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Manuscript Document dated May 10, 1782, wherein George III pays the Prince of Waldeck a portion of his subsidy for the 3rd English Waldeck Regiment which he provided for British Service in the Revolution

folio, single sheet, old folds, some chipping, and tears along edges, with some minor loss to margins, some stains, spots, and toning. Old paper repairs on verso, along folds, with several recent archival tissue reinforcements, else in good legible condition. Docketed on verso “G Hesse”. Signed by John Cavendish (1732-1796), then serving as chancellor of the exchequer; and Althorp, i.e., George John Spencer (1758-1834), then serving on the Treasury Board, and James Grenville (1742-1825), member of the Treasury Board and Privy Council. Edmund Burke was then paymaster of British military forces and a Privy Council member.

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       “Whereas our house of Commons by a vote of the 17th day of December 1781, have resolved that a sum not exceeding Seventeen thousand four hundred ninety eight pounds three Shillings and two pence three farthings, be granted unto us for defraying the Charge of a Regiment of Foot of Waldeck in the pay of Great Britain together with the Subsidy pursuant to Treaty with the Reigning Prince of Waldeck, for the year 1782, Our Will and pleasure is, that out of any money in your hands that may be applied to this Service, or that may be imprested to you for the same, you do pay unto the said Reigning prince of Waldeck, or unto such person, or persons as is or are duly authorized by him to receive the same the sum of One thousand nine hundred ninety eight pounds seven shillings and one halfpenny, without deduction, and without Account, for One hundred and twenty one days Subsidy for the said Troops pursuant to Treaty, from the 25th day of April to the 23d day of August 1782, both inclusive, And this shall be as well to you for making the said payment, as to our auditors & all others concerned passing your accounts for allowing the same thereupon a sufficient warrant Given at our Court at St. James’s the 10 day of May 1782, in the Twenty Second year of our Reign. By His Majesty’s Command …”

          The 3rd Waldeck Regiment was a single-battalion corps raised in 1776 specifically for British service. The Waldeck Regiment represented the smallest contingent of troops sent to America by any of the six “Hessian” states which sent troops to America. Waldeck was also the smallest state and the regiment represented about one in every six men in the Waldeck population. Waldeck was so small that today it is only half a county in the German Federal Republic.

           Of all the Hessian units employed by England during the American Revolutionary War, none traveled more widely than the 3rd English Waldeck Regiment. This contingent of men served in the New York- New Jersey area, West Florida, and the Mississipp River area. They were held prisoner at various times in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New Orleans, Louisiana. Some deserters joined the American army and served under George Rogers Clark in the Illinois country. In addition, the unit traveled to Jamaica, Cuba, Mexico, and Nova Scotia.

            Waldeck located a few miles west of Cassel, had a population of 37,019 persons in 6,954 houses living in 6004 houses in 1780. The reigning prince, Carl August Friedrich, born in 1743, had ruled since 1766. Like his predecessors, he had a love of the military, and he entered Austrian service as a lieutenant colonel at the age of fifteen.

            During the Seven Years’ War he was wounded in a battle near Korbach, in Waldeck, and in 1772 he was made a lieutenant general in the Netherlands army. Prince Friedrich, as he was called, never married. He traveled extensively in Europe, but when at home conducted a splendid court with no consideration or concern about financial matters.

            In later life he wrote a history of the Seven Years’ War as well as a series of portraits of famous men. In 1793 and 1794 Friederich fought against the French, but later joined the Rhine Bund. He died in 1812.

           Indicative of both his travel and his connection with the Dutch and the Dutch military is a report of early March 1776, that the Princes of Waldeck and Hesse-Cassel, and several Dutch generals, plus the English Commissary, Colonel Charles Rainsford, had dined at the residence of the English ambassador, Sir Joseph Yorke, at the Hague. Again, on May 24, 1776, the Prince of Waldeck and Colonel van der Hooven, commander of the Dutch garrison at Nijmegen, and most of the garrison’s staff officers accompanied Colonel Rainsford when he visited Captain Georg Pausch of the Hesse-Hanau Artillery on a small island in the Wahl. The purpose of the Rainsford visit was to inspect and muster Captain Pausch’s Artillery Company, which was en route to Canada. Edward J. Lowell’s comment on the Prince of Waldeck was that “by comparison with the Margraves of Anspach the Princes of Waldeck seem almost respectable.” They used their country as a stock farm for raising men for the Dutch service, but themselves fought for the Dutch with distinction.

          Nevertheless, Prince Friedrich, who was not related to George II of England as were several of the other rulers who supplied troops to England, was eager to sell his subjects into English service. Friedrich wrote to Lord Suffolk on November 3, 1775, offering to place a 600-man regiment into English service. And, although the principality had a compulsory draft for all but students, it did not have eight battalions in Dutch service, nor even the three regiments ready to serve anywhere for pay, which were mentioned by von Eelking.

