Soldiers and Soldiering in Britain 1750-1815

Britain's soldiers conference programme

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The presentations cover all aspects of the men from the United Kingdom who served in the military and British attitudes towards them. From the identities and experience to the relationship between soldiers, culture and society. Sessions include:

  • Soldiers and society
  • Discipline and disorder
  • Soldiers in art
  • Identity and the experience of others
  • Sources for studying soldiers
Download the full abstracts.

Detailed programme

Thursday 7 July 2011


Registration and coffee 




Panel: Soldiers in society and culture

  • Erica Charters (University of Oxford), Prisoners of war in the eighteenth century
  • Caroline Nielsen (University of Newcastle), Disability, Fraud, and Medical Experience among the Pensioners at the Royal Hospital of Chelsea in the late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries
  • Kevin Linch (University of Leeds), Making new soldiers 1750-1815: legitimacy, identity and attitudes

Panel: Discipline and disorder

  • William Tatum III (David Library of the American Revolution), "The Soldiers murmured much on Account of this usage:" Enlisted Men and Military Justice in the eighteenth-century British Army
  • Ilya Berkovich (Peterhouse, University of Cambridge), Discipline and Control in Eighteenth-Century Gibraltar
  • Dani Coombs (University of Leeds), Domestic pull: women, home and desertion




Panel: Soldiers in art

  • Robert Willoughby (University of Arkanas-Fort Smith), Images of British Soldiers in Denis Dighton's Waterloo Paintings
  • Philip Shaw (University of Leicester), The Tired Soldier
  • Cicely Robinson (University of York & the National Maritime Museum), Conflict & Conduct: John Singleton Copley's 'The Defeat of the Spanish Batteries at Gibraltar, September 1782'.

Panel: Fighting men

  • David Blackmore (Huddersfield University), British Infantry Combat Culture at the outbreak of the Seven Years War
  • Britt Zerbe (University of Exeter), The War of American Independence and the Creation of an Imperial Rapid Reaction Force
  • Andrew Bamford (Independent scholar), "Injurious to the service generally" The Manpower Crisis of 1813-1814



Keynote lecture:

Stephen Conway (University College London), The eighteenth-century British army as a European institution 


Conference Dinner 

 Friday 8 July

9.30-10.30 Panel: Soldiers' experience of others
  • Leighton James (Swansea University), Britain's Other Soldiers: Relations between British and non-British troops in the eighteenth century
  • Graciela Iglesias Rogers (University of Oxford), Soldiering abroad: the experience of living and fighting among aliens
Panel: Soldiers' attitudes and identity
  • Stephen King (Plymouth), Peace and Mutiny: The Discharge of Limited Service Recruits in 1783
  • Gavin Daly (University of Tasmania), An Iberian Way of War: British Soldiers' Reactions to Spanish and Portuguese Violence in the Peninsular War, 1808-1813


11-12 Panel: Sources
  • Glenn Steppler (Independent scholar), Keeping a Record: regimental record books and the history of the common soldier in the eighteenth century
  • Gareth Glover (Independent scholar), Expanding the Database: Personal accounts of Britain's soldiers
Panel: Soldiers on campaign
  • R. Scott Stephenson (The American Revolution Center), Robert Macpherson's American War
  • Charles Esdaile (University of Liverpool), Bullets, Baggages and Ballads: Forgotten Sources for the Experience of British Women in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, 1793-1815

Keynote lecture:

Stephen Brumwell (Independent scholar), Soldier of the King, General of the Republic: George Washington and the British Army, 1754-1783  

1-2pm Lunch 
2-3.30 Panel: Officers
  • Bruce Collins (Sheffield Hallam University), The British Officer Corps
  • Benjamin Rubin (Graduate of Western Carolina University), The Blame Game: British Military Reputations in the Wake of the American War of Independence.
  • Gareth Cole (University of Exeter), Sir William Congreve: The Rise of a Military Bureaucrat
Panel: Soldiers and gender
  • Moira Bonnington (University of Leeds), The Military Macaroni and the Tears of the Footguards
  • Louise Carter (University Campus Suffolk), Scarlet Fever: Women and the Military Man 1780-1815
  • Matthew McCormack (University of Northampton), Stamford standoff: honour, status and rivalry in the Georgian military
3.30-4 Tea 

Final comments and conference closes

Pages in this document

  1. Researching Georgian soldiers
  2. Britain's soldiers conference programme
  3. Interview with Kevin Linch about the project