|Admin 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 intention of 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. The Bracebridge family had long lived in Atherstone, where their family home was known as Atherstone Hall. This Abraham Bracebridge can probably be identified as the one who married Mary Holt, daughter of the 6th Earl of Aston Hall, Birmingham.
|Custodial History||The records were acquired by The University of Nottingham's Department of Manuscripts in 1960.|
|Description||The collection consists primarily of a manuscript notebook containing military drilling instructions. It bears the description: 'Directions for a small volunteer company of infantry raised June 1798' and is signed 'WHB' (probably Walter Holt Bracebridge, son of Abraham Bracebridge). The following pages contain observations and instructions about military groups, formations, dress, officers, terminology, drill positions, and discipline. A number of formations and drill positions are illustrated with coloured diagrams and drawings. The last two pages of the volume contains names of members of the Atherstone volunteers. The names are divided into four sections, led by that of Captain 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 volunteer cavalry and infantry for their efforts during the period of the war (MS 122/2).