These mess rules from 1804/1805 for the 41st Mess are in the U.S. National Archives as part of Colonel Henry Procter’s personal papers captured during the retreat up the Thames in the fall of 1813.
“War of 1812 Papers”
of the Department of State
1789 – 1815
Miscellaneous Intercepted Correspondence, 1789 – 1814
British Military Correspondence
Mess Rules of the 41st Reg.t
Rule the 1st
No alteration or addition to be made to the following Rules. but at the General meeting on the first of every Month, or at a general meeting of the Mess convened for that purpose.
Every Officer on being admitted a Member of the Mess is to pay Six Guineas into the hands of the Treasurer, and for every promotion at the following Rates Viz:
|From||Ensign to Lieutenant||2 G’s|
|Lieutenant to Captain||3 G’s|
|Captain to Major||4 G’s|
|Major to Lt. Colonel||5 G’s|
The present committee consisting of Lt. Colonel Grant – Treasurer, Major Campbell, Mr. Raye, Lieut, Fitzgerald, to be in force for Six Months, where they will be succeeded by an equal number, elected by the Mess at Large ------ This committee, to take charge of the Mess utensils and to attend to all expenditures of the Mess.
All Married Officers are considered as honorary Members of the Mess; and are to pay accordingly.
That a meeting of all Members of the Mess, shall take place in the Mess Room at 12 0’Clock, on the first day of every Month, to take into consideration what may be for the benefit of the Mess and for the payment of all Mess bills as well an account of Messing as Wine --- Any Gentleman whose Mess bill is not paid, on the day of the Monthly Meeting, is not considered any longer, a Member of the Mess, until it is settled ---- It is expected every Member present in Quarters, will dine at the Mess on that day as a suitable Dinner will be provided, for which they will be charged at the usual rate whether they attend, or not, with the exception of reliefs.
The Mess Utensils to remain at the Head Quarters of the Reg.t and on no account to be permitted to be sent out of the Mess House --- And whenever the Regiment may be sent into Cantonments, The Officers composing the Mess at Head Quarters will satisfy themselves of the quantity of Utensils, delivered, or left with them as they will be responsible to the Regiment for the same when it reassembles.
That the Mess Waiter take an account of the Wine drank at the Mess. This account to be carefully corrected, and entered into the Book, by the Vice President, and signed by him ---- The Wine account, to be always completely settled, and ready for the Inspection of any Member, who may wish to look at it, one hour before Dinner, the Day after but one, And any Vice President, who shall neglect the same shall the first day pay one bottle of Wine, on the next Two, on the next Three and so on each successive day till the accounts are settled.
The :President of the Week dining out, or being absent when Dinner is brought on the Table; the Vice President to take the Chair and the Person present next in succession to the Vice President to take his Chair.
Any Officer, or his Servant who shall break or disfigure any part of the Mess Utensils, shall pay double the Value to the Mess fund. If intentionally, to pay six times the value --- any stranger breaking a Mess …
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The President, the day he goes out of Office, will appoint two days in the ensuing week, most convenient the the Mess, for the invitation of Strangers, and no Stranger is to be invited on any other day, unless a Stranger coming to Town by chance, and who is not a Resident at Quarters --- every breach of the above Rule; is a fine of two bottles of Wine, for each Stranger invited and any Member inviting Strangers, is to inform the Mess Man of the number, he invites, the preceding day --- should more come than he has informed the Mess Man of, except chance Strangers, he is to be subject to such fine, as the President may think fit, with the concurrence of the Mess.
The Vice President overcharging any individual, in his daily accounts is to pay a fine to the Mess Fund of one bottle of Wine of the highest price.
All Betts made at the Mess Table and which cannot be decided, are to be paid in equal shares, by the parties making the Betts till it can be finally adjusted.
On Strangers being invited to the Mess at Large, all Wines drank, during the time only those Strangers remain, are to be paid for in equal proportions by the whole Mess --- And on the last Strangers going away, the first tickett bought after, will be marked, first after Mess Stranger --- and so on which Wines drank after Strangers invited by the Mess are gone, will be paid for by those only who drank them.
The President and Vice Presidents Servants, shall attend constantly at Dinner, along with the Mess Waiters, and the President will regulate a Roster for three more Servants to attend regularly --- Any Member may have his Servant exclusive of the above --- The Servants of Gentlemen having guests at the Mess, are to attend at Table, unless dispensed with by the President.
No Gentleman during Mess time, is to read Books, Letters, etc. without leave of the President. A bottle of Wine to be paid for every …
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No member on any account is to get his Dinner from the Mess Table; Sick Members to be provided from the Mess Kitchen, without extra charge.
There will be two allowances of Wine at the Mess, of one Pint each, after which, any person sitting will be charged their proportion fo the whole drank in the course of the Evening --- No private Bottle to be produced on any account ---- The fist allowance of Wine, on Stranger Days is to be equalized, and charged equally to each Member.
Any Gentleman getting Wine from the Mess, must send empty Bottles, or return them immediately under the penalty of paying two Bottle for one.
No Member shall find fault, or speak to the Mess Waiter, for any neglect, except the President, Vice President and Members of the Committee, under such Penaly as the Mess may think proper.
All fines that exceed half a dozen of Wine, to be put to the credit of the Mess fund.
The President and Vice President, and their Servants to be in the room when Dinner is announced, or they will be fined on Bottle of Wine each --- And when a Member is called to Order by the President, without his paying immediate obedience, said member to be fined at the discretion of the President.
It was unanimously agreed, that one penny per bottle on Wine should be charged extra the account of which is to be kept separate, in order to establish a separate fund for the Mess, for such Articles, as may hereafter be wanted in or from Europe ---
The above Rules were approved of at a General meeting of the Mess, held at Quebec, on the first day of March 1804
|Jasper Grant||President of Mess (Committee)|
|Alex.r Campbell||James Raye|
|H. McKenzie||Dennis Fitzgerald|
At a Meeting of the Mess on the 2nd of Nov.r 1804; it was unanimously resolved, that all Bills, both for Wine, and to the Mess Man, up to the 28th of Oct.r 1804, should be paid on or before the next Meeting, to be held on the 1st of Dec.r next.
G. Stow Lundee, President
At a Meeting of the Mess on the 1st of Dec.r 1804: it was unanimously resolved that all Bills, both Wine and to the Mess Man; shall be paid in Cash, every Month, this rule to take place on the 1st of Feb.y 1805 –
T. W. Korb President
At a Meeting of the Mess on the 1st of Jany 1805 It was unanimously
agreed, that Capt. Raye shall be Treasurer for the Mess, and President
of the Mess Committee, and Capt. Derenzie, and Surgeon Thom, are
appointed the members of the committee.
Al. Thom President
At a Meeting of the Mess on the 1st Jany 1805 It was unanimously
agreed, that any Member of the Mess, who was absent, when the
Treasurer, closes his accounts, or who does not Dine at the Mess, on the
Monthly meeting, shall be fined six Bottles of the Best Wine.
Al. Thom President