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Treaty with the Landgrave of Hesse Cassel, signed January 15, 1776


Translation of a Treaty between his Majesty and the Landgrave of HESSE CASSEL. Signed at CASSEL, 15th JANUARY, 1776.

His Britannick Majesty, being desirous of employing in his service a body of twelve thousand men, of the Troops of his Most Serene Highness the Reigning Landgrave of Hesse Cassel, and that Prince, full of attachment for his Majesty, desiring nothing more than to give him proofs of it; his Majesty, in order to settle the objects relative to this alliance, has thought proper to send to Cassel the Sieur William Faucitt, his Minister Plenipotentiary and Colonel in his service; and his Most Serene Highness has named, on his part, for the same purpose, the Baron Martin Erneste De Schlieffen, his Minister of State, Lieutenant-General and Knight of his Orders, who, being furnished with requisite full powers, have agreed, That the Treaties formerly concluded between Great Britain and Hesse shall be made the basis of the present Treaty, and to adopt as much of them as shall be applicable to the present circumstances, or to determine by new articles such points as must be settled otherwise; everything that shall not be differently regulated, shall be deemed to subsist in full force, as it shall appear to be declared in the above-mentioned Treaties; and as it is not possible to specify each particular case, everything that shall not be found regulated in a precise manner, neither in the present Treaty nor in the former Treaties, ought to be settled with equity and good faith, conformably to the same principles which were agreed on each part to be pursued for regulating all such cases, whether during or after the last war.

I. There shall be, therefore, by virtue of this Treaty, between his Majesty the King of Great Britain and his Most Serene Highness the Landgrave of Hesse Cassel, their successors and heirs, a strict friendship, and a sincere, firm, and constant union, insomuch that the one shall consider the interests of the other as his own, and shall apply himself


with good faith to advance them to the utmost, and to prevent and avert mutually all trouble and losses.

II. To this end, it is agreed, that all former Treaties, principally of guaranty, be deemed to be renewed and confirmed by the present Treaty, in all their points, articles, and clauses, and shall be of the same force as if they were herein inserted, word for word, so far as is not derogated from them by the present Treaty.

III. This body of twelve thousand men of the Troops of Hesse, which is to be employed in his Britannick Majesty' s service, shall consist of four battalions of Grenadiers, of four companies each, fifteen battalions of Infantry, of five companies each, and two companies of Chasseurs, the whole provided with General and other necessary officers.

This corps shall be completely equipped and provided with tents and all accoutrements, of which it may stand in need: in a word, shall be put on the best footing possible, and none shall be admitted into it but men fit for service, and acknowledged for such by his Britannick Majesty' s Commissary. Formerly the signature of the Treaties has usually preceded, by some time, the requisition for the march of the troops; but as in the present circumstances there is no time to be lost, the day of the signature of the present Treaty is deemed also to be the term of the requisition; and three battalions of Grenadiers, six battalions of Infantry, with one company of Chasseurs, shall be in a condition to pass in review before his Britannick Majesty' s Commissary on the 14th of February, and shall begin to march on the day following, the 10th of February, for the place of embarkation; the rest shall be ready in four weeks after, if possible, and march in like manner.

This body of troops shall not be separated, unless reasons of war require it, but shall remain under the orders of the General to whom his Most Serene Highness has intrusted the command; and the second division shall be conducted to the same place only where the first shall actually be, if not contrary to the plan of operations.

IV. Each battalion of this body of troops shall be provided with two pieces of field artillery, with the officers, gunners, and other persons, and the train thereunto belonging, if his Majesty is desirous of it.

V. Towards defraying the expenses in which the Most Serene Landgrave shall be engaged, for the arming and putting in condition the said corps of twelve thousand men, his Majesty the King of Great Britain promises to pay to his Serene Highness for each foot soldier thirty crowns Banco, levy money, as well for the Infantry as for the Chasseurs or Artillery, if there should he any, the sum total of which shall be ascertained according to the number of men composing this corps, and as they have been reckoned in former alliances.

The sum of one hundred and eighty thousand crowns Banco, valued as in the following Article, shall be paid on account of this levy money, on the 10th of February, and the residue shall be paid when the second division of this corps shall begin their march.

