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The militia

The English militia was a kind of early 'home guard', raised to defend the nation against invasion or rebellion. It did not serve overseas. Able-bodied men aged 18 to 45 years were eligible for the militia. However, there were exemptions for poor men who had three or more children born in wedlock (reduced to one child in 1786) and certain professions such as clergymen, apprentices, articled clerks and parish constables.

Men served in the militia for three years and were chosen by ballot. However, few men whose names were drawn in the ballot actually served in person! Those who could afford to pay for a substitute usually did so and parishes were allowed to provide volunteers in place of the drawn men.

Once a year, on a Sunday morning, a militia list was displayed on the door of the parish church. Militia men spent 28 days a year in training, during which time they were billeted in public houses and paid according to a scale laid down by Act of Parliament. For the 60-80 men of the Northamptonshire Regiment, training usually took place during May and June. It was customary for the regiment to celebrate the birthday of King George III, on 4 June, by assembling in Northamptonís market square and firing three volleys of blanks.

The first time that the militia saw prolonged service was following England's declaration of war with France in 1778. Between 1778 and 1783, the Northamptonshire Regiment stood on duty at various places in the home counties and, for a few months during 1780/1, in Northampton itself. The regiment was discharged in March 1783, not to be called upon other than for routine training until 1793 when war was again declared on France.

With thanks to Alan Clarke at northants1841.fsnet.co.uk for the information on the militia

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Cottingham Militia List, 1777

FORENAME

SURNAME

OCCUPATION

CROSSED OUT

NOTES

HENRY

ADKINS

WEAVER

A

JOHN

ADKINS

GARDENER

X

3 CHILDREN

EDWARD

ALLEN

LABOURER

ELLIS

AYER

LABOURER

JOHN

BALL

CARPENTER

WILLIAM

BAMFORD

WEAVER

WILLIAM

BENT

CARPENTER

ROBERT

BRADLEY

WEAVER

THOMAS

BRADSHAW

CONSTABLE

THOMAS

BRAMPTON

SARVENT

JOHN

BROWN

CARPENTER

X

THOMAS

BULL

WEAVER

JOHN

COLES

BLACKSMITH

X

LAME

ROBERT

COLLING

WEAVER

X

9 CHILDREN

RICHARD

COOPER

LABOURER

WILLIAM

COOPER

WEAVER

WILLIAM

DALBIN

SEARVENT

JOHN

EAGLE

JOYNER

THOMAS

EAGLE

WEAVER

WILLIAM

GLITHEROW

WEAVER

JOHN

GROOKCOCK

COMMER   (Woolcomber)

GEORGE

HALES

WEAVER

JAMES

INGRAM

TAYLER

ROBERT

INGRAM

WEAVER

THOMAS

INGRAM

TAYLOR

WILLIAM

INGRAM

WEAVER

JOHN

JINKS

CARPENTER

SAMUEL

JONES

KEEPER

WILLIAM

JONES

KEEPER

JOHN

KILBOURN

WEAVER

HENRY

LEE

MASON

THOMAS

LEES

WEAVER

JOSEPTH

LUCK

SEARVENT

THOMAS

MUNK

BLACKSMITH

X

3 CHILDREN

WILLIAM

PEAKE

FARMER

JAMES

PERKINS

WEAVER

WILLIAM

PERKINS

LABOURER

JOHN

PLAT

WEAVER

THOMAS

REYNOLDS

WEAVER

THOMAS

RICHER

SEARVENT

JOHN

SCULTHORP

FARMER

THOMAS

SCULTHORP

FARMER

BRYAN

SMITH

SEARVENT

WILLIAM

SMITH

SEARVENT

JAMES

SPRIGGS

WEAVER

X

ROBERT

SPRIGGS

WEAVER

WILLIAM

SPRIGGS

SHOEMAKER

THOMAS

STANGER

MASON

JOSEPH

STEVENSON

LABOURER

ROBERT

SUMPTER

WEAVER

JOHN

TANSLEY

TAYLOR

WILLIAM

TANSLEY

WEAVER

WILLIAM

THOMPSON

WEAVER

JOHN

VICKERS

SEARVENT

JOHN

VIV

TAYLOR

EDWARD

WARMSLEY

WEAVER

WILLIAM

WARWICK

WEAVER

ROBERT

WELSHER

MASON

Note: original spellings have been retained

 

Middleton militia list, 1777

FORENAME

SURNAME

OCCUPATION

CROSSED OUT

NOTES

WILLIAM

ALDWINCKLE

FARMER

JOHN (JUNIOR)

BAMFORD

TAWER

THOMAS

BAMFORD

WEAVOR

CHRISTOPHER

BARRAT

SERVANT

SAMUEL (JUNIOR)

BURDITT

BAKER

WILLIAM

BURDITT

BAKER

ROBERT

CANNAM

SERVANT

SAMUEL

CANNAM

LABOURER

WILLIAM

CARVIL

BUTCHER

WILLIAM

COE

SERVANT

WILLIAM

COOPER

CARRIER

HUGH

COX

LABOURER

WILLIAM (JUNIOR)

COX

SHEPHERD

HENRY BARTON

DARNEL

SERVANT

X

LAME

JOHN

DAVIS

LABOURER

ROBERT

DIMBLEBY

SERVANT

JOHN

ELLIS

SERVANT

ROBERT

ELLIS

SERVANT

WILLIAM

GIBBONS

SERVANT

THOMAS

GOODWORTH

BRICKLAYER

ARTHUR

GROOCHCOCK

WEAVOR

THOMAS

HERCOCK

LABOURER

JOHN

HOLMES

WEAVOR

X

BROKEN BODIED

STEPHEN

HOOK

WEAVOR

EDWARD

ILIFF

WEAVOR

JOHN (JUNIOR)

ILIFF

WEAVOR

JOHN (SENIOR)

ILIFF

WEAVOR

THOMAS

INCHLEY

HORSE DEALER

THOMAS

INGRAM

LABOURER

JOHN (JUNIOR)

LAMBERT

TANNER

THOMAS

LAMBERT

SERVANT

WILLIAM (JUNIOR)

MITCHELL

WHEELWRIGHT

JOHN

NORTHEN

FARMER

WILLIAM

NORTHEN

FARMER

WILLIAM

ORTON

LABOURER

NEEDHAM

PLATT

PLASTERER

JOHN

RIDDELL

CONSTABLE

WILLIAM

RIDDELL

SERVANT

JOHN

ROBINSON

MILLER

WILLIAM

SABINS

WEAVOR

X

JOHN

SATCHEL

WEAVOR

ROBERT

SEWEL

SERVANT

ROBERT (JUNIOR)

SPRIGGS

WEAVOR

ROBERT (SENIOR)

SPRIGGS

CORDWAINDER

ROBERT

STANION

FARMER

WILLIAM (JUNIOR)

STANION

FARMER

WILLIAM

TIMSON

LABOURER

JOHN

WHITLEY

SERVANT

JOHN

WOODCOCK

SERVANT

Note: original spellings have been retained

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