Page:The Hessians and the other German auxiliaries of Great Britain in the revolutionary war.djvu/26

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Chapter II.


In the negotiations between the court of Great Britain and the German princes for the hire of mercenaries to serve against the rebels in America, it is clear that both sides were eager to come to terms. England wanted the men, the princes wanted the money, and while the latter were anxious to receive as large subsidies as possible, the chief care of Lord North's cabinet was to obtain the greatest number of soldiers with the least possible delay. Friedrich Kapp, the German historian of these bargains, thinks that Colonel William Faucitt, the British commissioner and plenipotentiary in the whole matter, was extravagant in the terms he granted. This does not appear, however, to have been the opinion of the Earl of Suffolk, Lord North's Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, who constantly expressed himself as well satisfied with his agent.

The British cabinet had been disappointed in the hope, which it had entertained in the summer and early autumn of 1775, of obtaining twenty thousand men from Russia. Its negotiations for the use of a so-called Scotch regiment, actually in the service of Holland, were destined to fail. Five battalions of the Hanoverian subjects of George III. were despatched to Gibraltar and Minorca, setting the Englishmen who