George III shilling
A George III shilling


The King's Shilling

Oh my love has left me wi' bairnies twa
And that's the last o' him I ever saw
He's joined the army and he marched awa'
He took the shillin'
He took the shillin' and he marched awa'

Come laddies come, hear the cannons roar
Take the King's shilling an' we're off tae war
Come laddies come, hear the cannons roar
Take the King's shilling an' we're off tae war

He looked so fine as he marched along
Wi' his kilt and sporran an' his musket gun
And the ladies kissed them as they marched awa'
He sailed out by
They sailed out by the Berwick Law


The pipes did play as he marched along
And soldiers sang out a battle song
"March on, march on," cried the Captain gay
For King and country
For King and country we will fight today


The battle rattled tae the sound o' guns
And bayonets flashed in the morning sun
The drums did beat and the cannons roar
And the shillin' didn't seem
The shillin' didn't seem much worth the war


And on they fought and the men did fall
Cut down by bayonet and musket ball
And many o' these brave young men
Would never fight for
Would never fight for their King again



George IIITo "take the King's shilling" simply meant to enlist in the army, the shilling being a reference to the earnest payment made to each new recruit.see "Historical Notes", below

In the 18th century, the British Army was a professional, volunteer service. Men were not "pressed" nor "sentenced" into the ranks, but were patriotic volunteers looking to serve King and Country and possibly find a little adventure along the way.

Recruiting Poster In this same spirit, we ask you to "take the King's shilling" and volunteer for service in His Majesty's Tenth Regiment of Foot.

The Tenth Foot holds a military exercise on the third Wednesday of each month (except December & April) at 19:00 hours (7:00 pm). Please see our schedule for the time and location of our Monthly Military Drills.

There are openings in our Grenadier, Light Infantry, Colonel's (Battalion) and Music companies and no military experience is required. However, dedication to hard work, excellence and a good sense of humour are a necessity.

Contact our Recruiting Officer to schedule a visit.


Video courtesy of Aaron Gralnik


For the complete list of requirements for Private Soldiers and Musicians, please read the Regimental policies on ADMITTANCE to RANKS.

Recruiting PartyTo be sworn to service in the rank and file (i.e. Grenadiers, Light Infantry, and Colonel's CO'Y) as a Private Soldier, a recruit must be at least 15 years old, physically able to handle a 2nd Pattern Brown Bess musket (weight 10.5 lbs; 4.8 kg) and the rigors of marching in the summer while wearing a wool uniform, complete Recruit School, and demonstrate proficiency in 18th century military drill by passing the Serjeant's Exam.

We also are looking for recruits to become Drummers or Fifers in our Music Company. Musical experience is desirable, but not required. An enthusiastic attitude along with dedication to hard work, excellence and a good sense of humour are much more important.

To be sworn to service as a Drummer or Fifer, one must be at least 10 years old, be able to handle the physical rigor of marching in parades and on the field while drumming or fifing, complete the components of Recruit School applicable to musicians and pass the relevant components of the Sejeant's exam.

In addition, the Tenth Regiment is supported by a Corps of Civilian Volunteers,. A very important component of 18th century regimental life, the camp "followers" provided necessary support to the soldiers’ daily existence. So, if you are interested in living history, but don't want to be in ranks as a soldier or musician, there is a place for you in the Tenth.

501c3 STATUS

No matter what role you assume in the the 10th, soldier, musician, follower, all of your regimental expenses (such as clothing, mileage, etc.) are tax-deductible as the Regiment is an IRS recognized 501(c)3 charitable organization. Your volunteer service could help you out at tax time if you itemize your deductions.

The Tenth Foot is based in eastern Massachusetts and we accept members who are within driving distance of Lexington, MA. However we invite those who live a greater distance away to contact us so that we may put them in touch with a British regiment closer to their home.