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Dates of existence
Laurence Norcop’s military career began with an ensign’s commission in the 32ndRegiment of Foot. While the exact date of his appointment is unknown, it probably occurred shortly before 1756 and the formal declaration of the Seven Years’ War. Norcop, who was born in 1733 to a family of landed gentry in Shropshire, no doubt arranged the purchase of his commission with the financial backing of his father. A promotion to the rank of lieutenant followed in the summer of 1756 but, despite the persistent family tradition that Norcop attained the rank of captain, he never succeeded to the command of his own company. He did manage, however, to purchase the quartermaster’s commission in 1764. For most of the decade or more that Lieutenant Norcop served in the army, his regiment was garrisoned at various places in north-eastern Scotland. But rumours of a possible deployment overseas eventually materialized in 1764, when the 32nd Regiment was ordered to the West Indies. In the late summer of 1765, several months after his arrival in St. Vincent, Norcop was stricken with what seems to have been a malarial fever that swept through his regiment. A relapse probably accounts for Norcop’s death early in 1766.