THE Bunny Troop BUNNY TROOP
Written by Boultbee:Walter Richard Pownall Walter Richard Pownall Boultbee (1886 - 1975) ...
[These notes on the history of the troop were set down by Walter
Richard Pownall Boultbee, great-great-grandson of Joseph, the troop's commanding
officer, partly from information given to him by the War Office in 1938
-- the greater part being extracts from Historical Records of the South
Nottinghamshire Hussars Yeomanry South Nottinghamshire Hussars Yeomanry
compiled by G. Fellows and B. Freeman, 1928. Ed.]
Early in 1798 the gentlemen and farmers in the neighbourhood of Bingham and Holme Pierrepont decided to raise a troop of Yeomanry Cavalry amongst themselves. This troop, though the second troop to be raised in Southern Nottinghamshire, by virtue of its continuous service became the Senior Troop, and on its date of acceptance, the Regiment's correct place in the Precedence table of the Yeomanry Regiments is based. This Troop, although it was approved by the Lord-Lieutenant in March, and had largely recruited up to its strength, experienced considerable delay before it was officially sanctioned by His Majesty.
Following the attempt to raise a troop of cavalry at Holme and Bingham, steps were taken in March to recruit a troop in the Rushcliffe Hundred, and the following letter to the Duke of Portland Duke of Portland from Sir Thomas Parkyns:Thomas, Sir Parkyns, dated March 24th and from Bunny Park, is of interest:
I have proposed to some gentlemen in my neighbourhood to raise a troop of cavalry amongst our tenants for the protection of the Rushcliffe Hundred Rushcliffe Hundred in case our military should be called at distance. I find them equally disposed to adopt a plan, that I am sorry to observe to your Grace seems highly necessary to preserve our peace, for we have a number of disaffected riotous people in this neighbourhood, from whom we have every reason to expect depredation if unrestrained by soldiery. We learn from Bingham that a similar troop is raised with the approbation of the Government, and we request the favour of your Grace to inform us whether ours will be approved, and if Government will provide arms for the Troop, all other expenses we take upon ourselves. An answer from your Grace as soon as convenient will be esteemed as a favour by, my Lord
Your Grace's obedient humble servant
The following letter from the War Office War Office papers gives the answer to the above letter:-
Sir Thomas Parkyns:Thomas, Sir Parkyns, Bart. 29th March, 1798
The Duke of Portland Duke of Portland has transmitted to me your letter to His Grace of 24th instant stating your wish and that of several gentlemen in your neighbourhood to raise a Troop of Cavalry for the protection of that part of the County. This commendable proof of zeal and public spirit cannot but afford great satisfaction to the King, but in order that the proposal may be laid before his Majesty in due form, it must be transmitted by me through the Lord Lieutenant of the County with his recommendation.
In case his Majesty should accept this offer, the Corps will be supplied with arms by Government, and will of course be subject to the provisions of the Act of the 34th of his present Majesty.
I have the honour to be, etc.
Henry Dundas, Henry Dundas.
On April 22nd, Sir Thomas Parkyns thus addressed himself to the Duke of Portland:
I have received a letter from Mr. Dundas informing me that it will be necessary to trouble Your Grace to petition His Majesty for permission to arm my tenants, who I am happy to find are unanimously disposed to bear arms in defence of their County in case of Invasion, Insurrection or Riot, and as the times seem to require our immediate exertions, I shall esteem it a favour if Your Grace will make the application as soon as possible, as sixty of my tenants have enrolled themselves as Yeoman Cavalry Yeoman Cavalry.
I beg Your Grace to petition for arms and accoutrements and likewise for a Sergeant who is acquainted with the Cavalry Service, and that it will please His Majesty to grant commissions to officers as follows,
J. Boultbee:Joseph, Captain, Bunny Troop Boultbee to be Captain Commandant, William Timm, William Timm to be Lieutenant and Henry Breedon, Henry Breedon to be Cornet in the Bunny Troop Bunny Troop of Yeomanry Cavalry.
I have reason to hope that several gentlemen in the Hundred will step forward upon the present occasion, but finding them divided in their opinions respecting the mode of raising a Corps, I have determined not to wait for their decision as it may cause another delay in the business.
I have the Honour to be,
My Lord, Your Grace's
Obedient Humble Servant,
April 22nd, 1798.
