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Stamford standoff: honour, status and rivalry in the Georgian military

McCormack, M. (2014) Stamford standoff: honour, status and rivalry in the Georgian military. In: Linch, K. and McCormack, M. (eds.) Linch, Kevin and McCormack, Matthew Britain's Soldiers: Rethinking War and Society, 1715-1815. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press. pp. 77-92.

Item Type: Book Section
Abstract: Anyone who has worked on the military history of the eighteenth century will be familiar with officers’ acute sensitivity to questions of precedence and decorum. Christopher Duffy has noted their ‘rancorous and touchy’ nature, and nowhere was this truer than in Britain’s militia. Reformed in 1757 as a parallel establishment to the regular army but officered by civilians who qualified by virtue of their social rank and landed property, militia officers were at once sensitive to accusations of military inferiority and conscious of their social superiority. To date, historians have underestimated the rivalry between army and militia, whereas in fact there were numerous petty disputes that could result in brawls, public insults, courts martial and lengthy correspondences with the Secretary at War. By focusing on one such incident in Stamford in April 1761, this chapter explores the relations between regulars and militia in this period, and in doing so thinks about interpersonal conduct in the military more widely. It shows how military discourse and honour codes were indebted to civilian codes such as politeness, gentility and manliness – and how their slightly different inflections on the parts of the army and militia could lead to conflict between these two branches of the service.
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain > DA40 Political, military, naval, and Air Force history
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain > DA505 George III, 1760-1820
Creators: McCormack, Matthew
Editors: Linch, Kevin and McCormack, Matthew
Funders or Sponsors: Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Projects: Soldiers and Soldiering in Britian, 1750-1815
Publisher: Liverpool University Press
Faculties, Divisions and Institutes: University Faculties, Divisions and Research Centres - OLD > School of Social Sciences (to 2016)
University Faculties, Divisions and Research Centres - OLD > Faculty of Education & Humanities > History
Faculties > Faculty of Education & Humanities > History
Date: 2014
Date Type: Publication
Page Range: pp. 77-92
Title of Book: Britain's Soldiers: Rethinking War and Society, 1715-1815
Series Name: Eighteenth-century worlds
Volume: 5
Place of Publication: Liverpool
Language: English
ISBN: 9781846319556
Status: Published / Disseminated
Refereed: Yes
URI: http://nectar.northampton.ac.uk/id/eprint/6620

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