A person in the audience asked an interesting question: why were there no artists (including musicians, actors and such) on the list. While I don't have a certain answer and don't pretend to have background in the sociology of the era, I can make several guesses:
- Professional artists are only a small portion of any population. Our data sample of only 311 out of 1005 is too small to draw any conclusions either about the 22nd Regiment (there could have been some artists who aren't among the 311 whose trades we know) or the army as a whole (an estimated 50,000 British regular soldiers served in America; there could've been a few artists in some regiments but not in others).
- The army was a volunteer force, and many of the men who joined it were men who could not find work in their trades or were not interested in their trades. While not composed primarily of the 'dregs of society', the army was composed largely of working class people. It may be that artists who could not find work simply were not inclined to join the army as an alternative.
- Most of our information on trades comes from army discharge documents and deserter descriptions. Possibly the army did not recognize artistic disciplines as trades, and used the more common catchall of 'labourer' for people who had not been apprenticed in a recognized trade.
Whoever can secure the said deserter in any jail shall be entitled to Two Guineas reward, over and above what is allowed by act of parliament for apprehending deserters, and that immediately on giving notice to the commanding officer at Dumfries.
This man was known to have worked as a performer, but also had a more common trade. Similar were performers in the regimental bands of the 1st and 2nd Regiments of Foot, each of whom had trades in addition to their musical abilities:
Whoever secures the said Deserter, so that he may be brought to justice, as a perjured Defrauder of the Public, of his Colonel, any of his Officers, and given notice to the Commanding Officer of th esaid Regiment at Fort George, or to Messrs. Ross and Gray, Agents to the said Regiment, in London, shall receive Five Guineas over and above the Twenty Shillings allowed by Act of Parliament.
N. B. It is supposed the above Deserter is lurking about London or St. Albans.
Deserted from the Queen’s Royal Regiment of Foot, at Coxheath Camp, Samuel Pollard, Musician, aged 22, five feet six inches high, of a fresh Complexion, full faced, red Hair, Haxle Eyes, well made, born in Birstal, in the County of York, by Occupation a Labourer, and had on when he deserted, a white Coat, looped with Blue and Silver, white Waistcoat and Breeches, and a Silver laced Hat. Whoever secures the above Deserter, so as he may be brought to Justice, shall have two Guineas over and above the Reward allowed by Act of Parliament.
Other musicians were described as such:
Deserted from his Majesty’s 17th regiment of foot, quartered in Perth, John Humphreys musician, aged twenty years, size five feet six inches one-half, very swarthy complexion and jet black hair, black eyes, hollow cheeks, has a stoop in his shoulders, slender bandy limbed, has a very hoarse voice, talks thick, plays well on the French horn and fife; had on when he deserted the musician’s uniform of the regiment, viz. a scarlet frock, with white cap [sic - cape] and cuffs laced with silver, with white buttons having the number of the regiment, white cloth waistcoat and breeches, silver laced hat. He was apprehended (but escaped) on Wednesday the 7th in the Canongate; had on a bonnet, black coat, and wore a long staff in his hand.
Whoever apprehends the said deserter, sends him to the regiment, or secures him in any of his Majesty’s gaols, shall, upon giving information thereof to the commanding officer of the regiment at Perth, receive One Guinea reward over and above twenty shillings allowed by act of parliament; to be paid by Col. Darby commanding at Perth, Capt. Lyons at Aberdeen, Capt. Wallace at Montrose, Ensign Sir Alexander Murray at Banf, Ensign Browne at Dundee, or Capt. Aylmer at Edinburgh.
Yet another musician with the interesting trade of Horse Jockey can be seen in one of our earlier posts.
The week after the talk I was in the London at the National Archives, hoping to find more demographic data about soldiers in the 22nd Regiment. A recently-indexed collection of discharge documents promised to provide information on several soldiers who had previously been identifiable only by their names on muster rolls. Among them was James Harvey, a man born in 1753 in the parish of Crediton near the middle of Devonshire. He enlisted in the 22nd Regiment at the slightly young age of 16 and served for 25 years in the regiment, followed by additional time in the Tipperary Militia in Ireland. While the regiment was serving in the New York area in 1782 Harvey was Master of Masonic Lodge No. 133, a lodge formed in 1767 consisting of members of the regiment. He spent most of his time as a private soldier but also spent a few years as a corporal (the muster rolls show him in this post for three years, but his discharge records only two) and three years as a drummer. He signed his own name on his discharge, suggesting that he was literate, and a note on the document refers to his "good character." Most significant to our understanding of trades in the 22nd Regiment, however, was the trade listed on James Harvey's discharge: Musician.