On April 24th, the Duke of Portland forwarded the names of the
officers to the Duke of York Duke of York for His Majesty's signature,
and the Bunny Troop was entered as dating from April 22nd, 1798.
On 4th May, 1798, the following officers were gazetted to the Bunny Troop Bunny Troop:
Captain J. Boultbee:Joseph, Captain, Bunny Troop Boultbee,
Lieutenant William Timm, William Timm,
Cornet Henry Breedon, Henry Breedon.
Captain Boultbee was a connection of the Parkyns family, and though Sir Thomas did not take command of his troop that he had raised, the Troop was accepted as Sir Thomas Parkyns' Troop and on more than one official return was so referred to.
The services of the Bunny Troop were limited to their own district, and the Troop was quite independent of the Yeomanry Troops of the County; in fact, the Troop for the first few years of their being were always referred to as the Bunny Volunteer Cavalry Bunny Volunteer Cavalry. The only other purely Volunteer Cavalry in the county was the Worksop Troop, which Troop was the Cavalry portion of the Worksop Volunteer Association, raised to act in the immediate neighbourhood of Worksop in April, 1798. This Troop also wore a noncounty uniform choosing scarlet with blue facings. The uniform was not the scarlet and buff of the County Cavalry, but consisted of a blue jacket with scarlet collars and cuffs, brass buttons and yellow lace, the officers having gold lace and crimson waist sashes. The breeches were buff, and the headgear the usual light dragoon helmet with a black turban and a scarlet and white feather. The arms were, of course, swords and pistols, the latter carried in holsters which were covered by a bearskin flounce.
All did not go well with the Bunny Troop as the following letter shows. The letter is of interest, as it clearly points out that the Troop was a volunteer one and with limited service:
18th May, 1798.
J. Boultbee, Esq.
His Grace the Duke of Portland Duke of Portland transmitted to me your letter dated the 14th of May, in which you inform his Grace that some disaffected persons have endeavoured to persuade the farmers who have enrolled themselves in the troop of yeomanry that they are liable to be sent to a considerable distance from the County, which they would conceive tend to the ruin of the greatest part of them, and I am to acquaint you for the satisfaction of the persons who entertained such apprehensions that they are not liable to any other service than they originally agreed for of themselves. Such is the composition of all Volunteer Corps, and as a proof of that, they are so considered by His Majesty's Ministers, I can assure you I am obliged every day to decline recommending to His Majesty many offers to raise corps, because the limits which they propose to confine their service are too contracted.
I have the honour to be, etc.
Henry Dundas, Henry Dundas.
The Bunny Troop were on November 2nd presented with a Standard by Boultbee:Jane, Lady Parkyns Lady Parkyns, the truly elegant standard as the local newspaper describes it, being consecrated by the Vicar of Bunny, after which the Troop marched to Bunny Park (their usual place of exercise), and the Nottingham Journal Nottingham Journal remarks:
They are a fine body of men, well mounted, and went through a variety of evolutions with the utmost correctness to the satisfaction of a large assemblage of people, after which the Troop dined together at Sir Thomas Parkyns:Thomas, Sir Parkyns.
November 29th, 1798, was ordered by the King to be a day of General Thanksgiving for the victory of the Nile, and on this occasion we find the first mention of the Southern Nottinghamshire Cavalry Troops Southern Nottinghamshire Cavalry Troops parading together in a body. A parade was held in the morning of the Nottingham, Holme and Bunny Troops with the Infantry Volunteers and the 3rd or King's Own Regiment of Dragoons, the muster taking place in the Market Place, after which the troops proceed in procession to St. Mary's Church, Nottingham St. Mary's Church. It may here be remarked that the Town Troop, through frequently meeting the Holme and Bunny Troops from this time onward in field days, was not completely disassociated from the Northern Troops of the Shire.
A Fast Day was ordered on February 27th, and the Nottingham, Holme and Bunny Troops, together with the Regular and Volunteer troops, were in the morning drawn up in military order and proceed with martial music to St. Mary's Church. On April 15th, the Nottingham Troop had a field day in conjunction with the local Volunteers.
