Militia Musters of 1781 and 1782

Durham, Lancashire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire & Yorkshire

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Index

Militia Ballot Lists (1757 to 1831)

Light Company, 46th Foot: 1778

Whilst the 19th century census records from 1841 are invaluable sources for family and local historians, other earlier census-type sources include the Militia Ballot Lists (1757 to 1831) and the Defence Lists (1798 to 1804).

In the 1757 Militia Act (30 George II chapter 25) Parliament directed that militia regiments be re-established, after a period of dormancy, in the counties of England and Wales. It was realised from the outset that insufficient volunteers could be persuaded to come forward to serve in the ranks. Accordingly, a form of conscription was introduced in which parishes would make lists of adult males and hold ballots to choose some of them for compulsory service. If the chosen men were unwilling to serve in person they would be required to find other men to serve in their stead as substitutes.

Drum Major, The Bucks Militia: 1790

The limited lists of men chosen in the ballots - known as principals or "drawn men" - and substitutes are called Militia Muster Rolls or Enrolment Lists. These are not what are known as Militia Lists (Militia Ballot Lists) which were the much more impressive documents containing the names of all the men liable to the ballot. Although in a few counties Militia Ballot Lists were not compiled, as sufficient volunteers came forward to fill the militia quotas, and the counties took some years after 1757 to establish their regiments, by the early 1760s the majority of counties in England and Wales were staging annual ballots requiring yearly lists of names to be compiled.

Militia recruitment was not organised through Quarter Sessions but by a separate body - the County Lieutenancy - under the control of the Privy Council and led by the Lord Lieutenant through Deputy Lieutenants and magistrates down to parish constables and tithingmen. Parishes were grouped together into balloting districts (hundreds, wapentakes or newly-created administrative areas known as sub-divisions) there being one for each company in the militia regiments.

Under the 1757 Act the parish constables were ordered annually to record the names of all men aged 18 to 50, excluding only those who were peers, clergy, teachers, apprentices and "peace officers". However, in the 1758 Act (31 George II chapter 26) and thereafter until 1831, Parliament directed that no names be excluded, although the upper age limit was lowered to 45 from 1762.

The Militia Ballot Lists should, therefore, in theory be complete annual censuses of all men aged 18 to 50 (from 1758 to 1762) and aged 18 to 45 (from 1762 to 1831). As explained below, it is unlikely that all were complete. There are good collections for 6 counties and one city: Cumberland, Dorset, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Bristol; significant holdings in 15 other counties, and various parishes in 18 more. Many of these have lain unnoticed amongst records of serving militiamen in county lieutenancy papers in provincial record offices.

The value of Militia Lists is not only that survivals are more widespraed than had been thought, and that they are good census substitutes recording people across the whole social spectrum, but in the fascinating details on each man that they can give. Parliament stipulated in the Militia Acts the following minimum information that must be provided on each man:

1757 to 1758

names and infirmities

1758 to 1802

names, occupations and infirmities

1802 to 1806

names, descriptions, infirmities and numbers of children aged over and under 14 (and in household forms, ages)

1806 to 1831

names, descriptions, ages, infirmities and numbers of children aged over and under 14

Additionally, information was to be given on those men who had already served a term in the militia and details on units of men serving in the Volunteer Infantry and Yeomanry.

Some parish constables chose to provide still more information, particularly in the 1757 to 1802 period. They needed to identify categories of men who were eligible for exemption from the ballots, and the details they added helped them to do this. The numbers of children men had aged under 10 are quite frequently given in the Hertfordshire Lists from the 1760s, and in those for Northamptonshire for the 1770s. The occasional parish before 1802 even gives ages. The most important ones to do so were Greenwich and the two parishes in Deptford, Kent, for 1,253 men in 1757.

One county lieutenancy, that of Dorset in the 1790s, seems to have made its own rules as to what was to be recorded, far beyond what Parliament had decreed. They give almost consistently throughout the four-fifths of the county that has Militia Lists surviving between 1796 and 1799, names, occupations, infirmities, heights in feet and inches, marital status, numbers of children aged under 10, and which were "young men" in the age group.

The 1802 Militia Act (42 George III chapter 90) decreed that many more details were to be recorded for all men on printed household and parish forms. Up to 1801 it seems likely that constables compiled the lists personally by visiting each house. The 1802 Act directed that printed household forms (Schedule A) were to be distributed to each householder, who then completed and returned the forms to the constables. This information was then transferred onto parish lists (Schedule B). Under the 1802 Act the household forms required ages to be recorded but rather oddly the parish lists did not. The 1806 Militia Act (46 George III chapter 91) directed that ages be given in the parish lists.

Regrettably few of the Schedule A household forms survive, apart from those of 1828 for Westminster. This, though, is the largets single collection of Militia Lists located, complete for the entire City of Westminster, around 30,000 names, and all of them on Schedule A household forms, also giving householders' names.

In the column marked "description" Parliament specified that this was to indicate a man's position in the household such as inmate, lodger or servant. Fortunately, most people wrote down occupations instead. As exemption from the Militia Ballot was offered for those who "laboured under infirmities" an entertaining and exaggerated variety of these may be specified.

How census-like or complete are the Militia Ballot Lists ? Though the Militia Acts from 1758 decreed that the Lists must give all men, it is clear that this did not always happen. There were certain categories of men eligible for exemption from the ballots. It would seem understandable that some parish constables chose to omit those names, despite official instructions not to do so. There may also have been some evasion and bribery of constables.

