The Pioneer Corps of 1803
In the year 1803, following on a short break in the Napoleonic wars which had occurred with the signing of the Peace of Amiens, there was a very real fear that Napoleon would attempt an invasion of this country, a fear which was not finally dissipated until Nelson's great victory on 21st october, 1805, at Trafalgar. To meet this danger, plans were got out for establishing a system of communication throughout the country. Each county was divided into two, three, or more divisions according to its extent. Each division consisted of a specified number of hundreds and was placed under the charge of a Deputy Lieutenant denominated "Lieutenant of a Division". Each hundred was placed under the charge of a competent person denominated "Inspector of the Hundred " .
Each Parish was placed under the charge of a Gentleman, Clergyman, or principal Farmer, denominated "Superintendent of the Parish" .
This Superintendent was responsible for organising and selecting such members of the population as were necessary to assist him in the organising and in details of business.
To show that paper work was not an entirely unknown worry in those days, nine schedules had to be completed by each Parish.
Schedule I
set forth the totals of livestock horses, dead stock, flour or other meal, malt and liquor. It may be of interest to note the totals returned under these different headings for our Parish in the year 1803 (July).
Schedule II
Three men including Mr. William Tuggy were entered as persons appointed for the removal of horses and waggons, conveying such persons as were unable to move them selves, also the names of three persons appointed for the removal of cattle.
Schedule III
Appeared the names of those between the ages of 15 and 60 willing to serve with arms "and who will agree to assemble in troops and companies, under such persons as are chosen from amongst themselves, and approved of by the civil authority of the county".The total number of men between the ages of 15 and 60 was 123. At the meeting 51 volunteered, it would appear that Mr. Samuel Day, Senior, of Hinton House was appointed to command. The weapons available9 according to the list given to us were fewer in number than was the case in this country in 1940. The list mentions 1 pistol owned by Mr. John Jones, 11 Firelocks and 1 fowling-piece (owned by Mr. Samuel Day).
All volunteers were earnestly recommended to provide a Bullet Mould for the calibre of their gun or pistol. a small bag of bullets and a powder horn. lest the bore of their arms being smaller than those of the army, should prevent them using the ammunition made up for the Kingts troops, in which a delivery of lead and powder was to be made to them.
Schedule IV
Gives the number of persons between the ages of 15 and 60 willing to act as pioneers or labourers, and willing to be classed in companies under such leaders or captains from their own body, as might be approved of by the civil authority. There were 14 volunteers, and the implements they could bring were, 4 Felling Axes, 2 pick axes, 4 spades, 3 shovels, and 4 bill hooks.
Schedule V
Gives the names of three persons appointed to act as guides, being nominated and chosen from amongst the most intelligent residentees in the Parisho Their names were~ Thomas Morgan, Samuel and John Barnard.
Schedule VI
Was a "form of a paper to be subscribed by the nobility, gentry. and yeomanry for procuring waggons etc.," The names of 15 men of the Parish appears in this schedule. There were 14 waggons with 4 horses each. 19 waggons with 3 horses each. 2 carts with 3 horses. 11 carts with 2 horses. and 3 conductors for the foregoing. in the proportion of one to every 10 waggons.
Schedule VII
Is concerned with millers. The heading of this schedule runs as follows:-
"We the undersigned Millers of the Parish of Charterhouse Hinton in the county of Somerset do faithfully promise and engage to deliver such quantities of ready made flour, as we happen to have in hand over and above the immediate want~ of our customers, and also to prepare and deliver such quantities of dry, sweet, and clean flour, made of good marketable English wheat, out of which the bran shall have been taken by means of a twelve-shilling seamed cloth, as are expressed opposite to our respective names, whenever we shall be required so to do, upon the terms and conditions, which may hereafter be certified to be just and reasonable by such deputy lieu- tenants, and magistrates as may be appointed for that purpose". In this schedule appears one name only George Gauntlett. "situated at Midford on the road leading from Bath to ports- mouth" ('rhe fact is noted that unfortunately he had no cloth.
Schedule VIII
Contains 3 names those of:
George Gauntlett.
Thomas Mopsey.
and Samuel Barnard.
They Promised "in case of an invasion to bake and deliver such quantities of good, wholesome, well baked bread, in loaves of 3 lbs. and 4 lbs. and a 1/2 as our stock of flour in hand at the time may enable us to furnish, over and above the ordinary consumption of our customers. The total number of loaves to be furnished every 24 hours "for a constancy" was 360, 0n an emergency" 560. The ovens of each of the three Bakers used wood as fuel.
Schedule IX
Did not concern the Parish as it dealt with "Proprietors and Masters of Barges and Boats".
A few names which occur in the above mentioned schedules.
Morgan, a family name which appears on a tablet in the church and in a Vestry Account Book (1760- 1819) William Tuggy -presumably of Tuggy`s Lane. "Conductor of Waggons".
Jacob Humphreys.
Isaac Humphreys.
Joshua Francis.
Joseph Francis.
Hannah Wiltshire.
Rachel Francis.
Ann Francis.
James Dredge.
William Francis.
George Deveral.
James Deveral.
Daniel Deveral.
James Smith- Leader of the Pioneers.
Thomas Morgan.- Guide to the army.
Samuel Barnard - Guide to the army.
T. Perkins - Overseer of drivers of waggons
George- Wilton. - Overseer of drivers of cattle.
George Carver - Overseer of drivers of sheep.
John Barnardo - Stationary Agent.
William Ward - Agent to Millers and Bakers.
Supplies available in the Village
Cows - 157
Young - cattle and colts- 156
Sheep and goats- 651
Pigs- 163
Riding Horses - 19
Draft Horses - 46
Waggons - 21
Carts- 31
Quarters of wheat- 119
Quarters of oats- 6
Quarters of barley- 14
Quarters of beans and peas- 18
Loads of hay- 331
Loads of straw- 14
Sacks of potatoes - 10
Sacks of flour- 21
Quarters of malt - 25