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Drunkenness and poverty were the principle reasons for enlistment in the nineteenth century. Inns were a common location for recruiting sergeants to coerce potential recruits into joining up. Many a drunken man accepted the King or Queen’s shilling, only to regret it once sober. Recruiting parties had the inducement of a fee for each man they enlisted, while cash bounties, which were sometimes as much as three pounds, were used to tempt civilians to join the colours.
oil on canvas
H 63 x W 76.5 cm
gift from Sir Alec and Lady Martin through the Art Fund, 1964