In the 1802 Act a procedure of producing amended Lists was instituted. The Schedule A household forms included even the names of householders who were men over 45, and women. These were first of all to be omitted from the Schedule B parish lists - although in the Ely and South Witchford Hundreds of Cambridgeshire lists of circa 1802 to 1809 it has been noticed that occasionally this did not happen. The parish constables were then instructed to strike out the names of those eligible for exemption from the ballot and to prepare new lists omitting them. Further names were struck out and amended lists made after appeals had been heard by the magistrates. The final lists were then entered in the Militia "Liable" Books. In a few counties have been found separate books with the names of those exempted from the ballots - Militia "Exempt" Books.

One would expect that only the final amended lists would be preserved with earlier versions being discarded, but this is not always so, not even for those filed in county lieutenancy papers. It may be that the earlier unamended versions were occasionally retained as a record of men granted exemptions, to have been available for reference when new lists were made the following year. The 1803 lists for Lincoln and Sleaford Sub-divisions survive in two versions, original and amended, in the Kesteven lieutenancy records.

A fair rule of thumb can be applied for those concerned to know how complete is each list. If it contains few or no names struck out it must be that this is near to the final amended version. If, however (and this appears to be generally the case with most 18th century lists) there are large numbers of names struck out, then it must be an early version and nearest, if the deleted names are included, to recording all men in the age group.

To aid such an assessment one needs to know the categories of men eligible for exemption from the ballot, which may be summarised as follows:

  1. Occupations: clergy, teachers, medical men, apprentices, university members and peers.
  2. Officials: MPs, judges, magistrates, constables and other "peace officers"
  3. Serving soldiers and sailors, former militiamen and (during the Napoleonic wars) men serving in the Volunteers and Yeomanry
  4. Men under a certain height, mostly 5 feet 4 inches
  5. Men "labouring under infirmities"
  6. Men with more than a certain number of children "born in wedlock", mostly 3 or 4 children aged under 10 before 1802, and those with any children under 14 thereafter

Ballots were not only held for recruitment of men into the "regular" militias, but also for the Supplementary Militias (1796 to 1816), Army of Reserve (1803 to 1804) and Local Militias (1808 to 1813). Separate Militia Ballot Lists have been found in various counties for these, particularly for the Army of Reserve in Cambridgeshire, Kent, Sussex and Bristol. They all seem to contain much the same details on men as the "regular" Militia Ballot Lists, and were for the same age groups, with the exception of the Local Militia Lists, confined to men aged 18 to 30.

Enforced conscription by use of the Militia Ballot was almost universally hated by the civilian population, its introduction in 1757 being the cause of widespraed rioting, and again in 1796 when the Supplementary Militia Ballot was applied. Opposition steadily grew during the 1820s and this led to the ballot being suspended in 1829. The Government tried to reintroduce it in 1831 at the time of the Reform Bill riots when the Militias were re-embodied. The 1831 Lists were compiled, even ballot cards made ready, but this led to such an outcry that the ballot was rarely held and no further Lists were made. Thereafter the Militias raised recruits from volunteers only.

Defence Lists (1798 and 1803 to 1804)

This is an appropriate collective name for the Posse Comitatus lists of 1798 made under the Defence of the Realm Act (38 George III chapter 27) and the Levee en Masse lists of 1803 to 1804 under the 1st and 2nd Defence Acts (43 George III chapters 55 and 96). The "Defence Lists" are so similar in appearance to the Militia Ballot Lists that they have often been confused with them.

The "Defence Lists" were not compiled for use in any ballot, and none of the people given in them were intended to be recruited into the Militias. Their compilation was to organise reserves of men who were not already serving in a military capacity for the defence of Britain against French invasion. These men were needed to evacuate the civil population, remove cattle and crops from the path of the invader, gather up arms and equipment in private hands, and transport and supply food to the defending forces. They were also to be grouped into posses of pioneers and special constables to harry the enemy and quell internal insurrection. The invasion never took place but the preparations were nevertheless urgent and in most places meticulously organised.

For the Posse Comitatus lists of of 1798 and the Levee en Masse under the 1st Defence Act of June 1803, parish constables were ordered to record the names and occupations of all able-bodied men not already employed in a military capacity aged between 15 and 60, together with other schedules listing millers, bakers and wagon and barge owners.

The Levee en Masse under the 2nd Defence Act of July 1803 was much more comprehensive, amounting to a census of the entire population by name if all the many schedules were completed. These schedules fall into the following categories:

  1. All men aged 17 to 55, giving names, occupations and infirmties, arranged in four categories according to age group, marital status, and numbers of children aged under 10. Also, occasionally stated, are the men's exact ages.
  2. All householders, giving names, sometimes occupations and ages, and whether Quakers or aliens, with numbers of males and females in each household.
  3. Non-combatants who would need to be evacuated, women, children, the old and infirm, being "incapable of removing themselves", giving names, sometimes also occupations and ages.
  4. Some of the men aged 17 to 55 formed into posses of pioneers and special constables.
  5. Miscellaneous categories including lists of millers, bakers, waggon and barge owners, guides, stockmen, waggoners and those holding weapons. Also, schedules of numbers of farm animals and amounts of corn and fodder to be removed.

The July 1803 Levee en Masse lists were so complex that for some places (such as Barnstaple in Devon and Rowbarrow Hundred in Dorset) digests were made from all the schedules which were censuses of the entire population. Complete censuses could also be produced out of a combination of lists 1 and 3, and for householders and population in list 2.

