This vignette represents the tensions in the American colonies that led to the Boston Tea Party
Most conflicts like tragedies have more than one root. The American colonists were then seen by the British Army as citizens of the King - albeit inferior ones - needless to say that this attitude did not help things.
Also as a colony they were not allowed to export to other countries and had no representation in parlement. Taxes on suger (1764) and newspapers (1765) warmed the kettle. The Quartering Act (1765) which involved having soldiers billeted with the local population and the Townsend Revenue Act (1767) which imposed custom duties on tea and many other articles, brought things to a boil.
In 1770 anger turned to blood during the 'Boston Massacre' but even at this stage of events there was no word of independance or The United States of America throughout the Thirteen Colonies. "No taxation without representation" was the slogan of the day.
Many Americans sided with the British, feeling that to take up arms against the crown would be nothing more than treason.
It is a little known fact, that the first hostilities came about not in the rise of the tea tax but of a lowering of it. This was the Tea Act (1773) initiated by Lord North (First Lord of the Treasury who intended to undercut the Dutch tea exports to America and also to prop up a flagging and over extended East India Company.
This action also put pressure on the smuggling of tea into the colonies. Many of the latter 'Founding Fathers' were businessmen and stood to lose out because of this.
My vignette depicts a British ADC (Aide-de-Camp) taking a trot through Boston Harbour to take in the ..er.. atmosphere.
Just watch where you're walking ... hygene in not on the top of the list in this neck of the woods. The 'merican has just 'borrowed' a keg 'o' rum after leaving behind his ale on the hated East India Company tea chests.
Sharp eyes will notice that he has lost a shoe buckle whilst 'hoofing-in' a couple of boxes. Maybe the young ADC is about to issue a verbal reprimand to this 'rapscallion'... hmm ... methinks nay.
That's about it then for this one folks!!
So I'll away now to pour myself a cup of t ... er ... coffee !
I've been taking my time with this one and for very good reasons ...
The fact being that everything I knew - or put more to the point thought - I knew about The American War of Independance, turned out to be a load of schoolboy/Hollywood ...er...'Poppycock'.
Recent research gives one a far more sober (and more interesting) portrayal of events.
I've been reading countless internet sides and comparing notes with the aid of the following literature. My favorite is the top one and an absolute must have for every AWI fan ...
Matthew H. Spring
With Zeal and with Bayonets Only: The British Army on Campaign in North America, 1775-1783
Theodore P. Savas
A Guide to the Battles of the American Revolution
Liberty or Death: Wars That Forged A Nation
The British Army in North America 1775-83
An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Uniforms from 1775 - 1783 the American Revolutionary War
Soldiers in America, 1754-1865
It's not all theory ... I've made a start, but with a vignette that focuses on the tensions in the colonies - long before Lexington Green.
To start with I've invested heavily in someones ebay junk, or as I like to call them when everything works out ...: 'My Beloved Airfix Multipose'. I've changed the 'pins' on the docker as I wanted to give him a stout pair of bow-legs.
Thus I bid ye all and the year of our Lord 2015 faretheewell and raise a cup of cheer to your good health. What's my pleasure tonight? ... Not bloody tea that's for sure !!
On this side of the water I've managed to do some more sculpting.
As you can see, the docker was (is) ' a bit of a handfull', whereas his British counterpart has more .. er.. dignified lines. For those of you who disagree with his sash, don't forget this scene is BEFORE the 1768 clothing order. Still a long road to go on this one but at least the boots have been broken in !
A bit more work on 'His Lordship'... the arms have to be built up as well as a few 'nips and tucks' but for now I reckon: "So far - So good".
A slight correction on 'is lordship ... the scabbard straps are attached to the trouser belt, so I had to cut away the area and re-form accordingly. Basecoat on and dry and ready for the brushes.
As for the docker, he's at the same stage. No ... that's not a joint in his gob, 'tis the stem of a pipe!!