On June 4th, being the King's Birthday:
Early in the morning, the Nottingham Volunteers paraded near the town, from whence they marched, The Troop of Gentlemen Yeomanry preceding, the Holme and Bunny Troops of Volunteer Calvary following, to the Great Market place, where they formed in regular order on the one side, the King's Own Dragoons on the other, and the Cavalry made up the square. Captain Wright's troop of Yeomanry Cavalry began the evolutions of the day by going through the Hungarian broadsword exercise Hungarian broadsword exercise, and were followed by the other two troops of Cavalry, which they performed in such a manner as must ever reflect upon them the highest praise.
Very bad weather prevailed during the summer of 1800 causing grain and provisions to rise to a great price, with the result that for a second time this year the services of the Nottingham Troop were required. On Sunday, August 31st, the people assembled in large numbers in the streets of Nottingham, and commenced breaking some of the bakers' windows, and attacking the granaries at the canal wharfs. The Volunteer Infantry were placed on duty, as also the Nottingham, Holme and Bunny Troops, and the Blues. The Disorder continued three days, and the final dispersal of the mob was in a great measure due to one of the most terrific storms of thunder, lightning and hail that had ever been witnessed in the locality. The Yeomanry do not appear to have suffered on this occasion beyond one of their number being thrown by the populace into a deep ditch in Sneiton, whence he was with difficulty extricated.
The following account communicated to the London Morning Chronicle, gives a graphic account of the Riot, Nottingham, Sept/1800 riots on Tuesday, September 2nd:
Nottingham, Tuesday, 3 o/clock - It is very painful to us to state that the public discontent is still violent and there is not even a prospect of the riot subsiding. The Yeomanry Cavalry, and the Infantry belonging to this town, have been on duty all this day, and a great part of yesterday; but the poor inhabitants, who are alone discontented, absolutely defy them, and even the women interrupt them with hisses, and other modes of abuse. About fourteen persons have been secured and are now in Nottingham Gaol. The women are the principal aggressors, and they are permitted to remain at liberty. This morning, about one o'clock, a large party attacked a baker's shop near Sutton's the bookseller; they ransacked the shop of all the flour they could find, which they exhibited to the persons present as containing chalk, alum, and other poisonous substances. A Troop of the Blues, however, arrived, and after the greatest exertions succeeded in dispersing the mob. These Blues have been unremittingly on duty three days and two nights, without rest; and they must continue to parade the streets until reinforcements shall arrive. Many of the shops are shut up at midday, and a real panic pervades the minds of the opulent. The rioters at Mansfield have been overawed, and that place is now quiet; but they are so numerous in Nottingham Nottingham, and the want of bread so general amongst the poor, that unless something is done to relieve them, the consternation must continue.
This morning about twelve o'clock, the flag was hoisted at the top of St. Mary's steeple and a messenger sent to Sir Thomas Parkyns:Thomas, Sir Parkyns (father of Lord Rancliffe Lord Rancliffe) to request he would immediately dispatch his troop of horse from Bunny, a village in the neighbourhood; they arrived about an hour ago, and are now parading the town.
A large party made an attack upon a mill in the environs; they loaded a waggon with wheat, and were making off with it when a party of horse arrived, rescued the wheat and for greater safety brought it into the town.
The vengeance of the rioters is directed entirely against the bakers, millers and farmers; they attribute the present scarcity to forestallers, monopolists, and regrafters. Business is entirely at a stand. All weavers have joined the crowd.
Five o'clock - This moment between 20 and 30 of the rioters have been lodged in the County prison; they arrived in an open waggon, under an escort from the village of Arnold, about four miles from Nottingham, and all belong to the extensive manufactory of Messrs. Davidson and Hawkesly factory, Nottingham Davidson and Hawkesly. Many of them are fine young fellows, and appear under twenty years of age. The women would gladly have effected a rescue, but were overpowered by the soldiery. There was a serious conflict before these prisoners could be secured, and the Bunny Yeomanry were obliged to fire on them; one is dreadfully wounded with a ball in the neck and another had his arm shattered.
The following notice was inserted by order of the Magistrates of the Town of Nottingham Magistrates of the Town in the Nottingham Journal of September 6th:
TOWN OF NOTTINGHAM
The disposition to riot and tumult happily appearing to be now subsiding, the Magistrates have great pleasure in returning their thanks to the Oficers and Privates of His Majesty's Regiment of Royal Horse Guards Blue, and to the different Corps of Yeomanry and Infantry cooperating with them, for their temperate and active conduct in support of the Civil Power.