Fortunately the Posse Comitatus lists for the whole of Buckinghamshire (published) and most of Northumberland survive in county lieutenancy records. There are, however, relatively few for other counties, just clusters of parishes here and there.

Most of the detailed Levee en Masse lists were retained by their compilers, officials known as captains of hundreds and boroughs. Only statistical summaries were forwarded to the county lieutenancies and the Privy Council. In consequence few lists survive, and most of them are for the first category, the men aged 17 to 55, such as for the Rape of Pevensey, Sussex, with 6,419 men recorded in 51 parishes (published); the Hundreds of Barford, Stodden and Willey in Bedfordshire; and Staincliffe with Ewcross Wapentake in the West Riding of Yorkshire. The most comprehensive and census-like survivals mostly seem to be in borough collections, such as Folkestone in Kent, Poole in Dorset, and Exeter.

Other Forces

Those men who enlisted in the Militias served for 3 years in the period 1757 to 1786 and 5 years thereafter. In peacetime they lived at home but spent 2 to 3 weeks each year at camp in training. However, during the Seven Years War, the War of American Independence and the Napoleonic Wars, most of the Militias were embodied on permanent duty, usually elsewhere than in the county where they were raised. They could not, however, be sent overseas, although some regiments served in Ireland around 1800. Whilst the men were on permanent duty, wives and families were paid allowances, frequently recorded in parish records. During the Napoleonic Wars additional units were raised by ballot as Militia Reserves, the Supplementary Militias, Army of Reserve and Local Militias. These men lived at home but with periods in training. They remained separate forces to the "regular" Militias, although the Government tried every inducement after they had been trained to encourage them to transfer to the regulars, with varying degrees of success.

Also raised during the Napoleonic Wars were a multitude of local auxiliary forces, at their zenith during the invasion scares of 1798 and 1803 to 1805, known variously as volunteer and fencible infantry, provisional, fencible and yeomanry cavalry, with associations and the pioneers and special constables raised under the Defence Acts. These units were not subject to military regulations but were controlled by the county lieutenancies. They could form and disband at will, whilst men could join and leave them as they wished. Most of the men were paid only whilst in training for a few weeks a year, living at home the rest of the time. Men serving in Associations were not paid at all, being equipped through money raised by public subscription (see Subscribers Lists for Bath and Somerset). The equipment of the Provisional Cavalries (1797 to 1798) was funded by levies imposed on owners of riding and carriage horses (see Cavalry Levy Lists for Devon, Dorset and Lincolnshire).

The Militia reserves and most auxiliary units were disbanded around 1816, and the regular Militias returned to their peacetime status except for short periods when emergencies arose, such as in 1831 with the Reform Bill and agricultural riots. In 159 to 1860 a new generation of auxiliaries were formed, the Rifle Volunteers, and in 1881 they and the Militias were linked to the regular army, mostly as Militia and volunteer battalions of the county regiments.

The regimental archives of the Militias were thereby combined with those of many county regiments and these are often now located in muniment rooms attached to regimental museums. Potentially these archives could contain many Musters, Enrolment Lists and Succession Books.

The Muster or Pay Lists for all units give few details other than names. Enrolment and Discharge Lists, however, can be much more informative, giving places of residence, occupations and even ages.

The Muster and Pay Lists (series WO 13) and Enrolment Lists (WO 68) are to be found at the Public Record Office, Kew. The initial lettercode of the PRO piece number relates to the department in which the document originated (here the War Office). The first number indicates the series, which is a collection of documents of the same type. After the oblique stroke (slash), the other number refers to the actual document within the series. The full reference is required if you wish to order this particular item to be seen at Kew.

RAMSDALE Surname Entries

Unfortunately, neither the surname RAMSDALE nor any of its close variants appears in any of the following county Militia Lists of 1781 to 1782:

For these counties the Militia Lists contain the following entries of all men aged 18 to 45:

which will be of interest to those researching ancestors with other surnames who were resident in any of these counties in the late 18th century.

WO 13/608: Musters of the Durham Militia (1781 to 1782)

There were six Companies of Durham Militia commanded by the following:

Captain Cathericke resigned on 20 March 1782 and Captain Benning was transferred to take charge of his Company. Lieutenant Viscount Lord BARNARD of Captain Benning's Company was promoted to captain on 20 March 1782 and took charge of Captain Benning's company.

Some men transferred between Companies and this was clearly stated on the documents; others seem to have been discharged from one Company only to reappear as enlisting in another. Most of these have been identified and the second entry eliminated but there are a few that cannot be positively identified, either because the name is too common or because there were two potential candidates, so in those cases the second entry has been left.

There are records of four Musters:

First Muster

All Companies met at Berwick upon Tweed on 20 Aug 1781 and recorded service from 25 Dec 1780 to 24 Jun 1781.

All Musters were signed by William Ker, Commissary Musters and Robert Wilkie, Mayor of Berwick upon Tweed.

Second Muster

This Muster was held at Bishop Auckland on 25 February 1782 and at Barnard Castle on 26 February 1782 and recorded service from 25 June to 24 December 1781.

Colonel Darlington's, Major Taylor's, Captain Cathericke's and Captain Robinson's Companies met at Barnard Castle. Captain Benning's and Captain Hutchinson's Companies met at Bishop Auckland.

All Musters were signed by William Ker, Commissary Musters. Colonel Darlington's, Major Taylor's, Captain Cathericke's and Captain Robinson's Musters were signed by John Hullock at Barnard Castle. Captain Benning's and Captain Hutchinson's Musters were signed by Henry Mills at Bishop Auckland.

