The Muster Rolls for the Hundreds of
East and West Flegg in 1684, 1690 and 1700 are held at
the NRO under references PET 1100/1-10, 506 X 9.
Those for 1662 are held under ref.
The Roll for 1662 which included
Martham is a roll on parchment about 10 inches wide and
22 inches long.
At the top it says “ A gift made
and given into the Right Honourable the Lord
Lieutenant and Deputy Lieutenant of the County of
Norfolk of the trained foote band of East and West
Flegg given this 19th January 1662 under the command
of Leonard Mapes Captaine of the said Hundred.
The Martham men were listed as
‘owners’? and ‘forme’? or farmer? It seemed that
their contributions were '1M' or '1P' - perhaps muskets
Several names were familiar from
other studies of wills and various documents. The
first was John Spendlove who was the Vicar.
The roll for 1684(?), again on
parchment 6 inches x 18 inches. says:
'East and West Flegg
Hundred. Muster rolls for the said hundreds for
ye foot company under the command of Captain Leonard
Mapes given into ye Honourable His Majestie’ys Deputy
Lieutenant at ye little grand jury chamber in Norwich
ye 16th January anno domono 1683.
Mapes Esquire – captain
Castell Gent. – lieutenant
Lane Gent. - ensign
Ducke Gent.) sergeants
Roe Gent. )
Richers Gent. Clarke of the company
In 1690 and 1700 the Muster Roll was on Lingwood Heath and
included men from
times of the Napoloeonic wars 1793 to 1815
The great concern during these years
was the protection of Great Yarmouth and Norwich.
Great Yarmouth was an important naval base and Norwich
an important city. The French could have invaded
in numerous places, including sailing up the River Yare
or landing on the beaches of the then islands of Flegg
and Lothingland. Wherever they landed they would
have attempted to go farther inland up the rivers Bure,
Yare and Waveney. It was vital to defend the
bridges at places like Haddiscoe and Acle, and also at
Reedham which did not have a bridge but was a key
crossing place on the River Yare.
Each parish was required to supply a
proportion of men to join the Militia and pay from the
rates to support their families or pay from the rates
for any men who went as substitutes.
So what happened at Martham? I
studied the Overseers Accounts from 1793 to 1815 to find
out what happened. I found that for the year
ending Easter 1794 they spent 10s. on making a Militia
List but could not find any men to send to the Militia
so they paid for substitutes to go @ 4/2 per week making
£4 8 8. This continued for three years until after
Easter 1796 when it seems that the first Militia men
went form Martham and money to support their families
was paid to Peter Finch who was possibly the County
The amount paid for the support of
Militia families varied from £5 8 4 per half year to £9
The amount collected also varied from
£96 12 0 per half year at Easter 1794 to £124 12 6 for
the half year ending Easter 1800.
It all seems a heavy burden on the
parish rate payers but without a detailed analysis of
the accounts, you cannot be sure.
From 1806 to 1815 they were making an
army list every year at a cost of 10/6.
Maybe because there was no really
grand house in Flegg and therefore no very eminent
landed gentry to command loyalty, the Flegg men
were very reluctant to volunteer.
Nobody from Flegg joined the Yeomanry
Cavalry between 1794 and 1815.
And nobody from Flegg joined the
Volunteer Infantry during those years.
In 1803 when new Cavalry Units were
being formed, the Revd. Salmon the vicar of Ormesby
was very keen to take command of one, however he was
forbidden to do so by the Bishop of Norwich who had
forbidden all clergy to join up.
The Revd. Salmon seemed to be the
leading light in the Flegg area and he informed the
Deputy Lieutenant that he had managed to convince the
population of the need to evacuate their farms if there
were an invasion but he had failed to get anybody to
volunteer to join the forces.