The Magistrates have been anxious to take every step in their power for the immediate restoration of public tranquillity and in that view, they thought it their duty to announce to the public (by hand bill) that they had reason to believe a quantity of corn would be brought into the Market and sold on Sunday next at £4 per quarter. They now feel bound in justice to the liberality of the Nottingham, Bunny, Holme and Ratcliffe Troops of Yeomanry Cavalry, and the Nottingham Volunteer Infantry Companies, (commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Smith, and under him Major Hooley, Robert Padley, Robert Padley, and Samuel Deverill, Esquires), to state to the public that the above communication was made with the authority of the different Farmers, and Gentlemen composing those Corps, who came forward to endeavour by their own exertions to indulge the public in general to take effectual measures for bringing down the price of grain............
Nottingham, Sept. 4th, 1800.
On June 4th, 1801, the Nottingham, Holme and Bunny Troops paraded with the Royal Horse Guards and the Volunteer Infantry in the Market Place; the Hungarian broadsword exercise Hungarian broadsword exercise was performed and three volleys fired. God Save the King was played by the Infantry Band, accompanied by the trumpets belonging to the Cavalry, which had a pleasing and grand effect. After passing in review in open column, and depositing their Standards, the whole filed off to spend the day in mirth and festivity.
On March 28th, 1802, a definite treaty was signed at Amiens, Treaty of Amiens, and on April 6th, the thanks of both Houses of Parliament were voted to the Yeomanry and Volunteer Cavalry and the Volunteer Infantry, by the resolution as under:
Resolved, nemine contradicente - That the thanks of this House be given to the officers of the several corps of Yeomanry and Volunteer Cavalry and Infantry, and the Sea Fencibles, which have been formed in Great Britain and Ireland during the course of the War, for the eminent services they have rendered to their King and Country.
Resolved, nemine contradicente - That this House doth highly approve of and acknowledge the services of the noncommissioned officers and men of the aforesaid corps, and that the same be communicated to them by the Colonels and other commanding officers of the several corps, who are desired to thank them for their meritorious conduct.
These resolutions were ordered to be read to the Corps on their respective parades, and in communicating them to the LordsLieutenants, Lord Hobart Lord Hobart on behalf of the Government definitely requests that all Yeomanry and Volunteer Cavalry will consider the advisability of continuing their service, though the whole of the Volunteer Infantry were to be disbanded forthwith.
The Nottingham Troop, however, declined to renew their service, but the Holme Troop decided to continue, as did the Bunny Troop Bunny Troop of Volunteer Cavalry, but it was some time before the offer of the latter Troop was definitely communicated to the Government.
The fact that the Bunny Troop of Volunteer Cavalry had continued, like the Holme Troop (also in the North, the Newark Troop), to serve, is borne out by the following letter to the LordLieutenant from its Commandant:
March 13th, 1803.
On my application to the Board of Ordnance for ammunition for the Bunny Troop Bunny Troop of Yeomanry, I received for answer that the Board was not informed that the services of the Bunny Troop were continued, and as such that they could not comply with my request.
I have no doubt but Your Grace will recollect (that soon after Peace was proclaimed) we offered a continuance of our Service and were accepted.
Your Grace will be pleased to make known to His Majesty that it continues to be the steady and determined resolution of the Bunny Troop of Yeomanry Cavalry to oppose all Foreign and Internal Attacks made upon the honour and safety of our most gracious King and Constitution to the Utmost of their power.
It is with satisfaction I inform Your Grace that I can at any time increase the Bunny Troop if His Majesty should think it necessary.
I will thank Your Grace for the honour of an answer to my last letter.
I am with great respect
Your Grace's very obedient and humble servant,
J. Boultbee:Joseph, Captain, Bunny Troop Boultbee,
Captain Commdt. B.Y.C.
The Duke of Portland Duke of Portland.
The following answer was received from the Government by the Duke and communicated to Captain Boultbee:
22nd March, 1803.
The Duke of Portland.
I have the honour to acquaint your Grace that His Majesty has been graciously pleased to approve and accept the offer of continuance of service, transmitted by your Grace from the Bunny Troop of Yeomanry Cavalry in the County of Nottingham.
I have the honour to be, etc.
