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Bucks Militia c 1790s

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Bucks Militia c 1790s

Postby Norfolk Nan » Thu Nov 29, 2018 4:11 pm

One of my chaps served as a substitute in the Bucks Militia and I'd like to know how substitutes were arranged - does anyone know? Was it up to the individual to find a substitute or did the Militia hold a pool of candidates willing to stand sub? Thank you.
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Re: Bucks Militia c 1790s

Postby AdrianB38 » Thu Nov 29, 2018 5:46 pm

This is a copy of a previous post of mine from over a year ago, for someone who asked a similar question about how substitutes worked....
PS - I'm actually impressed that the search found it!

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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Re: Bucks Militia c 1790s

Postby Norfolk Nan » Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:14 am

My sincere apologies for not replying to your very helpful post sooner - thank you very much. It's as much as I thought which means it doesn't help me with my knotty problem of finding a missing link but does add to my knowledge of the subject. Once again, thank you!
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