Wm: Hall Capt 62d Regt, his signature from a regimental paylist dated Pointe-Lévy, Québec, 23 May 1777


Nationality: Irish
Born: ca.1758
Regimental commission dates:
Ensign, 1 September 1771 (Ensign in the army 19 May 1769)
Lieutenant, 1 January 1774
Captain, 21 November 1776
Location during the Northern Campaign of 1777: captain of the 62nd Regiment contingent left in Canada
Died: 29 October 1782


William Hall came to the 62nd Regiment of Foot from the late 83rd Regiment (a regiment which was disbanded) as an ensign, the rank he had in his old regiment since 1769. Given his known age in 1777, confirmed with multiple sources, his ensigncy in the old 83rd Regiment was acquired at the astonishing age of 11. William Hall quickly rose through the commissioned ranks and while still a teenager was able to achieve the rank of captain in the regiment. No doubt he had help from Lieutenant-Colonel John Anstruther, who himself submitted the following memorial to Sir Guy Carelton in favor of Hall's promotion to captain (WO28):


To His Excellency Guy Carleton, Captain General, and Commander in Chief of His Majesty's Forces in Canada. &ca &ca &ca

The Memorial of Lieutenant Colonel John Anstruther Commanding His Majesty's Sixty Second Regiment of Foot.

Most Humbly Sheweth.

That Captain Charles Dawson of said Regiment, Purchased his Commission at His Majesty's regulated Price.

And he having some Family Affairs of a pressing nature to settle, Humbly requests, he may be permitted to dispose of His Commission on the above Terms.

Your Memorialist begs leave to recommend Lieutenant William Hall, a Young Gentleman who has paid the greatest Attention to his Duty, and is ready to purchase to Succeed to the Company.

And Ensign William Pendred Nayler, who is Eldest of that Rank in the Regiment and Army under your Excellency's Command, and ready to Purchase to Succeed Lieutenant Hall.

And that Your Excellency will appoint any young Gentleman, who may have been recommended, and whom Your Excellency may think Qualified, and will Purchase to Succeed Ensign Nayler.

And Your Memorialist will, as in Duty bound, forever Pray.

Quebec November 17th 1776—


Hall received his hoped-for promotion, but it was not without its complications. An undated communiqué referred to an error in issuing him and Naylor's proper commissions (WO28):


A memorial was given to Sir Guy Carleton by Lt Colonel Anstruther Commanding the 62d Regiment, on, or about, the 27th of November Last [17 November 1776], Recommending Lieu Wm Hall to Succeed, by Purchase, to Capn Chas Dawson, both in the said Regiment; & Ensn Wm Nayler to succeed by Purchase to Lieu Wm Hall;—His Excellency having Consented to Capn Chas Dawson's Resignation, and to Lieu Hall's and Ensign Naylor's purchasing, as above, they have accordingly paid the Purchase money, to Capn C Dawson who is gone to Europe: but the Commissions have not been Issued...


Happily, the matter was soon after settled and Captain Hall received his paper commission. He took command of the regiment's junior company on 31 January 1777; his company officers were Lieutenant Lowther Matthews and Ensign George Hewey. Before General Burgoyne's Army from Canada began its invasion of New York, a General Order dated 10 May 1777 specified that the 9th, 20th, 21st, 47th, 53rd, and 62nd Regiments each had to leave a contingent of fifty men in Canada, with each commanded by a captain and two subalterns. While there was no order passed which determined how the officers were selected, a review of officers left behind demonstrates that they were generally their regiment's most junior by rank. Indeed, Hall, the junior captain of the regiment, was designated as the 62nd 's representative, along with Lieutenant William Wybrants and Ensign Samuel Pack. These three officers, along with Captain-Lieutenant Henry Harrington and Ensign Alexander Hay, were therefore able to escape the fate of the regiment when it was forced to surrender with the rest of Lieutenant-General John Burgoyne's army at Saratoga.

In July 1778, over one half year following the surrender of the regiment at Saratoga, the private soldiers of Hall's detachment were ordered to join the 53rd Regiment of Foot, then at Chambly. Before this could happen, however, Hall had to settle the accounts of the men being drafted out of the 62nd Regiment. Therefore, the following pay order was procured (Haldimand Papers):


Capt Hall
£280 Ster

Frederick Haldimand &c &c &c

You are hereby directed and required out of such monies as are or shall come to your hands for the Subsistance of His Majesty's Forces under my command to pay or cause to be paid unto Captain William Hall or to his Assigns without deduction, the Sum of Two hundred and Eighty pounds Ster. Dollars at four Shillings and eight pence each to enable him to pay and clear off the Soldiers of a detachment of His Majesty's 62nd Regiment of Foot under his command, being draughted into other Regiments, and which said sum is to be charged to the said 62nd Regiment on Account of their Subsistance, from which you are to detain in your hands the Sum of Sixty five Pounds for 6240 Rations of Provisions issued to the said Detachment between the 25th April and 24th June last. And for your so doing this with the acquittance of the said Captain William Hall or his assigns shall be your Sufficient Warrant and Authority for so doing.

