North Devon Militia
The North Devon Militia was a regiment of militia formed in 1763 from men resident in the north part of the county of Devon, England. In 1853, along with the other Militia Regiments in Devon, it was reorganised becoming the Devon Artillery Militia which was disbanded in 1909.
|North Devon Militia|
Devon Artillery Militia
|Garrison/HQ||Devonport, Plymouth (after 1853)|
One of the Ordinances and Acts of the Parliament of England, 1642–60 was the Ordinance to settle the Militia of Devon (7 June 1648). According to "Herber": "The Militia Act of 1757 established militia regiments for each county and required each parish to provide a number of able-bodied men, aged between 18 and 50 (reduced to 45 in 1762) for military training...Militia regiments served in Britain or Ireland but not overseas. Men had to serve for three years (for five years after 1786). In peacetime the men spent just a few weeks at a military camp... During the French wars of 1793-1815, some other auxiliary troops, known as yeomanry (which were cavalry), volunteers or fencible infantry or cavalry were raised in each county". From 1759-63 it was stationed in Cornwall to assist Revenue Officers in the suppression of smuggling. Detachments were stationed at Mevagissey, Padstow and many other places.
In May 1853 the Militia was reorganised with Devon raising two regiments of Infantry at 1,000 men each and a Corps of Artillery of 367 men. As a result the East and South Devon Regiments of Militia were redesignated the 1st and 2nd Regiments of Militia. Most of the officers transferred to the Corps of Artillery which was designated The Devon Artillery Militia and had its headquarters at Devonport. In 1853 the records of the disbanded regiment were destroyed, thus few records survive from which its history could be written.
The unit was embodied during the Crimean War (1855-6), in 1885 and during the South African War (1900) but never served overseas. It was transferred to the Special Reserve Royal Field Artillery in 1908 on the formation of the Territorial Force and disbanded the following year.
List of officers
The following persons were Colonel of the North Devon Militia:
- (1758-1779) Sir Bourchier Wrey, 6th Baronet (c. 1715-1784) of Tawstock Court, "nineteen Years Colonel of the North-Devon Regiment of Militia", as states the inscription on his monument in Tawstock Church. He resigned in 1779.
- (28 January 1779-1792) Paul II Orchard (1739–1812) of Hartland Abbey. He had previously served as Lt.Col. of 1st Devon Militia (1773-9). Resigned 1792. A portrait by Joshua Reynolds survives of him dressed in military uniform.
- (28 September 1792-1799) Hugh Fortescue, 1st Earl Fortescue (1753-1841) of Castle Hill, Filleigh. Resigned 1799.
- (1 November 1799-1830) John Parker, 2nd Baron Borringdon (1772–1840) (after 1815 1st Earl of Morley) of Saltram and North Molton. He had previously served as Lt.Col. from 1 June 1794. resigned/died 1830.
- (6 December 1830-1852) Sir George Warwick Bampfylde, 6th Baronet (1786–1858) (after 1831 1st Baron Poltimore, of Poltimore and North Molton. resigned 1852, prior to disbandment of regiment.
The following persons were Lieutenant Colonel of the North Devon Militia:
- (1758-1778) George II Buck (1731–1794) of Affeton and Moreton House, Bideford. he was the brother-in-law of Paul II Orchard (1739–1812) of Hartland Abbey, Colonel of the regiment from 1779. He resigned in 1778.
- (30 August 1778-1779) Redmond Kelly. Transferred to 1st Devon Regiment.
- (28 January 1779-1793) Francis Bassett (c.1740-1802) of Heanton Court, Heanton Punchardon. He had been a captain in 1763. Resigned 1793. Master of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds.
- (9 December 1793-1794) Sir Thomas Dyke Acland, 9th Baronet (1752–1794), of Killerton. He had been Captain, 4 August 1787 & Major 13 August 1790). Died in office. He also succeeded Col Basset as Master of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds, who had succeeded his father the 7th Baronet in that office.
- (25 November 1799-1821) Charles II Hayne (1747-1821) of Fuge House, Blackawton, formerly of Lupton House, Brixham, High Sheriff of Devon in 1872 He had been Captain 18 February 1794,& Major 17 February 1795. Died in office. His father Charles I Hayne (d.1769), of Lupton and Fuge, Sheriff of Devon, had been Colonel of the 4th Battalion Devon Militia.
- (27 November 1821-?) William Bruton. He had been Captain 29 September 1792 & Major 8 August 1815.
- Col. Augustus II Saltren-Willett (1781-1849), of Tapeley. He had fought at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 in the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons.
- (30 July 1846-1853) Sir George Stucley Buck Stucley, 1st Baronet (1812–1900), of Affeton, Moreton House, Bideford and Hartland Abbey. Resigned on disbanding of regiment in 1853.
Colonels of the "Devon Militia" included:
- John Dyke Acland (1746-1778) ), of Tetton and Pixton in Somerset, eldest son and heir apparent of Sir Thomas Dyke Acland, 7th Baronet (1722-1785) of Killerton in Devon. "Colonel of the 1st Battalion, Devon Militia,
- Hugh Fortescue, 2nd Earl Fortescue KG, PC (1783-1861), "Colonel of the 1st Devon Militia".
- Walrond, p.423
- Litchfield, Norman E H, 1987. The Militia Artillery 1852-1909, The Sherwood Press, Nottingham, p.66
- Walrond, pp.333,423
- Walrond, p.426
- Dates of life per Lauder, Rosemary, Devon Families, Tiverton, 2002, p.146
- In 1830 listed as one of the subscribers to Gribble, Joseph Besly, Memorials of Barnstaple: Being an Attempt to Supply the Want of A History of that Ancient Borough, Barnstaple, 1830, as "Colonel Commandant of the North Devon Regiment of Militia" (Gribble established the "Barnstaple Iron Foundry" in 1822 (p.546))
- Burke, Sir Bernard, Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain, Vol.I, London, 1871, p.605, pedigree of "Seale-Hayne of Fuge House and Kingswear Castle"
- Burke, 1871, p.605
- Per inscription on his monument in Westleigh Church
- Batty-Smith, Nigel. "John Dyke Acland Of Pixton". West Country Genealogy, Heraldry, and History. Archived from the original on 1 December 2005. Retrieved 22 March 2006.
- Vivian, Lt.Col. J.L., (Ed.) The Visitations of the County of Devon: Comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564 & 1620, Exeter, 1895, p.5, pedigree of Acland
- Beckett, Ian F W (2011). Britain's Part Time Soldiers. The Amateur Military Tradition 1558—1945 (2 ed.). Barnsley: Pen & Sword. ISBN 9781848843950.
- Hay, George Jackson (Colonel) (1987) . An Epitomized History of the Militia (The "Constitutional Force"). Ray Westlake Military Books. ISBN 0-9508530-7-0.
- Litchfield, Norman E H, 1987. The Militia Artillery 1852-1909, The Sherwood Press, Nottingham. ISBN 0-9508205-1-2
- Walrond, Col. H., (4th Battalion The Devonshire Regiment), Historical Records of the 1st Devon Militia (4th Battalion The Devonshire Regiment), with a notice of the 2nd and North Devon Militia Regiments, London, 1897, pp.423-433
- Royal North Devon Yeomanry
- South Devon Militia
- East Devon Militia