Cosgrove Militia

National Archives Leaflets : The Militia

Militia Conscription 1758 - 1831

A form of conscription was used: each year, the parish was supposed to draw up lists of adult males, and to hold a ballot to choose those who had to serve in the militia. The militia lists (of all men) and militia enrolment lists (of men chosen to serve) should in theory provide complete and annual censuses of all men aged between 18 and 45 from 1758 - 1831. The surviving lists, held locally, can be very informative, giving details about individual men and their family circumstances.

1777 Cosgrove Northampton Shire to witt. A list of the names of all the persons in the said parish to be returned to the deputy Lieutenants and his Magesties Justices of the Peace of and for the said county to serve as militia men Decbr. 17

Forename Surname Occupation
Wm. WILKISON farmer
John SYMONS farmer
Wm. CALVERT farmer
Ead. ELLIOT farmer
John TOMBS sert.
John LINNELL sert.
Wm. HELLES sert.
Thos. NUMAN sert.
Wm. HICKS sert.
Thos. HARRIS sert.
Jeames CURTIS sert.
John SWIFT lab.
Danel TRAVIL lab.
Henry BRANSON mason
Jos. BRANSON mason
John MEACHAM sert.
Wm. SOUTHAM sert.
Wm. JONES carpenter
Wm. CLARK sert.
Jos. BURL lab.
John DURRANT lab.
Ricd. HARRIS blacksmith
Wm. HOLLIS coard winder
Ricd. PEACEFER lab.
Cole RATLEY sert.
John COX taylor
Wm. BLOXHAM carpenter
Charles MABLEY carpenter
Nat. YEARL wheelrite
Wm. BLAKE lab.
Jeames HODGES gardener
Jeames FROGGETT coller maker
Ricd. SCRIVNER Junr. graser
Wm. BATTAMS sert.
John HARRIS sert.
John JARVIS lab.
Sir Willoughby ASTONS




Notes from the Poor Book

The Cosgrove Overseer for the Poor noted in his account book from 1796 these expenses connected with the Militia:

Buying a copy of the Militia Act    1s 6d

Expences at Towcester to carry in the List to draw the Militia   6s

Expences at New Inn per Militia Men Sworn    4s 7d

Expences to Carry the papers to the Militia Men to go to Tow'r to be Examined      7s

Expences at New Inn when Thos Ashby went to be soworn for a Militia Man   1s 8d

These reveal the initial ballot, the appeal at Towcester and the final swearing in before leaving.

In 1796 we find this entry:

paid for 31 houses at 8s 6d per house for Man for the Army   £11  18s            

This enormous amount which was raised paid for someone to represent Cosgrove in the Militia, allowing village families to rest easy for that year, knowing that none of their own would be taken away to fight. This level of expense could not be sustained, and the following year the ballot system was clearly used, even though those chosen tried to escape conscription, as shown here:

1797  Expences going after the militia men to order them to be Emboarded    7s  2d

We see the role of the Overseer of Cosgrove’s poor, in that men on parish relief were often enrolled in the militia as substitutes, paid by men who were drawn for service, but who didn’t want to go. The wives and children of these militia substitutes were often left chargeable to the parish.

1794   pd Jn Powells family substitute for Jn Jones 35 wks 21 April Ending 26 Dec at 3/6 per week    £6  2s  6d

As John Jones was one of the publicans of Cosgrove it is perhaps less surprising that the village paid a substitute for him to remain at his post behind the bar.

Cosgrove Militia List 1796
Nov the 26 1796 A List of Men Fit to Sarve in the Militia in the parish of Cosgove
Forename Surname Occupation      
Thos  Weabster Laborer and Draned Man about 10 yeares ago MD CN
Willm Durrant Laborer        
Jeames Allbright Sarvant      
Willm Branson Mason Drawn  JB  CN    
Nathaneil Hinson Laborer      
John Aterebrey [Atterbury] Sarvant      
Daneil Traveil [Travel] Laborer        
Thos  Ashby Teailer Tailor    
Thos  Lines Baker      
Willm Allbright Laborer      
Thos  Houluway [Holloway] Laborer      
Jeames Beuveins  Laborer      
Thos  Nicholls Farmers Son      
Willm Turvey Sarveint      
Willm Joane's [Jones] Laborer      
John Horne Farmer       
Henerey Horne Farmer  Drawn  JB  CN    
Edward Joane's [Jones] Caponder Carpenter    
John Allbright Sarveint      
John Cowley Laborer      
John Wadkins Laborer      
William Boot Laborer Drawn  JB  CN    
Jeames Garveis [Jarvis] Laborer      
John doaneil Sarvant      
John Willeames [Williams] Laborer      
Coale Williason [Willison] Coalsmaker      
Daneil Keitlle Wheelwright      
John Dickines [Dickins] Wheelwright      
John Toames [Toombs?] Laborer      
Willm Calvas Cooper      
Charles Cowley Sarvant      
Thos  Stiveins [Stevens] Mason      
Richd Panter Laborer      
Jeames Curtis Laborer A Draned Man about 12 years ago JB CN
Willm Brown Laborer      
George Coallison [Collison] Farmer A Draned Man  JB CN  
Thos  Newman Laborer      
Arther Capeis Farmer A Draned Man about 10 yeares ago JB CN
George Rands Laborer Verey Hard Hearing JB CN  
Willm Clark Laborer      
Thos  Toames [Toombs?] Laborer      
Noateis is hearby Givein that the Day of apeale for all men how themselves not Capable of Sarving as militia men is at the new Whitehorse Inn in Toaster on Thursday the first Day of December 1796.

