In 1766, Parliament objected to the cost of maintaining troops which rose with growing defiance of British sovereignty, and felt that the colonists should help pay the bill, setting in motion a succession of hated taxes. The British army in America began to cut expenses and moved to the east coast, increasing the potential threat of using its forces against the colonists. In May 1766 Gage wrote that there were three regiments available for duty on the coast. In August, Gage planned to send a regiment to Philadelphia and, by the present letter, ordered Governor John Penn (1729–1795) to make provisions for quartering and feeding the troops.
Gage writes: "As His Majesty's Service may oblige me to Send Troops to Philadelphia, I herewith inclose you a Return of the Strength of a Battalion Compleat that You may be pleased to Order Provision to be made for Quartering and Providing them according to the Act of Parliament. As Some Officers may be absent, and others may have double Commissions, I cannot as yet, Exactly Ascertain the Numbers that Provision Should be made for. But as soon as it is in my Power, I Shall give you an Exact Return of them, as also timely Notice when You are to Expect them."
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