Cornwall Militia & Sea Fencibles Index, 1780-1831

This collection is a work in progress
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This collection contains information on soldiers who were registered for potential service in the Cornwall Militia and the Sea Fencibles, primarily during the French Revolutionary (1792-1802) and the Napoleonic Wars (1799-1815). Records in this index span the years 1780 to 1831.

The Sea Fencibles (a shortening of defensible) were a British naval militia, mostly consisting of volunteers who were usually fishermen or residents along the coast, under the command of retired or serving naval officers. It was formed in 1793 to act as an anti-invasion force in coastal waters, to defend the English coastline from French invasion. The Sea Fencibles established units to provide a close-in line of defence and obstruct the operation of enemy shipping. They were trained in the use of arms and were required to man signal and watch towers, and fixed or floating batteries along the coastline and ports.

They were disbanded at the end of the Napoleonic War in 1815 when it became clear that the threat of invasion had passed.


Period covered: 1780-1831

Records in this collection are likely to include the following:

  • name
  • birthplace
  • age
  • service status
  • year of military service
  • military unit or occupation
  • amount paid
  • spouse name
  • number of children

Please be aware that due to the way we collate, and cross reference our databases, some records will contain more information than that listed above.

Original Source: Cornwall, England, Militia and Sea Fencibles Index, 1780 - 1831 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2016.Original data: Data provided by Patricia T. Fawcett and Sally J. Pocock. Militia and Sea Fencible records. Cornwall Record Office, Truro, Cornwall, England

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