John Gibson Beats The Drum
On 16th February 1694 Sir John Gibson, Lieutenant Governor of Portsmouth, was tasked to raise a new Regiment of Infantry. Gibson had served for many years with the Dutch army under the Prince of Orange, later King William III of England and Scotland. Gibson’s pay as Colonel of his new Regiment was set at twelve shillings per day, but he also drew a further eight shillings as Captain of the senior company of the Regiment. His expenses were calculated at one shilling and threepence per day for each of the six servants to whom he was entitled. In the same year, William III instructed a Board of General Officers to decide upon the seniority of the infantry regiments of the line, and Gibson’s Regiment was ranked 28th. The History of the Gloucestershire Regiment had begun.
“These are to authorize you by Beat of Drum or otherwise to raise Volunteers for a Regiment of ffoot under your Command, which is to Consist of Thirteen Companys of Sixty privat Soldiers, Three Serjeants, Three Corporals and Two Drummers in each Company – to be muster’d in that behalf, and when the whole Number of Non Commission Officers and Soldiers shall be fully or near Compleated in each Company, then they are to be sent under the Command of a Commission Officer, One Compy. to Winchester, Two to Chichester, Two to Southampton, One to Midhurst, One to Arundel, One to Alton, Two to Farnham, One to petersfield, One to Rumsey, and One to Havant, Fareham and Tichfeild appointed for the Rendezvouse of the Said Regiment And all Magistrates, Justices of the Peace, Constables and other Our officers whom it may concern, are hereby required to be assisting to you, and in Providing Quarters, Impressing Carriages and otherwise as there shall be occasion. And the officers to be Carefull that the soldiers behave themselves Civilly and Duly Pay their Landlords. And you are also to appoint such person or Persons as you shall think fitt to Receive Arms for Our Said Regimt. out of the Stores of our Ordnance.
Given at our Court at Whitehall, this 5th Day of March, 1693/4.”
Picture: Officer of Gibson’s Regiment. Original watercolour in the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum.