War and Peace - Document from the Enoch Wood scrapbook

Move your pointing device over the image to zoom to detail. If using a mouse click on the image to toggle zoom.
When in zoom mode use + or - keys to adjust level of image zoom.

Date:17th of June 1803


Fear of invasion by Napoleon's French army was growing in Great Britain in 1803.

In times like these men could be called upon by law to serve with the local militia or the general army.

Various Militia Acts required parish constables to make lists of all the able bodied men fit to serve in the force.

These lists were known as Militia Ballots.

Ballots were then held to choose men to serve in the militia.

In 1803 the militia ballot included all men between the age of 18 and 45.


Certain people were exempt from compulsary service. Those included men already serving in the military, members of the clergy, peers, teachers and peace officers.

Avoidance for the wealthy

Others could avoid service if a substitute could be found and they were wealthy enough to pay a subscription fee.

This local notice states that the cost of avoiding service by using a substitute was nine shillings.



IN Consideration of a ballot for the Supplementary Militia, and for filling up the Vacancies in the regular Militia of this Country, taking Place on Wednesday next, the 22nd inst. the Churchwardens, Overseers and others, in Vestry assembled, hereby inform the Inhabitants of this Parish, that SUBSCRIPTIONS at nine Shillings each will be recieved at the Vestry Room, in Burslem, on Monday next, at nine O' clock in the Morning, for which Sum they will engage to find a Substitute for each Subscriber who may be balloted to serve in either of the above Militias.

N.B. Such Persons who cannot attend on Monday, may be admitted Subscribers by Application to Mr. ISAAC LEIGH, of BURSLEM, one of the OVERSEERS of the PARISH, at any Time previous to the 22nd Instant.


J.BOURNE, Vestry Clerk.

BURSLEM, 17th June, 1803.

About this document

This document was printed by J. Tregortha of Burslem. It was collected by local industrialist Enoch Wood and is now among the collections at Stoke-on-Trent Museums.


Link to this resource

Donor ref:(124/16672)

Copyright information: Copyrights to all resources are retained by the individual rights holders. They have kindly made their collections available for non-commercial private study & educational use. Re-distribution of resources in any form is only permitted subject to strict adherence to the usage guidelines.