the British abandoned the town of Boston in early 1776, afterwards the regiment then returned to England. This historic British garrisoning document is dated shortly after the 18th Regiment arrived to be garrisoned in Philadelphia at date to the day before Christmas 1767. Docket on a side panel reads, in full:

“Lt. Col. Wilkins - An Account of Subsist(ance) for the Roy(al) Regimt. of Ireland from 25th October to 24th Decembr. 1767”.

See: THE 18th (or Royal Irish) REGIMENT OF FOOT IN NORTH AMERICA, 1767-1775, Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research, Vol. 2, No. 8 (APRIL, 1923), pp. 63-68 (6 pages), Published By: Society for Army Historical Research at: https://www.jstor.org/stable/44220198
John Wilkins (fl. 1748-1775) entered the British army in about 1748. Despite his poor performance at the French and Indian War Battle at Fort Niagara in the early 1760s, he was allowed to purchase the Lieutenant-Colonel’cy of the 18th Regiment of Foot in 1765. From 1768 to 1771, Wilkins was placed in Command of “Fort de Chartres” in the Illinois Country.

March 24, 1765 On March 24, 1765, Parliament passed the “Quartering Act”, outlining the locations and conditions in which British soldiers are to find room and board in the American colonies.

The Quartering Act of 1765 required the colonies to house British soldiers in barracks provided by the colonies. If the barracks were too small to house all the soldiers, then localities were to accommodate the soldiers in local inns, livery stables, ale houses, victualling houses and the houses of sellers of wine.

"Should there still be soldiers without accommodation after all such publick houses were filled," the act read, "the colonies were then required to take, hire and make fit for the reception of his Majesty’s forces, such and so many uninhabited houses, outhouses, barns, or other buildings as shall be necessary."

As the language of the act makes clear, the popular image of Redcoats tossing colonists from their bedchambers in order to move in themselves was not the intent of the law; neither was it the practice. However, the New York colonial assembly disliked being commanded to provide quarter for British troops, they preferred to be asked and then to give their consent, if they were going to have soldiers in their midst at all. Thus, they refused to comply with the law, and in 1767, Parliament passed the New York Restraining Act. The Restraining Act prohibited the royal governor of New York from signing any further legislation until the assembly complied with the Quartering Act.
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