Person NameRoss, Caithness, Shetland and Cromarty Militia; 1813-1988
ActivityThe militia was a voluntary county based part-time force for home defence. Although there were some militia forces in 17th century Scotland, notably in Covenanting times, the main forces were established in the latter years of the eighteenth century. The Militia Act of 1757 did not apply to Scotland. The lack of militia was filled partly by the formation of fencibles and volunteer forces, particularly during the Jacobite Rebellions of 1715 and 1745. In 1794, the office of Lord Lieutenant was established by Royal Warrant, in Scotland on a county basis and ordered to encourage the development of local volunteer forces. Although in 1797, Henry Dundas managed to pass the Scottish Militia Bill through Parliament, this resulted in riots with the authorities, compiling the lists of those liable to serve, being attacked by the mob and the idea was abandoned.The development of the militia is tied closely with the development of the office of Lord Lieutenant since the militia was organised on a county basis. The Lord Lieutenant had the right of appointing all the officers in the regiment – loosely based on a property qualification. This is the reason why records of the militia are mostly to be found in private collections. The turnover of officers was high and many of the younger ones saw militia service as a stepping-stone to service in the regular army. Volunteers continued to be raised but were not under the control of the Lord Lieutenants. After 1815, the yeomanry (mounted regiments) became synonymous with the volunteers and were more prestigious than the militia.An Act of 1854 gave the militia a permanent peacetime existence with the commanding officer in each county responsible for raising recruits, although this was to lapse later on.In 1907 the Yeomanry and the volunteers combined to form the Territorial Force and in 1908 the militia was revived as the Special Reserve.
Corporate NameRoss, Caithness, Shetland and Cromarty Militia
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