118 | To Jeffery Amherst

    Castle William May 23. 1762.


    There is now lying here a Brig which will sail from hence on Tuesday next with what regular recruits can be got together, to what number I can’t now say. Five have gone off from hence after they were past: four of them are lurking in the Neighbourhood & are so well known that there is no doubt of their being taken. The other, who is a stranger, I fear is got out of reach. The remaining have been put on board the Brig; as all others shall be as fast as they are brought here.

    There is among the recruits the Son of a Minister, who has been to demand him, producing a certificate of his age, from which it appears that he was not 17 when he inlisted. As the Age of 18 is made one of the Terms of the grant of the Assembly, I can by no means disregard the claim of a young man under that age made by his parent. And if it was not a matter of right, yet it would be necessary to comply with it as a matter of favor: for to carry away a Minister’s Son in spight of his prayers and tears would do the Service more harm than 50 such lads would do it good.494

    There was another recruit that came to the Castle & offered himself: his appearance gained the attention of evry one; and upon enquiry he proved to be a Merchant of London; & some of this town have been acquainted with his former affluence, tho’ he is now so reduced. I therefore desired of Capt Elliot that I might place him in the provincial service; & finding him Very able with his pen & at accounts, I recommended him to Genl Bastide to oversee the stables at Halifax, & have orderd him an Ensigns commission. But All this is to have your approbation, which I doubt not of: for if you had seen him & heard his story, your humanity would have been moved in the same manner as mine has been.495

    Notwithstanding these two instances you may assure yourself that I neither do nor shall Spare any pains to encrease the Number of recruits. But as I succeeded, beyond all expectation, in obtaining the grant for this purpose, I must take care that it be executed in a manner agreable to the people; as I, only shall be answerable for it. I foresee many little occasions for popular clamours which may arise in the course of this service, which it will be my business to obviate. I should therefore desire that Capt Elliot may be instructed not to interpose any Authority of his own against the discretionary measures I may be obliged to take with particulars, before they are out of my hands.

    Cap Elliot informs me that you have orderd him to reject Indians: as this will cause the loss of many a good Man, you should be apprised that All our Indians are baptised & civilised & are in all respects as orderly as the rest of the people. There is now on board the Brig an Indian, that, if I mistake not, is the best Man in the whole embarkation.496

    The Party reserved for recruiting is thus formed: Lt Col Gay of Ingersol’s Regiment is commanding officer at the Castle to whom all recruiting officers are to make their returns. He has under him as Quartermaster Lieut Miller497 of Hoars Regiment. The Officers engaged in recruiting are picked out so as to leave three officers to evry company. As soon as the Country has been throughly tried, I shall order them to their head Quarters, unless there should be, which I dont expect, an encouragement to continue the recruiting beyond the first Essay.

    I am, with great regard, Sr Your most obedient and most humble Servant

    Fra Bernard

    His Excellency Sr Jeffry Amherst.

    ALS, RC WO 34/26, ff 140-141.