Home Office: Military Correspondence
Original Home Office correspondence from the Commander in Chief, the Secretary at War, the Board of Ordnance and other military departments relating to the conduct of the French War, 1793 to 1794, and matters of internal defence, militia and volunteer forces, 1782 to 1840.
The series also contains lists of commissions in the militia and volunteers and returns of such forces, including material which would otherwise be found amongst the Records of auxiliary forces (WO).
The Home Office was responsible for some aspects of army administration from 1782 to 1794, when a Secretary of State for War was appointed. It was responsible for the executive direction of the American war from 1782 to 1783 and the French war from 1793 to July 1794, as well as for abortive preparations for war made in 1787, 1790 and 1791. The office also conducted correspondence concerning the militia and volunteer and associated corps.
After 1794 the Home Secretary retained residual powers relating to the issue of military commissions, the use of the army in the maintenance of public order, internal defence and control of the militia and yeomanry through the Lords Lieutenant of counties. In 1855 these residual military powers were transferred to the War Office, except for those concerning public order which were exercised ordinarily through the Commander in Chief or, in urgent cases, the officer commanding a district.
Since 1903 requests for military aid have been addressed to the War Office and later the Ministry of Defence rather than directly to army units. The Home Office also dealt with appointments to military orders notably the Naval and Military Knights of Windsor, until responsibility passed respectively to the Admiralty in 1871 and to the War Office in 1880.
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