Jos. Parker Ensn, his signature from a regimental paylist dated Grantham, England, 1 March 1782

 

Nationality: "British"
Born: unknown
Regimental commission dates:
Ensign, 20 September 1777
Lieutenant, 18 March 1782
Captured: Battle of Freeman's Farm, 19 September 1777 (prisoner of war)
Retired: additional company reduction half-pay, 1784
Died: unknown

 

Jonas Parker joined the 62nd Regiment of Foot as a volunteer, and in that capacity served as a private soldier before finally settling in by the latter half of 1776 as junior corporal in Captain Abraham Bunbury's company. It was in this capacity that Volunteer Parker set off from Canada to participate in the invasion of New York during the Northern Campaign of 1777. Although he served in the other ranks during the course of the campaign, Parker was selected for promotion to the rank of ensign in room of Ensign Alexander Hay, who was in turn promoted in place of Lieutenant Stephen Harvey, killed in the Battle of Freeman's Farm on 19 September 1777. However, as with Sergeant-Major James Green, Parker was unaware of his promotion for some time since, like the serjeant-major, he too was captured by rebels during the Battle of Freeman's Farm.

After being enumerated in "A Return of British Prisoners taken 19th Septr 1777," dated New City (present-day Lansingburgh, New York), 21 September 1777 (Horatio Gates Papers), Parker's subsequent disposition is unclear, but by November 1779 he was listed as having joined his parent regiment in captivity. The date of his repatriation to England is unknown, but as late as July 1781 Parker was returned as on his way to join from America on regimental paylists and regimental officer returns. He was home by March 1782, mustering as the ensign of Captain William Sotheron's battalion company. Although he declined a promotional purchasing opportunity in summer 1781 and was passed over for promotion by fellow Ensign Lancelot Weir because of it, Parker was nevertheless promoted to a lieutenancy and placed in Captain John Grimston's additional company less than one year later. As with all additional company officers, Parker was soon after placed on half-pay due to post-war regimental reductions.

Jonas Parker's given name was inconsistently recorded as "Jonas," "James," "Jones," and "John" in official and casual correspondence. His truncated signatures support a given name of "Jonas" or "Jones," while those who knew him personally recorded him name as "Jonas." A List of all the Officers of the Army printed his name as "Jones," but that spelling came from a documented chain of written correspondence in which "Jonas," as written by Major Henry Harnage, was changed to "Jones" by the regimental agents, Bishopp and Brummell.

 

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