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17/18c Militia

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17/18c Militia

Postby Ashbee » Sat Jun 03, 2017 8:50 pm

Can anyone tell me what the process for substitution was for the Militia at the turn of the 18c please? An ancestor became the substitute for someone in another (not neighbouring) Bucks village and I'm wondering if it was arranged by a third party or if it was something the pair arranged between themselves? Does anyone know?
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Re: 17/18c Militia

Postby AdrianB38 » Thu Oct 26, 2017 5:30 pm

Looking through an old magazine, I saw this, checked online to see what the answer was - and found that there wasn't one. So I did a bit of Googling and struck a useful set of search terms - I'd failed previously!

So, I have no direct knowledge of this but it sort of seems to be like this:

My own first thought had been that they just carried on drawing lots until enough had been found. That seems not to have been the case - indeed there was at least one difference in the terms under which principals and substitutes served. Normally, both would serve the same period but if the militia had been embodied / called up / put into uniform, then while the balloted principals could go home at the end of their time, whereas the substitutes had to wait longer than that.

There seems to have been 2 methods of getting substitutes - either the unwilling principal arranged it himself, or he paid a fine - which seems to have gone to the militia authorities - and the authorities went to a pool of men who had put themselves forward for serving as substitutes because they got a bounty for it. No surprise perhaps, that agents began to spring up to match empty places with willing substitutes for a cut of the bounty from the authorities.

The best source I found online is a Google book where you can see several pages at one go - "Embodying the Militia in Georgian England", Matthew McCormack, OUP 2015. Any inaccuracies will be my fault.....

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