Records of the Atherstone Voluntary Infantry, Warwickshire, 1798-1802

Scope and Content

The collection consists primarily of a manuscript notebook containing military drillinginstructions. It bears the description: 'Directions for a small volunteer company of infantry raisedJune 1798' and is signed 'WHB' (probably Walter Holt Bracebridge, son of Abraham Bracebridge). Thefollowing pages contain observations and instructions about military groups, formations, dress,officers, terminology, drill positions, and discipline. A number of formations and drill positionsare illustrated with coloured diagrams and drawings. The last two pages of the volume contains namesof members of the Atherstone volunteers. The names are divided into four sections, led by that ofCaptain Abraham Bracebridge c.1798 (MS 122/1).

Together with the volume is a letter addressed to Captain Bracebridge from the Earl of Warwick,enclosing a copied statement by the House of Lords giving thanks to corps of yeomanry and volunteercavalry and infantry for their efforts during the period of the war (MS 122/2).

Administrative / Biographical History

Atherstone in Warwickshire lies on the border with Leicestershire, between Tamworth and Nuneaton.The circumstances of the foundation of the Voluntary Infantry are not recorded in the collection.Many such bodies of volunteers were established at the end of the 18th century, with the intentionof providing local defence in the event of a possible invasion of Britain by France.

Abraham Bracebridge, captain of the Atherstone Volunteers, is mentioned in the records. TheBracebridge family had long lived in Atherstone, where their family home was known as AtherstoneHall. This Abraham Bracebridge can probably be identified as the one who married Mary Holt, daughterof the 6th Earl of Aston Hall, Birmingham.


No archival arrangement has been necessary.

Access Information

ACCESS: Accessible to all registered readers.


Other Finding Aids

  • This description is the only finding aid available for the collection. Copyright on thedescription belongs to the University of Nottingham.

Conditions Governing Use

REPROGRAPHIC: Reprographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposesonly, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.

COPYRIGHT: Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult.Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advancein writing from the Keeper of Manuscripts and Special Collections (email

Custodial History

The records were acquired by The University of Nottingham's Department of Manuscripts in1960.