2 volumes and 4 loose manuscripts
The John Louis Ligonier letter books (1758-1760, 237 pages; and 1760-1761, 279 pages) contain outgoing letters of the field marshal, master general of the ordnance, and commander-in-chief of the British army during the Seven Years War.
The 1758-1760 volume contains copies of 298 letters, most of which are outgoing items signed by Ligonier with 30 signed by his secretary Richard Cox. Ligonier communicated frequently with various officers and officials in the British military, including Secretary of War William Barrington, Major General Jeffery Amherst, Lord George Beauclerk, Judge Advocate Charles Gould Morgan, Marquis of Granby, Major General Napier, William Pitt, Duke of Richmond, Lord George Sackville, Earl of Shaftesbury, Prince Karl Wilhelm Ferdinand, and James Wolfe. Ligonier's letters deal primarily with personnel and regimental matters, including troop provisioning and payment of troops, problems with recruitment, appointments and promotions, troop movements, troop health, desertions and mutinies, prisoners of war, and orders for officers. While his focus was on the war in America, Ligonier also commanded armies in Scotland and England, and British invasions into France. In addition to the letters, this volume also contains a report on the court martial of George Sackville for failure to follow orders (April 23, 1760), and a document concerning ordnance management, containing instructions for military recordkeeping (pages 85-90). See additional descriptive data for a complete list of the letters.
The second letter book, 1760-1761, contains 544 outgoing letters from John Louis Ligonier (442 items) and his secretary Richard Cox (102 items). Ligonier communicated most frequently with Secretary of War William Barrington, Lord George Beauclerk, the Marquis of Granby, Marquis Townshend, the Mayor of Bath Ralph Allen, Lieutenant Colonel Mark Napier, Lieutenant General Alexander Duroure, and Major General Studholme Hodgson. Ligonier discussed financial matters, recruitment issues, troop movements, the succession of officers, and the selling and purchasing of commissions. The most pressing matters that Ligonier wrote about were depleted financial resources, inadequate numbers of soldiers, and the lack of new recruits. The volume also includes congratulatory letters to officers returning from campaigns and correspondence pertinent to William Barrington's transfer to become Chancellor of the Exchequer. Ligonier's letters to Jeffery Amherst contain remarks on the Siege of Quebec (July 25, 1760) and the capture of Belle Isle (October 28, 1761).
In addition to this finding aid, the Clements Library has created a recipient index, which may be accessed here: John Louis Ligonier Letter Books Recipient Index.
- March 17, 1752: A bill for accounts of land and sea services, spanning 1746-1752, addressed to Mr. Gashry
- July 12, 1758: A copied letter from Ligonier to Louis de Brunswick (in French)
- November 25, 1758: A copied letter from Ligonier to Monsieur La Houliere at Bath, England (in French)
- Undated: A copied letter from Ligonier (in French)