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Embodying the Militia in Georgian England$
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Matthew McCormack

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198703648

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198703648.001.0001

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The Affair of the Hanoverian Soldier

The Affair of the Hanoverian Soldier

(p.32) (p.33) 2 The Affair of the Hanoverian Soldier
Embodying the Militia in Georgian England

Matthew McCormack

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines a case study to show how this militia ideal functioned in political controversy. It explores in detail one of the most important political scandals of the Seven Years War, when in September 1756 one of the many auxiliary soldiers who was stationed in England was arrested for theft in Maidstone. Subsequent attempts to release him created a political storm that added weight to the case for militia reform: would not indigenous citizen soldiers be more patriotic, manly, motivated, and respectful of British laws and liberties than German ‘mercenaries’? The chapter explores both the high-political manoeuvrings and the public debate, including representations in the press, prints, and pamphlets.

Keywords:   militia, auxiliary soldiers, Seven Years War, masculinity, national identity, citizenship

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