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Title: Gentlemen of leisure or vital professionals? : the Officer establishment of the British Army, 1689-1739
Author: Sanghvi, Neil
ISNI:       0000 0004 6501 1333
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis argues that the officer establishment of the British Army experienced considerable professional, administrative and social change from its expansion in 1689 to the outbreak of war in 1739. In the intervening fifty year period, the British army and the officers who led it experienced alternate periods of prolonged war and peace. This led to the retention and dissemination of administrative practices, gentlemanly behaviours and professional competencies that enabled officers to remain motivated and dedicated to military service, despite multiple factors that hindered their ambitions and reduced their career prospects. This development was not a series of comprehensive reforms, but rather ad hoc measures which took effect through the efforts of commanding officers, the will of the monarch and the administrative power of the War Office. These changes occurred within the existing military system, stretching its capacity to satisfy multiple interests to its limit, and resulting in the prioritisation of certain consideration over others. Using a greater quantity and range of archival material than previous historiography, the thesis adopts several historical approaches towards their interpretation, from institutional and military history, to cultural and political history. This offers new perspectives and in-depth analysis to challenge some arguments made about army officers during this period, and refinements to others. It contributes to our understanding of the late seventeenth and eighteenth century army by rethinking the martial ethos of the officer establishment, and its impact on the officer establishment's capabilities, behaviour and relationship with the crown.
Supervisor: Charters, Erica ; Smith, Hannah Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Army administration ; British Army ; Military Experience ; Eighteenth Century ; Professionalization