Commentary and Context

By Paul Luscombe

DRO, Z1/43/6/22, 1715 Militia Assessment, Woodleigh parishThe Devon Record Office holds a collection of militia assessments for the southern and western parts of Devon recording the names of property owners required to contribute in 1715 towards the costs of maintaining the militia and the proportion of the parish's liability to be met by each of them. Fewer assessments have survived compared with the much more common muster rolls, which list the names of men who served in the militia rather than the taxpayers who paid for its upkeep. Documentary sources relating to organising and funding the militia may be found among the papers of families whose members served as deputy-lieutenants and in other County offices, in parish constables' books and in quarter sessions papers. The accompanying transcript will be relevant to those with interests in local history, family history, name studies, the development of local government and the history of taxation. This introductory narrative aims to help those who use the documents to understand why and how militia assessments were produced in both local and country-wide contexts.

The full text of the commentary and context is available from this link (pdf).