Richd Nicholls Custable
1st Decr 1796 Verified on the Oath of Richard Nicholls      
  Before us        
  Thos Bech D L        
  Chas Newman  D L        

Cosgrove Militia List 1798
Sep ye 12 1798 A List of the men Fit to sarve in the militia in the parish of Cosgrove
Thos Ewsdon Gentleman  
Robert Walker Gentleman (member of one of the universities)
Willm Durront Laboror  
Jeames Allbright Laboror  
Nathanil Henson Laboror  
Thos Aterebrey Laboror Lame of one arme
Danil Travil Laboror  
Thos Lines Baker  
Willm Allbright Laboror  
Thos Houlaway Laboror 4 Foot 10 Inches
Jeames Beavins Laboror  
Thos Nicholls Farmer son  
Willm Jones Laboror bad left leg
Willm Turvey Laboror  
Newman Bryer Sarvont  
Henery Branson Mason  
John  Horne Farmer  
Edward Jones Carponder  
John  Allbright Sarvont  
John  Cowley Laboror  
Robert Cockril Shoemaker Lame
Jeames Garvis Laboror  
Willm Bitchner Laboror hard hearin
Coale Willison Coalermaker  
Danil Keitlle Wheeilright  
John  Tomes Laboror  
Jeames Tomes Laboror  
Jeames Coales Laboror  
Jos Easdon Laboror  
Soale Ratclif Laboror  
Thos Tiadman Shoemaker  
John  Tiadman Shoemaker  
Danil Smith Shoemaker  
Mathew Stevson Coaler maker  
Willm Sirett Baker Aprentis  
Robert Tireay Butcher  
Willm Bonaham Laboror  
Jos Branson Mason  
Thos Stivens Mason  
George Stivens Mason  
Edward Keibey Sarvont  
Willm Luavsley Sarvont  
Willm Colbor Cooper  
Willm Carr Laboror  
John  Aterebrey Laboror  
John  Battomes Baker  
Willm Clark Laboror  
Robert Walker Gentleman  
A List of the Draned Men  
George Coallson Farmer  
Thos Webster Laboror  
Arter Capes Farmer  
Jos Joanes Cooper  
Rich Heayes Laboror  
Drawd man in worstershere and but one Eye  
Henery Horne Farmer  Draned man in the New Militia
Willm Branson Mason ditto ditto
Willm Boot Laboror ditto
Noatis is hereby givein that the day of Appeale for all men how think themsealves non Capoble of sarving as militia men is at the New Inn in the parish of Road on Thursday the twentheth day of this Instant Sepember 1798 Richd Nicholls Constable

Northampton Mercury 1807
Men's Names Whom What Parish
William Stamps John Durant Cosgrove
This an example of the practice whereby a man drawn to serve in the Militia (Durant) could find a substitute to volunteer to take his place (Stamps).

Northampton Mercury 14th September 1814

The Towcester Troop of Northamptonshire Yeomanry Cavalry last assembled at Cosgrove for exercise, and after going through their various evolutions were formed in a ring on the lawn, in front of the noble domain of their worthy Captain, John Christopher Mansel, Esq., who, in the presence of a numerous assemblage of Ladies and Gentlemen of the first distinction was there presented with a cup, value one hundred pounds, by Mr Lovell, in a neat and appropriate speech, in the names of the non-commissioned Officers and privates of the troop, as a public testimony of their gratitude and respect for the uniformly handsome and judicious exercise of his command; and who returned thanks in a speech of considerable length, replete with good sense and feeling. The members of the troop were afterwards regales with good old English fare, in the most sumptuous manner possible, by their worthy Lieutenant, under a marquee erected on the spot for the purpose, and conviviality was the order of the day.


I doubt whether half a dozen people in Roade besides the postman could direct you to Woodley's Farm, but ask for the New Inn, and you'll be told to follow the Northampton road, past the White House almost to Courteenhall Lodge. How old it is nobody seems to know, but they do know that for centuries it was the main Coaching Inn in these parts; and though it is now a farmstead of about 175 acres, leased by Sir Hereward Wake, you can still see the window that was once a serving-hatch, the wide chimneys that surely little boys climbed to sweep with a hand brush, and the original Roland Hill grate in the bedroom.

Not even Mrs. Higgins, our oldest inhabitant, can call to mind the night that Charles Dickens stayed at the New Inn, and commemorated in "Dombey and Son", but there are many who remember William Barker, who must have been his host. He had stabling for 100 horses opposite, in what is now the spinney by Courteen Hall Lodge. Here the Stage Coach horses were changed, and the passengers climbed down to stretch their cramped limbs and partake of a little liquid refreshment in the Inn opposite.

There'd be a private room for the ladies, with push chairs and a couch to recline upon.

William Barker was the biggest horse dealer hereabouts, very much in evidence at all the Midland Fairs, and had regular orders from the London cabbies. Some there are who swear he was a horse thief, naming Jack Jones the blacksmith as his partner in crime, and some there are who say that he was the victim. The culprit is supposed to have been a Hanslope man who was caught and hanged along the Hartwell Road, but neither of these tales can be proved.

There are still men in Roade who remember Sylvanus Wreford the last Licensee of the New Inn before it became a farm house 70 years ago.