[Update – for more (well, a little more) on the Warwickshire militia, this page is now available.]
The evidence trails left by Georgian county militia regiments are sometimes quite generous – prints, portraits, uniforms, unit histories … Odd then, that so little seems to be left, at least in the public domain beyond the archive bundles, of the Warwickshire Militia. Charles Lethbridge Kingsford’s The Story of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment (1921) has a couple of pages – the usual dates of embodiment and disembodiment, names of forgotten colonels and so forth, but it’s not much. Lawson’s History of the Uniforms of the British Army cites a single inspection report, while maps of militia encampments of the 1778 to 1783 embodiment suggest that the regiment’s green facings were of a mid shade, with a bluish tinge.
Here then, judging by the facings and silver lace, is a Warwickshire officer. (Click to enlarge.) The subjects of this 1763 portrait by Arthur Devis are Lieutenant Francis Vincent, barrister, and his wife and daughter at Weddington Hall in Warwickshire. (The painting is now at Preston, and also viewable on the Art UK site, here.) The composition is a little strained, and Vincent, who clearly posed separately for Devis, seems detached, even a little out of scale. The date, if accurate, would correspond with the end of the regiment’s first period of embodiment and Vincent’s return to his family. The papers in his hand and on the floor clearly tell a story, but his arrival with the good(?) news has an odd solemnity, as does the gaze of Mrs Vincent as it meets the viewer.
It’s a strangely compelling image. But can it be a sole survivor? Where are there other images of the Georgian Warwickshires?