Third Muster

This Muster was held at a variety of places from 29 to 30 August 1782 and recorded service from 25 December 1781 to 24 June 1782.

Colonel Darlington's and Captain Benning's Companies met at Stockton on 30 August 1782. Major Taylor's Company met at Wolverton on 30 August 1782. Captain Barnard's and Captain Robinson's Companies met at Hartlepool on 29 August 1782. Captain Hutchinson's Company met at Norton on 30 August 1782.

All Musters were signed by William Ker, Commissary Musters. Colonel Darlington's and Captain Benning's Musters were signed by Benjamin Lumley at Stockton. Major Taylor's Muster was marked with a cross by Robert Newton, constable and signed by Benjamin Lumley at Stockton. Captain Barnard's and Captain Robinson's Musters were signed by Thomas Wilson Deputy Mayor of Hartlepool. Captain Hutchinson's Muster was signed by William Fleming constable and by Benjamin Lumley at Stockton.

Fourth Muster

This Muster was held at Barnard Castle and at Bishop Auckland, both on 14 February 1783 and recorded service from 25 June to 24 December 1782.

Colonel Darlington's, Major Taylor's, Captain Benning's and Captain Barnard's Companies met at Barnard Castle. Captain Hutchinson's and Captain Robinson's Companies met at Bishop Auckland.

All Musters were signed by William Ker, Commissary Musters. Colonel Darlington's, Major Taylor's, Captain Benning's and Captain Barnard's Musters were signed by Arthur Carrick, constable and Thomas Wharton at Bishop Auckland. Captain Hutchinson's and Captain Robinson's Musters were signed by Thomas Wharton at Bishop Auckland.

WO 13/1158: Musters of the Lancashire Militia (1781 to 1782)

There were ten Companies of Lancashire Militia commanded by the following:

Some men transferred between Companies and this was clearly stated on the documents; others seem to have been discharged from one Company only to reappear as enlisting in another. Most of these have been identified and the second entry eliminated but there are a few that cannot be positively identified, either because the name is too common or because there were two potential candidates, so in those cases the second entry has been left. A small number of men disappeared from the Muster with no indication of their fate. In these cases, there is an X in the Muster column.

The fourth muster for Major Crosse and the fourth muster for Captain Walker were missing from this set of documents.

There are records of four Musters:

First Muster

This Muster was held at a variety of places from 3 to 12 September 1781 and recorded service from 25 December 1780 to 24 June 1781.

Colonel Derby's, Major Crosse's and Captain Walker's Companies met at Warrington on 3 September 1781. Lt Colonel Chadwick's, Captain Buckley's and Captain Shawe's Companies met at Manchester on 10 Sept 1781. Captain Holt's and Captain Kenyon's Companies met at Bolton on 11 September 1781. Captain Machell's Company met at Rochdale on 12 September 1781. Captain Williamson's Company met at Great Neston on 4 September 1781.

All Musters were signed by George Overend, Commissary Musters. Colonel Derby's, Major Crosse's and Captain Walker's Musters were signed by Maurice Griffith at Manchester. Lt Colonel Chadwick's, Captain Buckley's and Captain Shawe's Musters were signed by J Battye, Constable, then Maurice Griffith at Manchester. Captain Holt's and Captain Kenyon's Musters were signed by Richard Aspinal, Constable, then Richard Townley JP. Captain Machell's Muster was signed by John Shepherd, then Richard Townley JP. Captain Williamson's Muster was signed by Peter Birch, Constable, then R Aldeney JP at Chester.

Second Muster

This Muster was held at a variety of places from 21 February to 5 March 1782 and recorded service from 25 June to 24 December 1781.

Colonel Derby's, Major Crosse's, Captain Walker's and Captain Williamson's Companies met at Warrington on 21 February 1782. Lt Colonel Chadwick's and Captain Holt's Companies met at Bolton on 5 March 1782. Captain Buckley's, Captain Kenyon's and Captain Shawe's Companies met at Macclesfield on 2 March 1782. Captain Machell's Company met at Rochdale on 5 March 1782.

All Musters were signed by George Overend, Commissary Musters. Colonel Derby's, Major Crosse's, Captain Walker's and Captain Williamson's Musters were signed by Peter Johnson, Constable, then E Whitehead at Bolton. Lt Colonel Chadwick's and Captain Holt's Musters were signed by Peter Bentley, Constable, then E Whitehead at Bolton. Captain Buckley's, Captain Kenyon's and Captain Shawe's Musters were signed by S Lankford, Mayor of Macclesfield. Captain Machell's Muster was signed by John Shepherd then E Whitehead at Bolton.

Third Muster

This Muster was held at a variety of places from 2 to 3 September 1782 and recorded service from 25 December 1781 to 24 June 1782.

Colonel Derby's, Captain Kenyon's, Captain Machell's and Captain Williamson's Companies met at Whitehaven on 2 September 1782. Lt Colonel Chadwick's, Major Crosse's, Captain Holt's and Captain Walker's Companies met at Carlisle on 3 September 1782. Captain Buckley's and Captain Shawe's Companies met at Maryport on 2 September 1782.

All Musters were signed by William Ker, Commissary Musters. Colonel Derby's, Captain Kenyon's, Captain Machell's and Captain Williamson's Musters were signed by William Hicks at Whitehaven. Lt Colonel Chadwick's, Major Crosse's, Captain Buckley's, Captain Holt's, Captain Shawe's, and Captain Walker's Musters were signed by Joseph Gill, Mayor of Carlisle.

