Foot Guards History

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Tawahi-50, Jul 2, 2009.

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  1. Can anyone help with info regarding the following?

    Just come across in an official publication, a reference to the rank/appointment in the Foot-Guards of Solicitor.

    The period in question is circa 1890. The Solicitors came after Quartermasters in the seniority listing and like the QMs, didn't wear bearskins but cocked-hats ('the fore and afts'). I would imagine from that, Solicitors were either recruited externally (like Medical Officers) or were promoted from the ranks.

    The rank/appointment appears unique to the three Guards regiments and was not present in the infantry of the line.

    The only reference I've seen on the web suggests the Solicitors were the Guards equivalent of Adjutant in line infantry regiments but I'm not convinced because the Guards regiments had Adjutants anyway, at the same time and also Guards Adjutants were were senior, not junior to QMs

    I could phone up the museum at Birdcage Walk but most museum don't like phone queries and anyway the answer might be of wider interest to other Arssers.

    I think it's a safe bet that the Guards' Solictor didn't stand in St James's Park and, er, solicit, but does anyone know what he actually did do?
  2. I can honestly say, ive never heard of that term before.

    I am happy to do a bit of digging to see if I can find any reference to it, but its a new one on me.


    When you say Quartermaster, do you mean "the" quartermaster, or the quartermaster sgts? ie paybloke ie coloursgt addressed as sir? company quartermaster sgt type bloke?
  3. Hi,

    I found this reference to solicitors being equivalent to adjutants during the American Revolution (War of Independence if you prefer!)

    I'm not sure I've added the link correctly, apologies.

    Link to Item
  4. Don't know the answer to your question........ but I have found out that Foot Guards' Solicitors were paid a subsistence rate of 3 shillings per day in 1815.
  5. Thanks for the responses, Gents, much appreciated

    The Quartermaster, the commissioned ex-ranker who even today, wears the cocked hat instead of bearskin.
    I think also that there would have been only one Solicitor per battalion.

    Yes, that's the one I saw although as I said I have my doubts as in 1890
    both the adjutant and the solicitor were on the establishment of a Foot Guards battalion although there was a difference in seniority, the adj wore a bearskin so would have been one of the regimental officers and the solicitor would have had a similar status to the QM.
    Of course the situation may have been different at the time of the American revolution.

    That's useful, it means that the Solicitor wasn't a passing phase and that the appointment was around for a good few decades at least
  6. Army list of 1844 shows solicitor in both Coldstream & Scots (Fusilier) Guards. Placed in the list next to surgeons.

    PM me if you want link to the text.
  7. Thanks for that,

    I've since confirmed that the rank/appointment no longer existed in the the Guards in 1900 so the title disappeared between 1891 and 1900.
  8. Doing a trwal on the web, I found a (non-military) reference to some chap being solicitor to a council, and then becoming its Clerk.

    Thinking of the Guards having in more recent years Superintending Clerks (QM-type commission?), maybe this was their role?. With new barracks maybe the role lapsed from Bn to Regt.

    Totally straw in the wind.