[Militia Society]. Receipt for Payment to the Militia Society. London: No Publisher, 1800. First Edition. 32mo (Oblong). Unbound. Receipt / Invoice. Good. Printed single sided receipt for the annual subscription to the Militia Society, approximately 170mm x 100mm in size.
Slightly browned, minor chipping along left hand edge, small tear to one of the folds.
Dated 9th December 1800, received of Mr Henry Evans of No. 100 New Bond St. in the Parish of St, Georges, the sum of ONE GUINEA, being his Annual Subscription to the Society, held for the Purpose of Providing Substitutes, for such of the subscribing Persons who may be Ballotted to serve in the Old or Supplementary Militia, by Virtue of, and under the Direction of the Present existing Acts of Parliament, to the First Day of November, One Thousand, Eight Hundred and One. Signed by the Treasurers, but the signatures have faded.
The 1757 Militia Act meant that men were selected by ballot to serve for three years in a local militia, which was an attempt to create a national military reserve. If you were selected, but did not want to serve, you could pay someone else to do the service for you.
The Militia Society was probably a bit like a Friendly Society where you paid a smaller amount to ‘insure’ you against a larger bill, with other sources noting you could either provide a substitute or “pay ten pounds towards the provision of one. After three years, both the drawn man and any substitute would again be liable for service by way of the ballot. The cost of getting a volunteer substitute later increased considerably. In 1803, John Carrington, the diarist of Bramfield, had to pay twenty pounds for a substitute when his son was drawn” (Hertfordshire Family History Society Website)