Militia and Volunteer Lists


During the 19th Century Trewman's Exeter Flying Post carried a number of official lists relating to the Militia and the Volunteers. According to Herber, "The Militia Act of 1757 established militia regiments for each county and required each parish to provide a number of able-bodied men, aged between 18 and 50 (reduced to 45 in 1762) for military training. . . Miltia regiments served in Britain or Ireland but not overseas. Men had to serve for three years (for five years after 1786). In peacetime the men spent just a few weeks at a military camp. . . During the French wars of 1793-1815, some other auxilliary troops, known as yeomanry (which were cavalry), volunteers or fencible infantry or cavalry were raised in each county." Records of the militia and volunteers are mainly held in the National Archives - some have been published. Contemporary newspaper listings are relatively rare.

Digital images of the pages of the Flying Post are available online in the 19th Century British Library Newspapers Collection, accessible via Gale Cengage Learning, a service that is accessible via numerous libraries. The indexing and searching facilities provided are somewhat unreliable, presumably due to optical character recognition problems, so the best way of locating a known article is via its document number, as assigned by Gale. The listing below provides links to the transcripts that have been produced to date. (There may well be more such lists in the Exeter Flying Post, but these transcripts are of all that have so far been located.)


Document No.Article
Y3200646795   South Devon Militia, 31st December 1799
Y3200646838   North Devon Militia, 30th January 1800
Y3200647413Highweek, Honiton and Axminster Volunteers 1801
Y3200647417Exmouth and Newton Abbot Volunteers 1801
Y3200647455Kingsbridge Volunteers 1801
Y3200648307Devon Militia Deserters, 25th August 1803
Y3200651485Devon Militia Deserters, 26th July 1810
Y32300652403   Deserters from the Tavistock, or Third Devon Local Militia, May 1812
Y3200652937   Deserters from the Third Devon, or Tavistock Local Militia, 7 Jun 1813
Y3200653113Devon Militia Deserters, 28th October 1813
Y3200653126Devon Militia Deserters, 4th November 1813
Y3200660762Devon Militia Deserters, 4 August, 1825

Brian Randell, 1 Apr 2011