Although the terms Yeomanry Yeomanry and Volunteer Cavalry Volunteer Cavalry were used without discrimination not only by the Press but officially in returns, and, indeed officially, except in the case of the cavalry troops of the associations, there was no strict official difference -- yet the term Volunteer Cavalry was used to denote those troops who served within a limited radius, and in consequence received only arms from the Government, and the fact that the Bunny Troop had as a Volunteer Troop not received allowances had been the cause of their being unaware that official confirmation of their original offer had not been received, until Captain Boultbee was in need of funds for his Troop. The Troop was not on a Yeomanry basis, and on March 25th, Captain Boultbee applied for the new allowances, but it was not until he had again appealed to the LordLieutenant and several letters had passed that the necessary allowances were received. The officers of the three Southern Troops, which are all shown in the Army (Yeomanry and Volunteer) Lists under separate Troop designations, were in 1803, as follows:
Bunny Troop Bunny Troop.
Captain J. Boultbee:Joseph, Captain, Bunny Troop Boultbee 4 May 1798.
Lieutenant William Timm, William Timm 4 May 1798.
Cornet Henry Breedon, Henry Breedon 4 May 1798.
The Holme and Nottingham troops retained their scarlet jacket with buff facings, the Bunny Troop also continued their colours of blue faced with scarlet. The arms were still swords and pistols, but the swords were of the light cavalry patterns; and twelve carbines were now served out per troop, to be carried by the flank men, who acted as skirmishers in the field.
Besides the Nottingham, Bunny and Holme Troops in the south, there were now four troops in the northern portion of the County, the Newark, Retford, Mansfield and Rufford Troops, the late Worksop Volunteer Association Troop not being revived.
On January 5th, 1804, the Bunny Troop marched into Nottingham for fourteen days' permanent duty, the strength of the Troop being 3 officers and 76 noncommissioned officers and privates. The Journal comments as follows:
During the time they have been on permanent duty, they have preserved the greatest good order and decorum, and by their steadiness and strict attention under arms they have acquired a degree of military proficiency that will make them rank with the foremost of those who have so nobly come forward to defend their King and Country.
On September 12th, the Bunny, Nottingham, (with their attached riflemen) and Holme Troops were inspected in a field adjoining the Forest by Brigadier Erskine, who expressed his approbation of the state of their military appointments and soldierlike appearance. Several manoeuvres were practised by the Brigade on this occasion in the presence of the General. The words of command were given by Captain Boultbee, his being the senior troop.
The Bunny Troop kept the ground at Bury on September 18th on the presentation of Colours to the Bunny Volunteers by Boultbee:Jane, Lady Parkyns Lady Parkyns.
The inspections and drills went on all the year round, and on December 12th, the Nottingham, Bunny and Holme Troops were inspected in brigade by Lieutenant Colonel Cooke.
The Holme and Nottingham Troops (with their Yegers) and the 3rd Dragoons paraded on June 4th, 1805, and fired a feu de joie in the Market Place; on June 7th these two troops, together with the Bunny Troop, were reviewed by the Inspecting Officer of the district, Colonel Cooke.
The establishment of the Bunny Troop was now as under:
In the summer of 1805 an attempt was made to unite the three Southern
Troops into one Corps, but only the Nottingham and Holme Troops agreed
to amalgamate, the Bunny Troop declining possibly because they wore a different
uniform, blue instead of the scarlet of the other two troops, or not unlikely
because Captain Boultbee, holding his old commission, considered himself
senior to the other two Captains.
The returns for 1805 showed the three troops as follows: Nottingham, 4 officers and 63 other ranks; Holme 4 officers and 74 other ranks; and the Bunny Troop, 3 officers and 70 other ranks; a total for the three troops of 217 officers and Men.
In Wilson's Chart of the Volunteer Force Wilson's Chart of the
Volunteer Force the uniform of the Nottingham Yeomanry Cavalry (the Town
and Holme Troops) is given as scarlet with buff facings, white breeches,
and silver lace, and the Bunny Troop as blue with scarlet facings, buff
breeches and gold lace. The June returns showed the Nottinghamshire
Cavalry as 164 of all ranks, of which total the Nottingham Troop, including
its 14 dismounted troopers (riflemen) contributed 94, and the Bunny Troop
Bunny Troop made a separate return of 76 officers and men, in 1806.
Nothing outside ordinary troop drills occurred in 1807, the following officers being shown in the lists: Bunny Troop
Captain-Commandant J. Boultbee:Joseph, Captain, Bunny Troop Boultbee
Lieutenant William Timm, William Timm
Cornet Henry Breedon, Henry Breedon.
