Posted by Captain Everett on August 04, 1998 at 22:43:53:
In response to How embarrassing...(long post), written by ElaineL on August 04, 1998 at 08:54:44
] I read somewhere that the army was not housed in barracks until somewhere around the mid-19th century and that up til then the men of lower rank lived among the inns and brothels...[snip]
This was indeed a problem up into the middle of the 19th Century. It can be traced back to the Mutiny Act of 1689 which permitted billeting in Inns, Livery Stables, Alehouses, and other places where alcohol was sold. The Act did, however, expressly forbid housing them in private homes (except in times of emergency). This was not, however, popular either with the troops, nor with the hosts. The landlord was responsible only for providing dry lodging, fire, water, and basic cooking utensils.
In 1792 William Pitt, then Prime Minister, established the position of Barracksmaster General. The latter was responsible for building permanent barracks in the United Kingdom. By 1797 there were 81 government owned buildings and 49 more rented or "temporary" barracks. By 1805 there were 203 barracks, sufficient for 17,000 cavalry and 146,000 infantry. The figures for 1815 show 155 barracks (16,854 cavalry and 138,410 infantry).
Most of these were located near the southern coast. The largest of these were located at Knightsbridge and Kennsington in London, as well as Colcester, Maidstone, Chester and Edinburgh. A source I have on Cavalry lists major posts at: Birmingham, Coventry, Hounslou, Manchester, Norwich, Nottinghma, and Sheffield; lesser structures could be found at: Brighton, Bristol, Canterbery, Croydon, Eastborne, Kennsington, Liverpool, and Weymouth.
Many of these barracks were of brick, which was becoming increasingly used as a primary building material. They did not, however, always have adequate facilities for the health and comfort of the troops. The stories about the hospitals in the Crimea (Florence Nightengale and all that) were reflected in the general housing conditions within the army.
There is an interesting sidelight to the issue of barracks for the army. Their construction was opposed by the anti-military lobby within Parliament. There was also a degree of hostility from the public, and it was not always a simple matter of tax dollars. There was a fear that if the soldiers were too concentrated and too isolated, they might become disassociated from the public, and a tool of authority. This might, so the opponents argue, allow the government to establish a "bayonet dictatorship."
- soldiers in homes Janette K 00:25:55 8/07/98 (0)
- This is great, Captain ElaineL 17:18:33 8/05/98 (13)
- Knightsbridge and Kensington Caroline 17:46:54 8/07/98 (1)
- A little bit of info Lesley 01:15:27 8/08/98 (0)
- Officers' Barracks Captain Everett 19:22:05 8/05/98 (10)
- Another question for clarification Gayle 23:17:41 8/05/98 (9)
- More about the militia and barracks Caroline 23:20:17 8/07/98 (0)
- More about the militia and barracks Caroline 23:19:10 8/07/98 (0)
- Barracks, continued Captain Everett 20:27:08 8/06/98 (6)
- Wives and camp followers Lesley 01:26:20 8/08/98 (5)
- Army Wives Captain Everett 19:16:49 8/10/98 (3)
- Captain, wasn't there a saying... Marie-Bernadette 09:24:44 8/11/98 (2)
- Officers' Ladies, Sergeants' Wives & the Soldiers' Women -NFM Captain Everett 23:26:34 8/11/98 (0)
- Sounds to me like..... Caroline 16:11:27 8/11/98 (0)
- Try Caroline 02:17:05 8/08/98 (0)
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