Fourth Muster

This Muster was held at a variety of places from 7 to 10 February 1783 and recorded service from 25 June to 24 December 1782. Major Crosse's and Captain Walker's Musters were missing from this set of documents.

Colonel Derby's, Captain Kenyon's, Captain Machell's and Captain Williamson's Companies met at Whitehaven on 10 February 1783. Lt Colonel Chadwick's and Captain Holt's Companies met at Carlisle on 7 February 1783. Captain Buckley's and Captain Shawe's Companies met at Workington on 10 February 1783.

All Musters were signed by William Ker, Commissary Musters. Colonel Derby's, Captain Kenyon's, Captain Machell's and Captain Williamson's Musters were signed by William Hicks at Whitehaven. Lt Colonel Chadwick's and Captain Holt's Musters were signed by Jo. Stenhouse, Mayor of Carlisle. Captain Buckley's and Captain Shawe's Musters were signed by Anthony Atkinson, Constable, then W Raincock at Penrith.

WO 13/1943: Musters of the Staffordshire Militia (1781 to 1782)

There were ten Companies of Staffordshire Militia commanded by the following:

This Corps had originally been commanded by Lord PAGET who resigned on 10 March 1781. Lord Lewisham, originally the Lt Colonel, was promoted to take charge, with Lt Colonel Curzon being appointed on 23 March 1781. Some men transferred between Companies and this was clearly stated on the documents; others seem to have been discharged from one Company only to reappear as enlisting in another. Most of these have been identified and the second entry eliminated but there are a few that cannot be positively identified, either because the name is too common or because there were two potential candidates, so in those cases the second entry has been left. A small number of men disappeared from the Muster with no indication of their fate. In these cases, there is an X in the Muster column.

There are records of four Musters:

First Muster

This Muster was held at a variety of places from 6 to 15 August 1781 and recorded service from 25 December 1780 to 24 June 1781.

Colonel Lewisham's, Lt Colonel Curzon's and Captain Dyott's Companies met at Scarborough on 14 August 1781. Major Sneyd's, Captain Desbrowe's, Captain Fleming's and Captain Mainwaring's Companies met at Beverley on 6 August 1781. Captain Cary's Company met at Whitby on 15 August 1781. Captain Mountford's and Captain Whitworth's Companies met at Bridlington on 13 August 1781. All Musters were signed by George Overend, Commissary Musters. Colonel Lewisham's, Lt Colonel Curzon's and Captain Dyott's Musters were signed by John Travis, Bailiff and JP at Scarborough. Major Sneyd's, Captain Desbrowe's, Captain Fleming's and Captain Mainwaring's Musters were signed by Teavil Appleton at Beverley. Captain Cary's Muster was signed by Henry Wyeoman at Whitby. Captain Mountford's and Captain Whitworth's Musters were signed by Isaac Wood, Constable and Francis Matson at Hunmanby.

Second Muster

This Muster was held at a variety of places from 9 to 12 March 1782 and recorded service from 25 June 1781 to 24 December 1781.

Colonel Lewisham's and Captain Whitworth's Companies met at Newcastle under Lyme on 09 March. Lt Colonel Curzon's, Captain Cary's and Captain Dyott's Companies met at Lichfield on 12 March. Major Sneyd's company met at Stone on 9 March. Captain Desbrowe's Company met at Rugeley on 11 March. Captain Fleming's Company met at Penkridge on 11 March. Captain Mainwaring's and Captain Mountford's Companies met at Stafford on 11 March. All Musters were signed by Thomas Bernard, Commissary Musters. Colonel Lewisham's and Captain Whitworth's Musters were signed by John Massing, Mayor of Newcastle under Lyme. Lt Colonel Curzon's, Captain Cary's and Captain Dyott's Musters were signed by William Wright, Bailiff at Lichfield. Major Sneyd's Muster was signed by Stephen Bassington, Constable and Thomas Clarke, Mayor of Stafford. Captain Desbrowe's Muster was signed by John Scragg, Constable and William Wright, Bailiff at Lichfield. Captain Fleming's Muster was signed by Fortunatus Lawrence, Constable and William Wright, Bailiff at Lichfield. Captain Mainwaring's and Captain Mountford's Musters were signed by Thomas Clarke, Mayor of Stafford.

Third Muster

All Companies met at Warley Camp on 16 August 1782 and recorded service from 25 December 1781 to 24 June 1782.

All Musters were signed by Theodore Maurice, Commissary Musters and H Greene at Warley.

Fourth Muster

This Muster was held at a variety of places from 18 to 21 February 1783 and recorded service from 25 June 1782 to 24 December 1782.

Colonel Lewisham's Company met at Leighton Buzzard on 21 February. Lt Colonel Curzon's, Captain Dyott's and Captain Whitworth's Companies met at Aylesbury on 20 February. Major Sneyd's, Captain Desbrowe's and Captain Mountford's Companies met at Amersham on 19 February. Captain Cary's Company met at High Wycombe on 18 February. Captain Fleming's Company met at Wendover on 19 February. Captain Mainwaring's Company met at Winslow on 21 February. All musters were signed by Theodore Maurice, Commissary Musters. Colonel Lewisham's, and Captain Mainwaring's Musters were signed by E Millward at Winslow. Lt Colonel Curzon's, Captain Dyott's and Captain Whitworth's Musters were signed by Edward Terry, Constable and E Millward at Winslow. Major Sneyd's, Captain Desbrowe's and Captain Mountford's Musters were signed by John Miles, Constable and E Millward at Winslow. Captain Cary's Muster was signed by Joseph Bell at High Wycombe. Captain Fleming's Muster was signed by John Barnham, Constable and E Millward at Winslow.