             Instead, when Colonel William Faucitt, English Minister Plenipotentiary to a number of German states for the purpose of concluding treaties for the hiring of troops, arrived in Waldeck, there were only about 200 men in uniform in the entire country.

             Faucitt negotiated a treaty, similar to those with the other German states which provided for a 670-man regiment to be furnished to England, with similar payment terms. The result summed up by British historian Otto Trevelyan, was that the prince received for himself 5,000 per year while “the wood-cutters and charcoal burners of Waldeck were shooting and being shot by the lumberers of Maine and Connecticut.”

     “The growing tumult in Britain’s North American colonies finally erupted into conflict on 19th April 1775, with the first shots exchanged at Lexington, Massachusetts. It soon became evident that there were insufficient troops to subdue the rebellious colonies and once again it became necessary to hire them from the continent.

           The German principality of Waldeck was one of the states that offered troops to Britain. This small state was poor in resources and its rulers had made it a practice to hire troops to various maritime powers. Waldeckers had been in Venetian pay about 1688 and saw service against the Turks in Greece. Later, in 1742, a two-battalion regiment entered the service of the Dutch. A third battalion was formed in 1744 and a fourth in 1767. These battalions were also taken into Dutch pay and they formed the 2nd Waldeck Regiment. Both remained in Dutch service until 1806.

            A treaty for troops was signed at Arolsen, in Waldeck, on 20th April 1776. Under the terms of this treaty, the Prince of Waldeck agreed to furnish a regiment of infantry, with a small train of artillery, ready to march by 6th May, 1776. Other articles provided for the payment of levy money at 30 crowns for each soldier, an annual subsidy of 25,050 crowns, and the payment of blood money whereby three men wounded were reckoned as one killed and a man killed was to be paid at the same rate as the levy money. …

             The Waldeck Regiment started on its journey to America on 20th May, 1776 and arrived at New York on 20th October. For the next two years the regiment served in the New York area, where it took part in the storming of Fort Washington, 16th November, 1776, and the defence of Staten Island, 22nd August, 1777. In the second engagement, a large American party had crossed from New Jersey and surprised some battalions of the New Jersey volunteers, a Provincial corps, but the 52nd Foot and the Waldeck Regiment were brought into action and the American force was driven back to its boats and forced to withdraw.

              In October 1778, the Waldeck Regiment, along with two Provincial battalions, the Pennsylvania Loyalists and the Maryland Loyalists, were sent as reinforcements to West Florida. Until then, this province had been garrisoned by some companies of the 16th and 60th Regiments of Foot. West Florida, which had passed to British control in 1763, was sparsely settled. To control this territory, there were posts at Natchez and near Baton Rouge, both on the Mississippi River, and at Mobile and Pensacola.

           When Spain entered the war in the summer of 1779, the Waldeckers were being redeployed to the posts on the Mississippi. The run-down condition of some of these frontier posts and the necessity of relocating one of them, prevented the movement of the entire regiment. The military governor of Spanish Louisiana, Don Bernardo de Galvez, an able and energetic officer, had been counselled by his staff to maintain a defensive position, but he ignored their advice and ordered an attack. In short order the forces under his command captured some small outposts, surprised a bark carrying a company of Waldeckers to the posts on the Mississippi, and after a bombardment, forced the commander at Baton Rouge to capitulate on 21st September, 1779. The garrison of that place included two companies of Waldeckers. Thus, within a few days, half the men of the Waldeck Regiment were prisoners of war.

              After the Spanish captured Mobile in March 1780, they established an outpost at La Aldea, on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay. A mixed force of regulars, Provincials and Indians under the command of Colonel Hanxleden, were dispatched to surprise this post. This party had penetrated the outer works of the post before they were detected, but the first Spanish fire cut down the German colonel and his principal subordinate. With that, the Waldeckers refused to advance, and the Indians having fled, the next senior officer, a Provincial captain, could only order a withdrawal.

           On the 9th of March, 1781, a Spanish fleet arrived off the bar at Pensacola, and within a few days put troops ashore. Ultimately this Spanish force, aided by a small French contingent, grew to 8,000 men, supported by a powerful naval armament. They besieged Pensacola until 9th May, when the place surrendered. Included in the garrison were 303 officers and men of the Waldeck Regiment. This was the last active service of the regiment in America.

             As the prisoners were exchanged, they were sent to New York, but by the time the Waldeck Regiment reached anything like its former strength, peace was in the offing and no further operations were being undertaken. On 15th July, 1783, the Waldeckers embarked for their return voyage to Germany.

       Burgoyne, Bruce E., The 3rd English-Waldeck Regiment in the American Revolution

       Westminster: Heritage Books, 2008