(Enrolled Strength, 73 officers and men).
The Holme Troop of Yeomanry Cavalry continued to serve under its old designation, and returned 72 officers and men, the Bunny Troop for 1808 returning 73 of all ranks.
The National Jubilee of King George III, King George III was celebrated in October, 1809, and the Holme and Bunny Troops paraded at their respective troop centres in honour of the day.
The Bunny Troop returned its full establishment of 73 officers and men.
In 1810, the establishment of the Bunny Troop was 3 Troop officers, 1 quartermaster, 4 Sergeants, 4 Corporals, 1 Trumpeter and 60 privates, (including 1 farrier), a total of 73; the Holme Troop made the same total, but were allowed an extra Lieutenant, but had only 3 Sergeants and 3 Corporals. Both Troops returned their full establishment in 1810. The King's Birthday was celebrated by a parade on June 4th at their respective Troop quarters.
In 1811, on Wednesday, November 13th, several hundreds of malcontents collected in the neighbourhood of Arnold, from whence they proceeded to SuttoninAshfield, where the work of Luddite riots destruction was again commenced, no less than thirtyseven frames being demolished. Up to this time, what few of the Queen's Bays at the barracks that could be mounted were called out, but being scattered in the different villages were of little avail. But the Duke of Newcastle, Lord Lieutenant of the County, now considered it expedient to call in the aid of the Holme and Bunny Troops of Yeomanry, and with a detachment of the 2nd Dragoon Guards, a force at once set off to check these outrages, and coming on the mob at Sutton instantly dispersed them. As an additional security, the 1st Regiment of Local Militia were assembled and the Newark, Clumber and Mansfield Troops of Yeomanry were called out.
A large number of prisoners were secured at Sutton and taken to Mansfield, and on the 14th were brought in postchaises to the county gaol at Nottingham, escorted by some of the Holme Troop, the whole of that Troop passing through the town that afternoon. The Bunny Troop marched through Nottingham about six in the evening and the same Troop on the night of the 14th escorted some more prisoners to the county gaol. On November 15th, the Holme and Bunny Troop Bunny Troop, with the Dragoon Guards, marched through the villages of the disaffected area, continuing patrols in the disturbed districts until the 18th. On this day some frames were broken at Old Radford, and the Yeomanry were hurried to the scene and the mob fled. On the 19th, the High Sheriff released the Bunny Troop, the Newark Troop, which had been quartered at Southwell, having been dismissed four days previously. The Mansfield Troop, which had been doing duty in the vicinity of that town, was kept underarms until the 21st, and on the same day, the Holme Troop and the Clumber Troop were permitted to return to their homes.
Fresh outrages occurred, and on December 1st, the Bunny Troop was again called out and marched to Nottingham from whence it proceeded to Sutton-in-Ashfield. On the 2nd, the Holme and the Mansfield Troops were ordered to assemble. The presence of the Yeomanry, who were quartered in the neighbouring villages, prevented the assemblage of dangerous mobs, but the Luddite riots Luddites now resorted to night raids on the frames. On December 8th, the Royal Bucks Militia were ordered into the county, and as the frame smashing was not spreading into the surrounding counties, other troops were dispatched to the district. On December 10th, the Bunny Troop was dismissed, having been seventeen days on duty the past two months. The Nottingham Journal refers to the services of the Troop as follows:
The Bunny Troop Bunny Troop of Volunteer Cavalry, Commanded by Captain Boultbee:Joseph, Captain, Bunny Troop Boultbee, has been stationed at SuttoninAshfield the last eight days. A correspondent observes that no men ever conducted themselves with greater propriety as soldiers and gentlemen than they have done, and when their departure was announced, it was received with real regret by the major part of the inhabitants.
In the pay return of the Bunny Troop for these riots, the marches of the Troop are given for their first period of service, namely, Bunny to Nottingham, Mansfield, Arnold, Nottingham, Ruddington, Bradmore, etc. and pay is claimed for 3 officers and 74 men.
