To The Right Honble Jeffery Lord
AMHERST General and Commander in
Chief of His Majesty’s Forces &c &c &c
The Memorial of John Montagu CLARKE Late eldest Ensign on Service
That your Memorialist entered into the Army in the year 1775 and served ever since the breaking out of the Present unhappy Rebellion, in the Rank of Ensign in His Majesty’s 43rd Regt; but had the misfortune of being made a Prisoner by the Rebels, soon after the takeing of Rhode Island, and by refusing to give his Parole, was close confined in a Comman Gaol, with a number of Prisoners of War, and Friends to Government:
I suffered severely, & in Common with them for Eleven Months;
Those unhappy People being treated with the utmost Barbarity your memorialist the Only Officer in Gaol, looking upon it incumbent on him as his Duty to assist & enable them to persevere in their attachment to His Majesty advanced a considerable Sum of money, which he expected would be refunded by Government after his Exchange, But found his mistake too late for having lost all his Cloaths by the Rebels he was necessiated to equip himself as an Officer, after his Exchange;
which at the extravagant rate every thing sold at in America, amounted to a considerable sum, and by no notice being taken of his memorials to the Commander in Chief for a refund of the money advanced in Government Service, was, when on the Point of Preferment obliged to Sell his Commission, his only dependence.
Your Memorialist being advised to Petition His Majesty as the only means of recovering his money drew up a Petition, which His Majesty was gratiously pleased to receive, & which your M[em]orialist is informed is to be transferred to your Lordship.
Your memorialist in his distres’d situation humbly Beggs your Lordship will give directions for his receiving the Pay, arising from his commission in the 43rd Regiment, untill such time as a Purchase offers, there being now near twelve Mongths [sic] Pay due, and no Purchaser has as yet offer’d for which indulgence your memorialist beggs leave to mention that he is the Son of an old Officer, Viz. Capt. John CLARKE 59th Regt. whose long services your Lordship some time ago, was pleased to say merited every indulgence;
therefore your memorialist most Humbly beggs Your Lordships patronage and assistance as well in procuring him an answer relative to his money, as granting him some preferment in His Majesty’s Army, for which he will ever have the highest sense, and as in Duty bound will ever Pray.
John Montagu CLARKE
[answered 17 November 1780]
Great Britain, Public Record Office, War Office, Class 34, Volume 169, folio 8.
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