(British Parliamentary Act). Anno Tricesimo Nono Georgii III Regis.

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Lot 22

(British Parliamentary Act). Anno Tricesimo Nono Georgii III Regis.

An Act to amend an Act, made in the Twenty-ninth Year of the Reign of King George the Second, intituled, An Act to enable His Majesty to grant Commissions to a certain Number of Foreign Protestants, who have served Abroad as Officers or Engineers, to act and rank as Officers or Engineers in America only, under certain Restrictions and Qualifications. pp. (2), (2 integral blanks). Crisp, clean copy. Disbound. Folio.

London: George Eyre and Andrew Strahan 1799

Est: $300 - $500
<<Commissions Offered to "Foreign Protestant" Officers.>> Evidently, a shortage of manpower induced Parliament to offer commissions to "Foreign Protestants" serving as officers in the British Army in America. Paragraph III states here in no uncertain terms: "Provided always, and be it further enacted, that no such Foreign Officer shall be enabled by this Act to serve as an Officer in any Place except America only…" What resulted, was a double standard, whereby one could enjoy the status of a commissioned officer in the far-flung colony of America, while stripped of this status in the motherland of England. Dubbed by some as "England's Foreign Legion" (a reference to the French Foreign Legion), the plan was to attract foreign fighting men to the ranks of the British Army by providing them with officers who could command them in their own tongue: "And whereas such Foreigners cannot be so well disciplined, without the Assistance of some Officers who are acquainted with their Manners and Language."