On January 13th, 1812, a riot took place at New Radford, and at the same time twenty frames were destroyed during the night at Lenton within a few hundred yards of the barracks. After doing this, the Luddites crossed the river Trent and broke fourteen frames at Ruddington, and twenty at Clifton, leaving only two whole frames in the latter township. An express was sent to Nottingham for a troop of Hussars, who went off with all possible speed with as many of the Bunny Troop as could be collected. Those of the Bunny Troop who were in the immediate neighbourhood of the scene of action were immediately mounted and galloped off, one party to pursue the depredators, while other detachments of the Troop rode desperately and secured all the passes over the Trent for a space of four miles, under the expectation of intercepting the rioters on their return to the town. The Luddites, however, seized a boat above Clifton, and on arrival at the opposite bank, discharged their firearms and made good their retreat, breaking off into two divisions.
Regardless of the fact that the Yeomanry were of the utmost assistance to the Civil Power during these disturbances, they do not seem to have been over well treated by His Majesty's Ministers, for on April 27th, 1812, Lord Sidmouth Lord Sidmouth writes to the LordLieutenant of Nottinghamshire regretting that he cannot allow any grant to meet the additional expenses which have been incurred by the individuals of the Bunny and Holme Pierrepont Troops of Yeomanry Cavalry during the period of their being assembled at Nottingham for the suppression of the disturbances.
Although the Bunny Troop had been out in aid of the Civil Power, the Troop was not unmindful of its purely military duty and on May 7th, assembled at Bunny for fourteen days' training and exercise. The Bunny Troop returned 73 officers and men for 1812 and the Holme Troop 65 of all ranks.
The annual birthday parades on June 4th were now held by the Bunny and Holme Troops at their respective Troop quarters. The Bunny Troop commenced fourteen days' training and exercise at Bunny on June 22nd, 1813.
The Bunny and Holme Troops showed a slight decline in numbers in the 1813 return, the former returning 64 effectives, and the Holme 60, a total number, exclusive of officers, of 124 non-commissioned officers and men. The officers were now as follows:
Captain J. Boultbee:Joseph, Captain, Bunny Troop Boultbee.
Lieutenant Henry Breedon, Henry Breedon.
Cornet R. Pole, R. Pole.
The steady series of victories obtained by Wellington in the Peninsula, coupled with the French reverses on the Rhine, caused Napoleon Napoleon to abdicate, and peace was proclaimed throughout Europe at the end of May, 1814. The Holme and Bunny Troops, as did practically every other Yeomanry Corps throughout the United Kingdom, continued their services. In July the two troops, in common with other Volunteer bodies, received the thanks of both Houses of Parliament, which was but a repetition of similar resolutions recorded twelve years previously, and were ordered to be read at the heads of the respective corps. The Holme returned 63 and the Bunny 73 officers and men for 1814.
The escape of Napoleon Napoleon from Elba Elba was quickly followed by his crushing defeat on June 18th at Waterloo Waterloo, and so the plans that had been made for augmenting the Yeomanry Corps were not put into operation. The Holme Troop showed a strength of 69 and the Bunny Troop 63, a total for the South Nottinghamshire Troops of 132 of all ranks in 1815. Grey overalls were now worn by the Bunny and Holme Troops. The strength of the Bunny Troop, excluding officers, was, in 1816, but 48.
In 1817, in March, riots occurred in Nottinghamshire and the Bunny Troop on the 17th were called out to aid the Civil Power at Ruddington and remained on duty for two days This Troop had shrunk to a muster roll of but 45 of all ranks and the pay lists for these two days' riot duty show that but one officer and 28 other ranks were out. The Troop was even in a worse state as regards its officers, for against the ranks of Lieutenant and Cornet, it was noted retired from the service. The brief notation dead was made for the Quartermaster and for the Captain he is returned as the sole officer (J. Boultbee:Joseph, Captain, Bunny Troop Boultbee -- he was 59 - who must now be a somewhat elderly man).
The state of affairs was still very unsatisfactory, both the Holme Troop and what remained of the Bunny Troop were kept in a state of instant readiness. Viscount Sidmouth Viscount Sidmouth, Secretary of State for Home Affairs, writing to the Duke of Newcastle Duke of Newcastle on April 11th, expresses his satisfaction the County of Nottingham is still tranquil, but warns the LordLieutenant that Vigilance and Precaution, however, are still necessary, and suggests keeping the Watch and Ward Act Watch and Ward Act for a month or six weeks longer in operation in the manufacturing districts of Nottinghamshire, and in the course of his letter remarks, I regret extremely that the Bunny Troop Bunny Troop of Yeomanry Cavalry is dissolved. That description of Force is at all times valuable, being particularly so under present conditions. Lord Sidmouth, himself an old Yeomanry Commander (Woodley Troop of Berkshire Yeomanry), is not quite correct in this statement, however, for the Bunny Yeomen, in view of the troublesome state of their county, kept themselves together in military union for several months longer.
