James Ward after Sir Joshua Reynolds.
The Right Hon.ble General Sir Will.m Fawcett, K.B.
14 x 19¾ inches
Sir William Fawcett (1727-1804).
One of the reasons the government looked to ever more ingenious ways to tax the population during this period was because the country was almost continuously at war; these conflicts were prohibitively expensive enterprises. General Fawcett, fluent in both French and German, was tasked with recruiting soldiers in Germany who could swell the ranks of the British army in America. So successful was he that over 30,000 German recruits fought for the British crown in The American War of Independence, representing a quarter of the land force. Fawcett, pictured here in his mid-50s, was a brilliant military strategist who served under General Elliot in The Seven Years War but, even more significantly, was responsible for restructuring and training the army to be an effective fighting force against the French. Throughout the 1790s and into the new century England was living in fear of invasion from the infamous Bonaparte so it was imperative that the army was prepared and professionally trained from the Yeomanry up.