Berkshire Militia, Men Enrolled 1807 & 1808

The Eureka Partnership, (2005), 32pp, A5

The Militia Act of 1757 established militia regiments for each county in England and Wales, and required each parish to provide a number of able-bodied men between the ages of 18 and 50. As there were not enough volunteers, men could be conscripted by ballot, and lists of suitable men were drawn up. Clergy, peers, magistrates and certain other occupations, and the infirm, were however exempted. An Act of 1762 amended the age range to those from 18 to 45.

This booklet gives transcriptions of those enrolled in the Berkshire militia at the start of the Peninsula War. The lists are of those men chosen by ballot to serve during November and December 1807 and January 1808, and of those who served in place of them. The listings are by county subdivision (with Abingdon and Newbury subdivided further into Hundreds). Each gives the name of the balloted man, his parish, the substitute’s name and his parish, enrolment date, the bounty agreed (no figures given for Abingdon) and what was paid to the substitute. The 67 footnotes give illuminating details on individuals—non-attendance, desertion, payments transferred to family or third parties, re-balloting, etc. There is also a short list of men claiming bounty.

This booklet lists the names of around 325 balloted men and 300 substitutes and volunteers. In all some 500 surnames, and their parishes, are recorded in this publication, which could be useful to those tracing Berkshire ancestors of the period.

Tony Roberts

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