Given Under my hand at
Quebec this 24th day of July 1778

By His Excys

To John Powell Esq
Dy pay mas Gen
&c &c &c


Following standard operating procedure, the non-commissioned officers and drummers were sent back to British to form part of the core of the regiment during its resurrection. Officers would usually be sent home as well in order to oversee a regimental refit, but the Canada commander-in-chief had something different in mind for half the officers of the 62nd Regiment remaining in Canada. As the regiment had more officers in Canada than any other of the regiments which surrendered at Saratoga (most had three or less, while the 62nd Regiment had five), Lieutenant William Wybrants and Ensign Alexander Hay were ordered home. Hall, and Ensign Pack, had other business. According to a general order dated Quebec, 24 July 1778: "Captain Hall and Ensn Pack of the 62nd Regt and Ensign Jones of the 20th will embark on board of the Vessel which carries the Rebel Prisoners to New York and take them under their charge." Rebel prisoners? Indeed, a couple weeks later, Hall received his official orders (Haldimand Papers):


Instructions to Captain Hall of His Majesty's 62d Regiment of Foot.

There being Diverse Rebel Prisoners embarked on board the Maria victualling ship to be sent from hence to Rhode Island or the nearest Port thereto in possession of His Majesty's Forces, you are with the party of your Regiment remaining under your command and an other of Loyalists to go on board the said ship, to be aiding and assisting to the master thereof in preventing during the voyage all disorder or irregularity, and upon your arrival at Rhode Island or other Port you are to report to the Commander in Chief there and deliver the said Prisoners as shall be by him Directed after which you are to take the first opportunity of proceeding to England with your own party, the Loyalists having my permission to go to New York.

Given under my hand at Quebec
this 5th day of August 1778
/Signed/ F.H.


The orders Hall was to deliver to the British commander at Rhode Island (or elsewhere), read as follows (Haldimand Papers):


To the commander in chief of
His Maj. Force at
Rhode Island or other
Port nearest to the
same in Possession
of ye King's Forces

Quebec the 5th August 1778


There having been brought into this Province Several Rebel Prisoners some taken in arms, and others seized by Savages in their various excursions, lists of which prisoners are herewith enclosed together with the engagement which they have entered into in order to obtain their enlargement; I send them by this opportunity to Rhode Island to be set at liberty there or exchanged for an equal number of His Majesty's Troops in their hands as you shall think proper to direct.

I am Sir &c
/Signed/ F:H.


A letter written by Major-General William Phillips, Burgoyne's second-in-command, to Sir Henry Clinton, dated Charlottesville, Virginia, 1 May 1779, relayed that he (Phillips) had received correspondence from Frederick Haldimand dated to August 1778 which stated that rebel prisoners of war held in Canada were released to Hall's charge and brought to Halifax, Nova Scotia. It was hoped that these newly-paroled rebel prisoners might afford exchanges for like officers of the prisoner Convention Army. Hall and Pack were back home by the end of 1778. In July 1781, Hall was in his native Ireland recruiting men for the repatriated regiment, but died shortly thereafter in 1782. Legal particulars of Hall's estate were being settled well over one year after his death and Bayly Rogers, a "creditor and administrator of the goods" owned by the estate, was called to sign off and swear to having received a sum of money generated from Hall's military service (PROB 31):


A True and Perfect Inventory of all and Singular the goods Chattles and Credits of William Hall late of the City of Dublin deceased which since his death have anyway come to the hands Possession or Knowledge of~~Bayly Rogers, Esqre the administrator of all and Singular the goods Chattles and Credits of the said deceased, follow to wit——

First this Exhibitant declares that the said deceased was at the time of his~~decease, a Captain in his Majesty's~Sixtysecond Regiment of Foot and that this Exhibitant hath received since the said deceaseds death the sum of fifteen Pounds Eight shillings, being the arrears of pay due to the said deceased for his~Service in the said regiment, and this Exhibitant doth therefore Protest~against charginghimself with any further Sum than the said Sum of fifteen pounds Eight shillings, on account of the Estate of the said deceased——

£ 15 . 8 . 0

Lastly this Exhibitant declares that no further or Other goods Chattles and Credits for or belonging to the said deceased or his Estate than what are above Set forth have since the said deceased's death come to this Exhibitants hands possession or knowledge but if any shall hereafter he will be ready and willing~to Set forth the same and charge himself therewith.

[signed] Bayly Rogers.

On the twelfth day of March 1784 the said Bayly Rogers was Sworn to the truth of the above Written Inventory Before me

[signed] Henry Sandiford Surrogate.

In Presence of

[Signed] William Jones,
Not[ary] Pub[lic]


Captain William Hall was replaced by Captain-Lieutenant Arthur Blackall.