War Office 2d June 1777
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 6th of April last, inclosing [sic] three Memorials of the Hon[ora]ble Lieut[enan]t Col[onel] William Harcourt, Commanding the 16th and Lieut[enan]t Col[onel] Sam[ue]l Birch, Commanding the 17th Regiment of Light Dragoons. I have laid the same before the King, and am to acquaint you with His Majesty's Commands thereupon for the information of Lieut[enan]t Colonels Harcourt and Birch.
With respect to the Memorials for an increased Allowance for Contingencies, His Majesty has been pleased to direct that 20 Pounds a year per Troop be added to the 30 Pounds a year which is now paid out of the Stock Purse and that the Sum of 50 Pounds per annum per Troop in Addition to the above allowanced of 50 Pounds per annum out of the Stock Purse, be paid by Warrant out of the Contingencies of the Commander in Chief agre[e]able and in proportion to the Allowances made to the Officers of Dragoons serving in Germany during the last War.
With respect to the Memorials for an Additional Allowance for providing Horses for Chargers to replace those lost on Service or shot for Glanders or Farey, I am to acquaint you that no Consideration is had to the price of the Horse, for by the precedent of last War no more was allowed than 15 Pounds for each Horse lost on Service or shot for the Glanders, although Twenty Guineas was admitted to be charged against the Stock Purse for the purchase; and the precedent of the last War must be pursued upon the present occasion.
The Requistion in the 3d Memorial that Baggage and Forage Money may be granted to the Officers of Dragoons cannot be admitted as no such Allowance, was made to the Officers of Dragoons serving in Germany during the last War; but an Annual one of 37 [Pounds] 100 only per Troop was granted out of the Stock Purse for the Subsistence of a Bat Man, and supplying a Bat Horse for carrying the Troop's Tents; This Charge therefore may be admitted, and if the Service should require any further Expence upon this Account; it must be left to the recommendation of the Commander in Chief for such an Allowance as, in his own discretion, he may think the Service requires.
I hav I have the hon[or] to be
General Sir Win. Howe
&c &c &c
[Source: David Library, Microfilm of P.R.O. W.O. 4/273, 290-291.]
[As transcribed by Gilbert V. Riddle]