1893 text

“a broken or disbanded officer.”

This text comes from a footnote on a diary entry in the 1893 edition edited by Henry B. Wheatley.

3 Annotations

First Reading

David Bell  •  Link

[Moved here by Phil from 6 April 1660 entry]

The term "Reformado" is one more familiar to me from the history of the Civil Wars, and I recollect as referring to a collection of "odds and sods" formed into a temporary unit, not necessarily just ex-officers. In the naval context, more of a supernumary officer or gentleman volunteer, it seems, and a role still common as late as the wars against Napoleon. In those later days, often officers on half-pay seeking the chance to do something that would attract the warm regard of their Lordships, and thus get them back on sea-duty.

This sort of eagerness may seem a little odd to modern eyes. My late Grandfather volunteered for the Army in 1914, failed the medical, and the next day went back to the recruiting office and bluffed his way in.

Times have changed.

language hat  •  Link

[Moved here by Phil from 6 April 1660 entry]

(From the OED entry; I especially like the quotes in "transferred" senses)

Mil. a An officer left without a command (owing to the 'reforming' or disbanding of his company) but retaining his rank and seniority, and receiving full or half pay; a 'reformed' officer. b A volunteer serving in the army (or navy) without a commission, but with the rank of an officer. Now only Hist.

1598 B. Jonson Ev. Man in Hum. iii. v, Into the likenesse of some of these Reformado's had he moulded himselfe so perfectly. 1640 in Rushw. Hist. Coll. iii. (1692) I. 68 That the Earl of Crauford's Troop, and those other Officers in the Army that go under the name of Reformadoes, are an unnecessary Charge. 1660 Pepys Diary 1 Oct., Mr. Mansell, a poor Reformado of the Charleses, came to see me. 1724 De Foe Mem. Cavalier (1840) 85 There was about thirty officers, who, having no soldiers,.. served as reformadoes with the regiment. 1755 Carte Hist. Eng. IV. 311 Moving his majesty that the loyal Scotch officers, formed into a company of reformadoes.., might be cashiered.

transf. 1643 Trapp Comm. Gen. xiv. 16 Kings cared not for souldiers (no more did the King of Sodome for Abraham, and his Reformadoes). A. 1679 T. Goodwin Christ the Mediator v. xviii. Wks. 1863 V. 331 The devil again put out of trade, and made a reformado.

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

Reformado or Reformed Officer is one whose troop, or company, is supressed in a reform, and he continued either in the whole or half-pay, doing duty in the regiment.

--A New Complete English Dictionary, 2nd Edition, D. Bellamy, 1760

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.



  • Dec