The Georgian Militia

Professor Matthew McCormack

17th October, 2020

On-line only

Note change of venue

The militia was a key institution in Georgian England, and arguably one that was very characteristic of its age. As an island, Britain had historically relied on part-time forces for its defence, but threats of a French invasion during the Seven Years War (1756-63) highlighted that the militia had fallen into disrepair and prompted calls for its revival. This talk will explore the reform of the militia and the debates around it, which often revolved around issues of political citizenship, national identity, and social concerns such as morality and gender relations. It will also examine the history of the institution up to the Napoleonic Wars, drawing on evidence from Northamptonshire and beyond, in order to assess whether the rhetoric of the 1750s was reflected in the actual practice of militia service.

Matthew McCormack is Professor of History and Head of the Graduate School at the University of Northampton. His publications include the books The Independent Man (Manchester UP, 2005), Embodying the Militia in Georgian England (Oxford UP, 2015) and Citizenship and Gender in Britain, 1688-1928 (Routledge, 2019). He is a member of the Council of the Record Society.

This lecture was scheduled for the AGM in May which was cancelled due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. It will be streamed live.

The session will open at 2.00pm and the lecture will begin at 2.15pm. Access will be by a weblink and joining instructions will be sent to members by email only.

Contact the Secretary by Wednesday, 14th October AT THE LATEST for details of the weblink.

The next meeting will be held in the Spring.