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The Kincardineshire Volunteers - The Mearns in Arms!


In 1778 under an Act of Parliament, officers commanding militia regiments, with the consent of the Lords-Lieutenant, were permitted to accept for service a number of volunteers which could either be incorporated in the companies of the regiments or formed into distinct companies. For the first time in the history of Great Britain distinct companies of volunteers were allowed....

Various Acts of Parliament were passed between 1779 and 1794 to augment the above. In 1797 with the advent of the Napoleonic war the people of Kincardineshire were among the first of the counties to take serious steps towards the embodiment of armed forces for internal defence...

A grave financial crisis, in which the Bank of England was compelled to suspend cash payments; a naval mutiny, an Ireland disaffected almost to rebellion, determined enemies on the continent of Europe, revolutionaries formenting trouble in England and Scotland, and an army decimated by several years of continuous campaining - this was the situation that presented itself to Pitt, who was in power. This determined statesman pinned his faith to the people. He found a patriotic populace ready to be trained in the use of arms...

Were your ancestors among those who volunteered? Check out the following pages....

Interesting Fact

At their peak in 1803 there were nearly half a million volunteers in arms across the United Kingdom