WO 13/2194: Musters of the Warwickshire Militia (1781 to 1782)

There were thirteen Companies of Warwickshire Militia commanded by the following:

The Lt Colonel who had been in charge of the unnamed company appears to have resigned before the first muster. It is referred to as "the late Lt Colonels Company". Likewise, Captain Kirkman had resigned before the first muster but the company bore his name for the first two musters.

Some time between musters 3 and 4, there was a reorganisation: Captain Carver took over the late Lt Colonel's Company (retaining the rank of Captain), Captain Howkins took over Captain Kirkman's Company and a new appointee, Captain Henry Greswold LEWIS took over Captain Howkins' Company; Captain Kettle's Company disappears. Captain Carver's original Company and Captain Kettle's Company no longer exist in musters 3 and 4. Approximately one third of their men can be identified in other companies by muster 4 but the remaining two thirds would appear to have been discharged. Where there is no conclusive evidence as to the fate of the men, there is an X in the Muster Column. It is possible that there should have been papers for these two Companies for Muster 3 but they are not there.

There are records of four Musters:

First Muster

All Companies held their muster on 16 August 1781 at Warley Camp and recorded service from 25 December 1780 to 24 June 1781.

All Muster Rolls were signed by Theodore Maurice, Commissary Musters and John T Hesse at Westminster.

Second Muster

This Muster was held at a variety of places from 13 to 15 March 1782 and recorded service from 25 June 1781 to 24 December 1781.

Colonel Beauchamp's Company met on 15 March 1782 at Alcester. Late Lt Colonel's Company met on 15 March 1782 at Henley in Arden. Lt Colonel Gregory's Company met on 14 March 1782 at Kenilworth. Maj Colmore's, Captain Ayshcombe's, Captain Kettle's, Captain Packwood's and Captain Wren's Companies met on 14 March 1782 at Warwick. Captain Carver's, Captain Ingram's, Captain Kirkman's and Captain Conway's Companies met on 15 March 1782 at Stratford on Avon. Captain Howkins' Company met on 13 March 1782 at Rugby. All were signed by Thomas Bernard, Commissary Musters. Colonel Beauchamp's was signed by W W Fitzthomas JP at Alcester. Late Lt Colonel's, Captain Carver's, Captain Ingram's, Captain Kirkman's and Captain Conway's were all signed by William Allen, Mayor of Stratford on Avon. Lt Colonel Gregory's was signed by A Johnson JP at Kenilworth. Major Colmore's, Captain Ayshcombe's, Captain Howkins's, Captain Kettle's, Captain Packwood's and Captain Wren's were all signed by John Sharp, Mayor of Warwick.

Third Muster

All Companies held their Muster on 7 September 1782 at Coxheath Camp and recorded service from 25 December 1781 to 24 June 1782.

All Muster Rolls were signed by Charles Mason, Commissary Musters and W Emmett at Wyacton. (?)

Fourth Muster

This Muster was held at a variety of places from 19 to 22 February 1783 and recorded service from 25 June 1782 to 24 December 1782.

Colonel Beauchamp's Company met on 22 February 1783 at Alcester. Captain Carver's and Captain Ayshcombe's Companies met on 21 February 1783 at Stratford on Avon. Lt Colonel Gregory's Company met on 20 February 1783 at Kenilworth. Major Colmore's, Captain Lewis's, Captain Packwood's and Captain Conway's Companies met on 20 February 1783 at Warwick. Captain Ingram's Company met on 21 February 1783 at Shipston. Captain Howkins's Company met on 19 February 1783 at Rugby.

All were signed by Thomas Bernard, Commissary Musters. Colonel Beauchamp's was signed by W W Fitzthomas JP at Alcester. Captain Carver's, Captain Ayshcombe's and Captain Ingram's were signed by Samuel Smith, Mayor of Stratford on Avon. Lt Colonel Gregory's, Major Colmore's, Captain Lewis's, Captain Packwood's and Captain Conway's were signed by T Hiorne?, Mayor of Warwick. Captain Howkins's was signed with an indecipherable signature at Coventry.

WO 13/2286: Musters of the Worcestershire Militia (1781 to 1782)

There were ten Companies of Worcestershire Militia commanded by the following:

Lt Colonel Dowdswell resigned on 25 December 1781. His Company was taken over by Captain Walter NOEL who was appointed on 26 December. Major Walsh was promoted to Lt Colonel on 26 December 1781 and Captain Moule was promoted to Major on the same day. Both he and Walsh continued to command their respective companies.

Some men transferred between Companies and this was clearly stated on the documents; others seem to have been discharged from one Company only to reappear as enlisting in another. Most of these have been identified and the second entry eliminated but there are a few that cannot be positively identified, either because the name is too common or because there were two potential candidates, so in those cases the second entry has been left. A small number of men disappeared from the Muster with no indication of their fate. In these cases, there is an X in the Muster column.

Three men's names appeared in the first Muster of Captain Moule's Company with "respited" by their names. They did not appear in any further musters and it is possible that they were men who were balloted but then found substitutes to serve in their stead.

There are records of four Musters:

First Muster

All Companies met at Bristol on 1 August 1781 and recorded service from 25 December 1780 to 24 June 1781.

All Musters were signed by Neil Stewart, Commissary Musters and William Mills, Mayor of Bristol.