VI. In all the former Treaties a certain number of years is stipulated for their duration; but in the present, his Britannick Majesty, choosing rather not to engage himself for any longer time than he shall have occasion for these troops, consents, instead thereof, that the subsidy shall be double, from the day of the signature of this Treaty to its expiration: that is to say, that it shall amount for this body of twelve thousand men to the sum of four hundred and fifty thousand crowns Banco per annum, the crown reckoned at fifty-three sols of Holland, or at four shillings and nine pence three farthings English money; and that the subsidy shall continue upon this foot during all the time that this body of troops shall remain in British pay. His Britannick Majesty engages, also, to give notice to the Most Serene Landgrave of its determination twelve months or a whole year before it shall take place, which notice shall not even be given before this body of troops is returned, and actually arrived in the Dominions of the said Prince, namely, in Hesse, properly so called. His Majesty shall continue equally to this corps, the pay and other emoluments for the remainder of the month in which it shall repass the frontiers of Hesse; and his Most Serene Highness reserves to himself, on his side, the liberty of recalling his troops at the end of four years, if they are not sent back before, or to agree with his Britannick Majesty at the end of that time for another term.


VII. With regard to the pay and treatment, as well ordinary as extraordinary, of the said troops, they shall be put on the same foot in all respects with the National British Troops; and his Majesty' s Department of War shall deliver without delay to that of his Most Serene Highness an exact and faithful state of the pay and treatment enjoyed by those troops; which pay and treatment, in consideration that his Most Serene Highness could not put this corps in a condition to inarch in so short a time without extraordinary expenses, shall commence for the first division on the first of February, and for the second seven days before it shall begin to march, and shall be paid into the military chest of Hesse, without any abatement or deduction, to be distributed according to the arrangements which shall be made for that purpose; and the sum of twenty thousand pounds sterling shall be advanced immediately on account of the said pay.

VIII. If it should happen, unfortunately, that any Regiment or Company of the said corps should be ruined or destroyed, either by accidents or the sea, or otherwise, in the whole or in part, or that the pieces of artillery, or other effects with which they shall be provided, should be taken by the enemy or lost on the sea, his Majesty the King of Great Britain shall cause to be paid the expenses of the necessary recruits, as well as the price of the said field-pieces and effects, in order forth with to reinstate the artillery and the said Regiments or Companies; and the said recruits shall be settled likewise on the foot of those which were furnished to the Hessian officers by virtue of the Treaty of 1702, article fifth, to the end that the corps may be always preserved and sent back in as good a state as it was delivered in. The recruits annually necessary shall be sent to the English Commissary, disciplined and completely equipped, at the place of embarkation, at such time as his Britannick Majesty shall appoint.

IX. In Europe his Majesty shall make use of this body of troops by land, wherever he shall judge proper; but North-America is the only country of the other parts of the globe where this body of troops shall be employed. They shall not serve on the sea, and they shall enjoy in all things, without any restriction whatsoever, the same pay and emoluments as are enjoyed by the English Troops.

X. In case the most Serene Landgrave should be attacked or disturbed in the possession of his Dominions, his Britannick Majesty promises and engages to give him all the succour that it shall be in his power to afford, which succour shall be continued to him until he shall have obtained an entire security and just indemnification; as the Most Serene Landgrave promises likewise, on his part, that in case his Majesty the King of Great Britain is attacked or disturbed in his Kingdoms, Dominions, Lands, Provinces, or Towns, he will give him in like manner all the succour that it shall be in his power to afford, which succour shall likewise be continued to him until he shall have obtained a good and advantageous peace.

XI. In order to render this alliance and union the more perfect, and to leave no doubt with the parties about the certainty of the succour which they have to expect by virtue of this Treaty, it is expressly agreed that to judge for the future, whether the case of this alliance and the stipulated succour exist or not, it shall suffice that either of the parties is actually attacked by force of arms, without his having first used open force against him who attacks him.

XII. The sick of the Hessian Corps shall remain under the care of their physicians, surgeons, and other persons appointed for that purpose, under the orders of the General commanding the corps of that nation, and everything shall be allowed them that his Majesty allows to his own troops.

XIII. All the Hessian deserters shall be faithfully given up, wherever they shall be discovered in the places dependant on his Britannick Majesty; and, above all, as far as it is possible, no person whatever of that nation shall be permitted to establish himself in America without the consent of his Sovereign.

XIV. All the transports for the troops, as well for the men as for the effects, shall be at the expense of his Britannick Majesty; and none belonging to the said corps shall pay any postage of any letters, in consideration of the distance of the places.

XV. The Treaty shall be ratified by the high contracting parties, and the ratifications thereof shall be exchanged as soon as possible.


In witness whereof we, the undersigned, furnished with the full powers of his Majesty the King of Great Britain on one part, and of his Most Serene Highness the Reigning Landgrave of Hesse Cassel on the other part, have signed the present Treaty, and have caused the seals of OUT arms to be put thereto.

Done at Cassel, the 15th of January, in the year 1776. WILLIAM FAUCITT, [L˙ S.]