On June 4th, the Holme and Bunny Troops had the usual parade, and the Nottingham Journal Nottingham Journal, after remarking that the Military from the Barracks took part in the proceedings, states that the day was complimented in a similar manner by the Yeomanry Corps of the Neighbourhood.
At a very early hour, a despatch was received in Nottingham, stating that a large body of insurgents, armed with guns and pikes, had assembled in the vicinity of South Wingfield, Derbyshire South Wingfield, Derbyshire, and were proceeding, with increasing numbers, in a direction for Nottingham; that one man had been shot dead in his house for refusing to deliver up his arms; and that acts of outrageous violence were perpetrating. Orders were at once sent to the Commanders of the Holme and Newark Troops to march their units at once with all dispatch to Nottingham, and at the same time, the Mansfield Troop was placed on duty at that place and orders were sent to apprise the Bunny Troop.
In the town of Nottingham and its vicinity, tranquillity prevailed, the Journal remarking:
The greatest commendations are due to the Magistrates, to the detachment of the 15th Hussars, to the Holme and Newark Troops of Yeomanry Cavalry, and a small detachment of the late Bunny Troop Bunny Troop who voluntarily joined the former. The whole of the Yeomanry assembled on the first summons with the utmost alacrity, and their services cannot be too highly appreciated as a most valuable auxiliary force in times of trouble. It is proper to add that the Leicestershire Yeomanry held themselves in readiness to march to the town at a moments's notice.
The Mansfield Troop, which had been quartered at that place and the surrounding villages, was dismissed on June 11th, and on 12th, the Holme, Bunny and Newark Troops were released from Duty. The Bunny Troop had one officer (Captain Boultbee:Joseph, Captain, Bunny Troop Boultbee), 2 sergeants, 3 corporals, 1 trumpeter and but 17 privates under arms. The following correspondence regarding the Bunny Troop is of interest:
August 27, 1817.
I have not a copy of the letter, which I wrote to you on the 10th day of June last - but I beg to state, for the information of those to whom it may concern, that I did in that day address to you, by the direction of the Magistracy of this town and County, communicating the Intelligence of an Insurrection in the County of Derby, and apprehension that the people might direct their movement into Nottingham, and consequently requesting that you would assemble forthwith, as many of the Bunny Troop, as might be in your power to join the Holme Pierrepont Troop of Yeomanry at Adbolton.
I am, Sir,
Your very Obedient Servant,
The officers of the Southern Troops in 1817 were:
Captain J. Boultbee, 4 May 1798.
The returns for 1817 were as follows: Holme Troop, 88 all ranks, being 15 privates over establishment; Bunny Troop, 41 all ranks.
In February, 1818, after some twenty years of loyal service, the Bunny Troop rendered its last return, then one officer and 40 noncommissioned officers and men were shown as effective. Captain Boultbee was its sole remaining officer and there was no one to succeed him in the command. No official communication can be found in the Home Secretary's letter books, and the quite informal end of the Bunny Troop is confirmed in a reference in the following letter:
March 11th, 1818.
The Duke of Newcastle Duke of Newcastle,
I have etc., etc.
As the Bunny Troop Bunny Troop appears to have discontinued their services, I beg Your Grace will be so good as to give directions that their arms and accoutrements if furnished by Government, may be held at the disposal of the Board of Ordnance.
I have, etc., etc.
[The bread riots described above were not confined to Nottinghamshire. They were caused by increased population, economic conditions, high food prices and general agricultural depression during and following the Napoleonic Wars, and exacerbated by severe Government repression of agitation and protest.
Stocking frame smashing Stocking frame smashing was at the period
described above very common, since the machinery replaced what had been
formerly a cottage industry supporting many rural households. We
may recall that John Boultbee Brooks, John Boultbee Brooks, the son of
Brooks, Elizabeth (b1734), see Boultbee Boultbee:Elizabeth (b1734) Elizabeth
Boultbee and John Brooks, John Brooks (see page ) was a Framesmith framesmith.