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Officers of the Army,

Explaining the Cause of the Plan





Lt. Colonel of the 51st Regt. and late Major of Brigade in the

Severn District.



Printed exclusively in this work.



As I consider it an honorable and indispensable obligation, which I owe both to you and my own character, to explain my motives for having apparently abandoned a plan, which I had the honor to make public in two different Letters, one in 1810, and the other in 1811, addressed to the Officers of the Army, I again resume my pen, to introduce the above subject to your attention.

It is now nearly two years since the idea suggested itself to my mind, that great and beneficial effects might be secured to the Officers of the Army, their Wives and Children, by the arrangement of a system, supported by voluntary subscriptions; and I earnestly set myself to work at framing, organizing, and endeavouring to perfect a plan, which struck me as of very infinite importance to my Brother Officers, their Wives and Children. I was fully aware, that certain ranks of Officers being so parsimoniously remunerated, it would be requiring a greater sacrifice than with reason could be expected, by calling on them for a voluntary contribution to any considerable amount. However on examining the annual casualties in the army, the progressive increase of widows, and other adventitious circumstances, I found my plan might safely be established on a system of contribution extremely small; so much so, that not even the lowest ranks could feel inconvenience from it. Moreover, my wish was to manage the scheme in such a manner that the burthen

should fall on those most able to bear it; and that it might open a door for the affluent to contribute to the comfort and happiness of those who might require aid, and that in a manner congenial to the feelings of both parties. In short, it appeared to me, that the most happy effects would result to the interests, comforts, and respectability of my brother Officers, at a time of life when they most are in need of them, or when otherwise disabled from service. I therefore ardently proceeded in my plan, and was stimulated and encouraged by the numerous letters I received from Officers and private individuals, and more particularly from the answers I had the honor to receive from the General Officers, to whom I had sent my pamphlet. Many immediately entered into my views, and desired me to consider them as subscribers. His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent, in the most liberal, but delicate manner, did me the honor to express his entire approval of the plan, and also Lieut.-General Crawford, Colonel Taylor, &c.&c. &c. Thus encouraged, I humbly solicited his Excellency Sir David Dundas, the Commander-in-Chief, for the honor of his sanction, but was informed, that although his Excellency highly approved of any measure that tended to the advantage of the Officers of the Army, he could not give my plan his sanction, as he did not believe the theory could be reduced to practice. Obstructed, but not disheartened, I ceased further proceedings, and waited for an opportunity which might give a more favorable turn to the prosecution of my object. At length that time arrived: His Royal Highness the Duke of York resumed the command of the Army; and though I felt every sentiment of respect for the late Commander-in Chief, I flattered myself that, from every circumstance, the exalted and noble personage now at the head of the Army would readily encourage and promote any plan which would prove of advantage

to the Officers of the Army, their Wives and Children: and I was supported in this opinion by those of a General Officer, who, besides being honored with the friendship of His Royal Highness the Duke of York, is universally admired and esteemed. This worthy gentleman, than whom no one is better acquainted with the generous, liberal, and humane sentiments that are so honorable to the character of the Duke of York, urged me to submit my proposal to the consideration of His Royal Highness. I did so, and was honored and flattered by an avowal, "that His Royal Highness conceived that the greatest benefit might result from the adoption of such an arrangement for the provision of the widows of Officers of the Army;" and further advised me to get the report of a few General Officers on the subject. And in a communication from Colonel M'Mahon, I was assured that His Royal Highness the Prince felt every wish to promote the undertaking, but declined any interference, until it had been matured by the opinions of some General Officers.

With redoubled eagerness I now proceeded with my plan; and I have to express the great pleasure and satisfaction I experienced from the voluntary and disinterested offers of John Philippart, Esq. jun. a gentleman particularly calculated, from his general knowledge, and also very great information in figures, to render me substantial aid. Thus reinforced, we made out a general plan, and obtained the gratuitous assistance of many of the most able accomptants in London, amongst whom I have to mention William Morgan, Esq. His reputation as an Actuary cannot be increased by any tribute of applause from me; but his most liberal, kind, able, and ready support, has indelibly established his character in my mind as a gentleman of the most benevolent and generous disposition; and I beg thus publicly to return him my sincere acknowledgments of gratitude and thanks.

Having, by the aid of my friend, Mr. Philippart, completed my plan, I had the honor, in obedience to the advice of his Royal Highness the Commander-in-Chief, to submit it to several general officers, and I had laid it before his Royal Highness the Duke of Kent, who condescended to make himself perfectly informed of every particular respecting it, and most graciously offered, that should his royal brother be disposed to refer the consideration of it to a committee of officers, and should consider him a fit person to preside at it, he would be ready to give the closest attendance to the business until it should be brought to a termination. I had also the honor to submit the plan to his Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge, who graciously was pleased to express the same anxiety as his royal brother had done for its establishment and success.

The approbation is universally received from general officers, and from some Colonels of militia regiments, who expressed a wish that the militia officers should be included, generously hinting, that much benefit might result from that measure. Many private gentlemen joined in the approval of my plan, and innumerable have been the letters I have received from my brother officers, to the like effect, and expressive of their anxiety to become subscribers.

Finding myself thus highly encouraged and supported, I at length had the honor to submit my plan for the inspection of his Royal Highness the Commander-in-Chief, together with the opinions of many generals, and other officers and colonels of militia. In the course of a few days, I was honored with an answer, which informed me, "That his Royal Highness, having now had all the papers on the subject under his deliberation, did not feel, upon a full view of the subject, that he could be justified in giving his sanction to a measure of so extensive a nature, without the consent and approval of his Majesty's Government." I imme

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