Second Muster

All Companies met at Bristol on 14 March 1782 and recorded service from 25 June to 24 December 1781.

All Musters were signed by George Wauchope, Deputy Commissary Musters and Henry Crugen ?, Mayor of Bristol.

Third Muster

All Companies but Captain Gale's met at Roborough Camp on 6 September 1782.

Captain Gale's Company met at Stadden Heights on 12 September 1782. All recorded service from 25 December 1781 to 24 June 1782. All Musters were signed by Neil Stewart, Commissary Musters and Joseph Austen, Mayor of Plymouth.

Fourth Muster

All Companies met at Bath between 4 and 6 March 1783 and recorded service from 25 June to 24 December 1782.

Colonel Lechmere's, Captain Blomer's and Captain Gale's Companies met on 4 March. Lt Colonel Walsh's, Captain Barry's, Captain Cresswell's and Captain Pytt's Companies met on 5 March. Major Moule's, Captain Noel's and Captain Wrenford's Companies met on 6 March. All Musters were signed by Neil Stewart, Commissary Musters and Leonard Coward, Mayor of Bath.

WO 13/2313: Musters of the Yorkshire East Militia (1781 1782)

There were eight Companies of Yorkshire East Militia commanded by the following:

Captain Hill resigned on 24 April 1782 and Captain Edmund GARFORTH was appointed Captain of his Company.

There are records of four Musters:

First Muster

1) All Companies held their muster on 27 August 1781 at Ayton Bank (Eighton Bank on the documents) and recorded service from 25 December 1780 to 24 June 1781. All these Muster Rolls were signed by William Ker, Commissary Musters and Thomas Clavering JP of County Durham.

Second Muster

All Companies held their muster on 15 February 1782 at Newcastle upon Tyne and recorded service from 25 June 1781 to 24 December 1781. All these Muster Rolls were signed by William Ker, Commissary Musters and Edward Mosley, Mayor of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Third Muster

3) All Companies held their muster on 26 August 1782 at Ayton Bank (Eighton Bank) and recorded service from 25 December 1781 to 24 June 1782. All these Muster Rolls were signed by William Ker, Commissary Musters and William Ettrick at Ayton Bank.

Fourth Muster

4) All Companies held their muster on 21 February 1783 at Newcastle upon Tyne and recorded service from 25 June 1782 to 24 December 1782. All these Muster Rolls were signed by William Ker, Commissary Musters and John C Blackett at Newcastle.

WO 13/2341: Musters of the Yorkshire North 1 Militia (1781 to 1782)

There were ten Companies of Yorkshire North 1 Militia commanded by the following:

Captain Wycliffe resigned on 14 December 1782 and Captain John BYRON was commissioned on 15 December 1782 and took charge of his company.

Some men transferred between Companies and this was clearly stated on the documents; others seem to have been discharged from one Company only to reappear as enlisting in another. Most of these have been identified and the second entry eliminated but there are a few that cannot be positively identified, either because the name is too common or because there were two potential candidates, so in those cases the second entry has been left. A small number of men disappeared from the Muster with no indication of their fate. In these cases, there is an X in the Muster column.

There are records of four Musters:

First Muster

All Companies met at Danbury Camp on 14 August 1781 and recorded service from 25 December 1780 to 24 June 1781. All the Musters were signed by Theodore Maurice, Commissary Musters and J Godsabe Crope ?

Second Muster

This Muster was held in a variety of places from 12 to 14 February 1782 and recorded service from 25 June 1781 to 24 December 1781. Colonel Milbanke's, Lt Colonel O'Carroll's, Major Crowe's and Captain Ford's Companies met at Ripon on 13 February 1782. Captain Brown's, Captain Burton's, Captain Grenside's and Captain Wigley's Companies met at Knaresborough on 14 February 1782. Captain Dawson's and Captain Wycliffe's Companies met at Thirsk on 12 February 1782.

All the Musters were signed by George Overend, Commissary Musters. Colonel Milbanke's, Lt Colonel O'Carroll's, Major Crowe's and Captain Ford's Musters were signed by Thomas Wilkinson, Alderman. Captain Brown's, Captain Burton's, Captain Grenside's and Captain Wigley's Musters were signed by John Coghill at Knaresborough. Captain Dawson's and Captain Wycliffe's Musters were signed by Ra. Bell at Thirsk.

Third Muster

All Companies held their Muster at Ayton Bank (Eighton Bank on the Documents) on 26 August 1782 and recorded service from 25 December 1781 to 24 June 1782. All the Musters were signed by William Ker, Commissary Musters and William Ettrick at Ayton Bank.

Fourth Muster

This Muster was held in a variety of places from 19 to 22 February 1783 and recorded service from 25 June 1782 to 24 December 1782.

Colonel Milbanke's, Lt Colonel O'Carroll's, Major Crowe's, Captain Burton's, Captain Dawson's, Captain Ford's and Captain Wigley's Companies met at Sunderland on 19 February 1783. Captain Brown's Company met at South Shields on 22 February 1783. Captain Grenside's and Captain Byron's Companies met at Monkwearmouth on 19 February 1783. All the Musters were signed by William Ker, Commissary Musters. Colonel Milbanke's, Lt Colonel O'Carroll's, Major Crowe's, Captain Burton's, Captain Dawson's, Captain Ford's and Captain Wigley's Musters were signed by Cooper Abbs at Sunderland. Captain Grenside's and Captain Byron's Musters were signed by Cooper Abbs at Monkwearmouth. Captain Brown's Muster was signed by Robert Ilderton JP at South Shields.

