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land, on condition of his surrendering the Isle of Man to the Parliament. The earl treated this proposal with extreme contempt, and made the following reply:
"I received your letter, and with scorn I return you this answer. I cannot but wonder whence you should gather any hopes from me that I should, like you, prove treacherous to my sovereign; since you cannot be insensible to my former actings in his late Majesty's service, from which principle of loyalty I have in no way departed.
"I scorn your proffers; I disdain your favours; I abhor your treasons; and am so far from delivering this island to your advantage, that I will keep it, to the utmost of my power, to your destruction.
"Take this final answer, and forbear any further solicitations; for if you trouble me with any more messages upon this occasion, I will burn the paper and hang the bearer.
"This is the immutable resolution, and shall be the undoubted practice, of him who accounts it his chiefest glory to be,
"His Majesty's most loyal and
Equally loyal was the reply of the defender of Minorca in 1781, Lieutenant-General the Honourable James Murray, who was offered a large sum of money by the King of Spain, through the Duke of Crillon, commanding the combined French and Spanish forces, to induce him to betray his trust, which was rejected with indignation in the following letter:
"Fort St. Philip, October 16th, 1781.
his sovereign to assassinate the Duc de Guise, he returned the answer which you should have done, when the King of Spain charged you to assassinate the character of a man whose birth is as illustrious as your own, or that of the Duc de Guise. I can have no further communication with you but in arms. If you have any humanity, you may send clothing to your unfortunate prisoners in my possession; leave it at a distance, because I will admit of no contact for the future but such as is hostile in the most inveterate degree. "I am, etc.,
"To the Duc de Crillon. "JAMES MURRAY." Unfortunately, the brave garrison had to surrender in February, 1782, after displaying great heroism, and suffering from scurvy, a putrid fever, and dysentery; when there was not a sufficient number of men able to bear arms for one relief of the ordinary guards, and not one hundred men free from disease.
Lieutenant-General the Honourable James Murray stated in his despatch, "I flatter myself that all Europe will agree that the brave garrison showed uncommon heroism, and that thirst for glory which has ever distinguished the troops of my royal master. . . . . Such was the uncommon spirit of the King's soldiers, that they concealed their diseases and inability rather than go into the hospital; several men died on guard, after having stood sentry; their fate was not discovered until called upon for the relief, when it came to their turn to mount sentry again. Perhaps a more noble, nor a more tragical scene was ever exhibited than that of the march of the garrison of St. Philip, through the Spanish and French lines. It consisted of no more than six hundred decrepid soldiers; two
hundred seamen, one hundred and twenty royal artillery, twenty Corsicans, and twenty-five Greeks, Such was the distressing appearance of our men, that many of the Spanish and French soldiers are said to have shed tears."
The Duke of Crillon, in the articles of capitulation stated, "No troops ever gave greater proofs of heroism than this poor worn-out garrison of St. Philip's Castle, who have defended themselves almost to the last man." Beatson, the historian of these wars, states, "The zeal, bravery, and constancy, displayed by all the corps composing the garrison of St. Philip, under an accumulation of misfortunes, may have been equalled, but never exceeded."
FIRST ACTION OF THE FIFTEENTH HUSSARS.
The first British regiment of light dragoons formed for permanent service is the present Fifteenth Hussars, and it was raised by Colonel George Augustus Eliott, afterwards the celebrated defender of Gibraltar. Many journeymen tailors and clothiers had come to London, in 1759, to petition Parliament against certain grievances; but becoming ambitious to appear in the uniform of this new corps, which was highly popular, they joined, and soon completed the establishment of the regiment, then known as Eliott's Light Horse. In the action near Emsdorf, on the 16th of July, 1760, Major Erskine directed the men to place oak branches in their helmets,* and to display a firmness in the approaching engagement corresponding to the charac
* At the battle of the Boyne, on the 1st of July, 1690, the Irish were distinguished by pieces of white paper in their hats.
ter of that tree. A general expression of assent was the answer, and the soldiers evinced, individually and collectively, the qualities of heroes in this their first action; and five hundred of the enemy, having been separated from the main body, laid down their arms, and surrendered at discretion. Having secured these, the pursuit was continued, and the remainder, being overtaken, beat a parley, and surrendered prisoners of war. The total number of prisoners amounted to 2,659 officers and men. Sixteen stand of colours were captured by this regiment in Germany, during the Seven Years' War, from 1757 to 1763.
SINGULAR SENTENCE OF A COURT-MARTIAL.
The following remarkable circumstance occurred during the war with America :-" Lieutenant-Colonel Walcott, of the Fifth Regiment of Foot, while encamped near Boston, was so unfortunate, in a hasty and intemperate moment, to be moved to strike. a subaltern (Ensign Patrick) under his command; and, notwithstanding the latter had challenged him, the lieutenant-colonel was brought to a court-martial, of which Brigadier-General Pigot was president, for the offence; when the Court, after due consideration, suspended him from pay and allowances for six months, and was further pleased to order that Ensign Patrick should draw his hand across the face of the lieutenantcolonel before the whole garrison, in return for the insult he had received."
OFFICERS VERSUS LADIES' DRESSES.
The following curious order was issued in 1764, to the troops forming the garrison of Dublin :
“Dublin, 31st January, 1764. "Lieutenant-General Fowkes recommends to the officers of the garrison that they would not play at the Castle whilst on duty; and that the officers of the Horse Guards will avoid mixing with the ladies in the drawing-room, on account of the inconveniency of spurs to the ladies' hooped petticoats.
(Signed) D. GRANT, Captain 52nd Regt.
MILITARY AND BRITISH CULTIVATORS OF TOBACCO.
The first service that devolved upon the Fourth Horse, now Third Dragoon Guards, was to enforce obedience to an Act of Parliament, which prohibited the cultivation of tobacco. The demand for this article, together with its high price, caused several landowners to cultivate it on their farms, especially at Winchcombe and the adjacent villages. This was in 1685, and when the troop, which had been quartered a short time at Winchcombe for the above purpose, left that place, it appears by the War Office Records that the following paragraph was in the order for the march of the men:- "Our further will and pleasure is, that you cause parties to be sent, once at least in every week, to our town of Winchcombe, and places adjacent, who are hereby ordered to destroy all plants, seeds, and leaves of tobacco, which they shall, upon the strictest search, find planted or growing contrary to the Act of Parliament."
ACT OF SELF-DEVOTION.
During the war with America, in 1781, Corporal O'Lavery, of the Seventeenth Light Dragoons, was