The Berkshire Yeomanry was an auxilliary regiment of the British Army formed in 1794 to counter the threat of invasion during the French Revolutionary Wars. The government decided to increase the militia and form corps of volunteers for the defence of the country. The mounted arm of the volunteers became known as the "Gentlemen & Yeomanry Cavalry."
As the 18th century came to an end, most of the units were disbanded, but by 1803, with the threat of hostilities with France resuming, a number of units were reserected or formed new. This is when the Vale of White Horse Yeomanry Cavalry were first mustered.
After the Battle of Waterloo (1815) the Yeomanry were kept in being for military service to assist the Civil Power in times of civil disorder. This was at a time when there was no organised police force. However, in 1828 government support was withdrawn and many of the units were disbanded. Two years later a wave of unrest swept the country and the government restored Yeomanry units. There were four in Berkshire; Hungerford, Newbury, Woolley and Vale of White Horse. The Captain of the latter unit was William Keppel Viscount Barrington.
Within the archives of the British Library there is a collection of Barrington documents. Shrivenham Heritage Society members, Neil Maw and Vivien Moss searched the collection and discovered in Western Manuscripts ADD MS 73760 and 73763, the Muster list for the Vale of the White Horse Yeomanry Cavalry. Information for this introduction was also gleened from Wikipedia online.
To see the transcription of the Muster and associated letters, please go HERE
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