Marriage and the British Army in the Long Eighteenth by Jennine Hurl-Eamon

By Jennine Hurl-Eamon

The woman I Left in the back of Me addresses a overlooked point of the historical past of the Hanoverian military. From 1685 to the start of the Victorian period, military management tried to deter marriage between males in just about all ranks. It fostered a misogynist tradition of the bachelor soldier who trifled with female hearts and kept away from accountability and dedication. The army's coverage used to be unsuccessful in combating army marriage. by way of focusing on the various squaddies' other halves who have been not able to win permission to dwell "on the power" of the regiment (entitled to half-rations) and shuttle with their husbands, this name explores the phenomenon of infantrymen who continued in defying the army's anti-marriage initiatives.

Using facts accumulated from ballads, novels, court docket and parish files, letters, memoirs, and warfare place of work papers, Jennine Hurl-Eamon indicates that either infantrymen and their other halves exerted continuous strain at the nation via evocative appeals to officials and civilians, fuelled by way of other halves' delight in acting their very own army "duty" at domestic. decent, companionate of all ranks mirror a way of life in the military that famous the price in Enlightenment femininity. army marriages in the telescoping contexts of the country, their regimental and civilian groups, and the themselves, The lady I Left in the back of Me reveals the variety of masculinities underneath the uniform, the confident impact of other halves and sweethearts on squaddies' functionality in their tasks, and the marvelous resilience of partnerships severed through warfare and armed forces anti-marriage rules.

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By the nineteenth century, state policy toward militia wives more closely resembled that toward those in the regular army. Western, English Militia, 289–90. , eds, Soldiers, Citizens and Civilians, 101; and John E. , eds, Soldiers, Citizens and Civilians, 31. Chapter 2 explores more examples of those who believed that support of marriage and provisioning of wives could be used to aid recruitment. They Also Served 39 As Chapters 4 and 5 illustrate, adherence to the anti-marriage policies varied from regiment to regiment, and even possibly within companies.

Soldiers’ women were now deemed of little use to the state; indeed, they appeared instead an unwelcome burden. 14 Simply put, single soldiers could be paid less, were less likely to desert, and more likely to risk their lives than a man with wife and child. Though England’s army could not prevent soldiers from marrying outright, it could make life very difficult for those who did. Surviving regulations from the eighteenth century suggest that men’s desire to marry persisted, causing the military to develop specific policies as strong disincentives to matrimony.

19 Col. d. 1660 to 1700 (London: Harrison and sons, 1894), 493. 20 UKNA, WO 43/269, p. 160, Draft Act of 1801. 21 Alan Forrest, Karen Hagemann, and Jane Rendall, ‘Introduction: Nations in Arms—People at War’, in Alan Forrest, Karen Hagemann, and Jane Rendall, eds, Soldiers, Citizens and Civilians: Experiences and Perceptions of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, 1790–1820 (New York: Palgrave ­Macmillan, 2009), 4. 22 Azar Gat, The Origins of Military Thought from the Enlightenment to Clausewitz (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989), 57–66; Michael Hochedlinger, ‘Mars Ennobled: The Ascent of the Military and the Creation of a Military Nobility in Mid-Eighteenth-Century Austria’, German History 17, no.

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