WO 13/2369: Musters of the Yorkshire West 1 Militia (1781 1782)

There were ten Companies of Yorkshire West 1 Militia commanded by the following:

Between the second and third Musters, Viscount Lumley succeeded to his father's title and became Earl SCARBOROUGH. Captain Horsfall resigned on 24 December 1781 and Captain Ingram RIDER was commissioned on 25 December 1781 to take over his Company.

Some men transferred between companies and this was clearly stated on the documents; others seem to have been discharged from one company only to reappear as enlisting in another. Most of these have been identified and the second entry eliminated but there are a few that cannot be positively identified, either because the name is too common or because there were two potential candidates, so in those cases the second entry has been left. A small number of men disappeared from the Muster with no indication of their fate. In these cases, there is an X in the Muster column.

There are records of three Musters:

First Muster

This Muster was held at a variety of places from 22 August 1781 to 14 September 1781 and recorded service from 25 December 1780 to 24 June 1781.

Colonel Savile's, Major Ferrand's and Captain Anningson's Companies met at Alnwick on 22 August 1781. Lt Colonel Radcliffe's and Captain Gossip's Companies met at Morpeth on 23 August 1781. Captain Horsfall's Company met at Holy Island on 14 September 1781. Captain Lumley's Company met at Felton on 23 August 1781. Captain Milner's Company met at Belford on 14 September 1781. Captain Overend's Company met at Bedlington on 23 August 1781. Captain Stanhope's Company met at Heartley Sluice on 23 August 1781.

All Musters were signed by William Ker, Commissary Musters. Colonel Savile's, Major Ferrand's and Captain Anningson's Musters were signed by Matthew Forster JP at Alnwick. Lt Colonel Radcliffe's, Captain Gossip's and Captain Lumley's Musters were signed by William Ordy at Morpeth. Captain Horsfall's Muster was signed by Thomas Greive. Captain Milner's Muster was signed by Abraham Dixon JP of Northumberland at Belford. Captain Stanhope's and Captain Overend's Musters were signed by John Hussey Delaval at Heartley Sluice.

Second Muster

All Companies met at Leeds on 08 March 1782 and recorded service from 25 June 1781 to 24 December 1781. All Musters were signed by George Overend, Commissary Musters and William Smithson, Mayor of Leeds.

Third Muster

All Companies met at Hull on 27 August 1782 and recorded service from 25 December 1781 to 24 June 1782. All Musters were signed by George Overend, Commissary Musters and John Milling at Hull.

WO 13/2398: Musters of the Yorkshire West 2 Militia (1781 1782)

There were ten Companies of Yorkshire West 2 Militia commanded by the following:

Captain Wand had resigned before the first Muster, Captain Edmund ANDERSON was commissioned on 22 December 1781 and took charge of his Company.

Some men transferred between companies and this was clearly stated on the documents; others seem to have been discharged from one company only to reappear as enlisting in another. Most of these have been identified and the second entry eliminated but there are a few that cannot be positively identified, either because the name is too common or because there were two potential candidates, so in those cases the second entry has been left. A small number of men disappeared from the Muster with no indication of their fate. In these cases, there is an X in the Muster column.

There are records of three Musters:

First Muster

All Companies met at Chatham Lines Camp on 14 August 1781 and recorded service from 25 December 1780 to 24 June 1781.

All Musters were signed by Thomas Sadleirs, Commissary Musters and Edward Moody at Southampton.

Second Muster

This Muster was held at two places on the 11 & 12 March 1782 and recorded service from 25 June 1781 to 24 December 1781.

Colonel Harvey's, Major Hewett's, Captain J Barlow's, Captain S F Barlow's, Captain Wade's and Captain Anderson's Companies met at Doncaster on 12 March 1782. Lt Colonel Thornton's, Captain Sands', Captain Surtees' and Captain Vevers' Companies met at Pontefract on 11 March 1782.

All Musters were signed by George Overend, Commissary Musters. Colonel Harvey's, Major Hewett's, Captain J Barlow's, Captain S F Barlow's, Capt Wade's and Captain Anderson's Musters were signed by Richard Staverley, Mayor of Doncaster. Lt Colonel Thornton's, Captain Sands', Captain Surtees' and Captain Vevers' Musters were signed by John Seaton, Mayor of Pontefract.

Third Muster

All Companies met at Harwich Camp on 10 August 1782 and recorded service from 25 December 1781 to 24 June 1782.

All Musters were signed by Theodore Maurice, Commissary Musters and John Hull, Lieutenant of Harwich.

Index Content

The fields in these indexes are as listed below. In fields 5 to 8 are recorded in which of the four musters the man appears, with some indication of transfers, discharges and other reasons for non-appearance. Some men have aliases. These are noted as "aka" under "remarks" and a separate entry is made, listed under the alias. A few are recorded with forenames differing between musters; these are noted under "remarks" but there is no extra entry.

  1. Surname
  2. Forename
  3. Rank
  4. Company
  5. First Muster
  6. Second Muster
  7. Third Muster
  8. Fourth Muster
  9. Remarks

Acknowledgments

Further information may be found in

  1. W Spencer, Records of the Militia and Volunteer Forces, 1757 to 1945 (PRO Readers' Guide No 3, 2nd Edition, 1997)
  2. J S W Gibson & M Medlycott, Militia Lists and Musters, 1757 to 1876 (FFHS, 3rd Edition)

Other Indexes of the Militia Musters of 1781 to 1782

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