Rural – Jersey Country Life Magazine


David Dorgan has written a book on the history of the Jersey Militia. From its inception in 1337 to the year they became the Royal Jersey Militia in 1831.

The story outlines how the militia came to be formed in 1337 and how Jersey went from a sleepy backwater to a frontier island. 

From the inception of the Jersey Militia in 1337 to the year they became the Royal Jersey Militia in 1831, this book covers all aspects of the Militia’s history within that period.

It outlines in a linier style the history from 933, battles at Croix de la Bataille, Jardin D’Olivet and the Royal Square.  The book describes the Militia’s  arms, accoutrements, buttons, shoulder belt plates, clothing, and the Colours. – and what remains of them in our Parish Churches today.  It features two American loyalists who found their way to Jersey, with one that fought a duel, and tells the story of the fortifications built to defend Jersey.

Starting in St Helier and going anti-clockwise around the island the last chapter contains a very complete review of the Island’s fortifications, including the boulevards and guard houses and maps up to 1831.

The first two chapters contain a linear history from 1337 to 1831of events, people, and circumstances concerning the militia, including when they went from 12 parish companies to three regiments, the Battle of Jersey, their reforms, and Militia Spoons

Chapter Three covers the same period on uniforms, buttons, and shoulder belt plates.  The uniform section gives the history and evidence, such as we have, of the uniforms, the shirts, breeches, waistcoats, neck stocks, headwear and headwear plates and plumes.  There are forty nine illustrations of Militia buttons and four illustrations of buttons from the British Regiments that fought here in the Battle of Jersey. 

The Fourth Chapter covers the arms and accoutrement going through the ages from pike to musket, sword to cannon.  There are extracts from the St Lawrence Battalion’s roll call book of 1780/1781 recording their names, arms and accoutrements.  Twenty illustrations show Militia shoulder belt plates.  Most of the above images all in colour.

The Fifth Chapter covers the Colours, giving their history and reporting how many were left and where they are.  Some are in the churches, some have just disintegrated to rags and others are in store.

The Sixth Chapter covers two American Loyalists who separately came from America to live in Jersey.  The first is Adino Paddock, a Bostonian who was appointed a Captain and Inspector of Ordnance and Powder stores.  He is buried along with his wife, Lydia, in St Helier Parish Church.  The Second was a New Yorker who married a local girl, Susan Nugent, and they had thirteen children.  He fought a duel over money in 1796 and died in London in 1810.

The Seventh and final Chapter covers the Island fortifications from Town, going east around the Island and finishing just before West Park.  Details are shown of the batteries, Guardhouses, the Conway and Martello Towers, the barracks and the Forts, showing how many guns to each battery, their position, when they were built and more.

In the Appendices are maps of the island showing the defences in 1811, the men’s names from the St Lawrence Roll call book in 1780, listings of uniforms and equipment that arrived in 1780 aboard the “Jenny” from London and the Regimental distribution.  Stock take of the St Brelade’s/St Peter’s stores in 1793.  A listing of Jersey Militia Officers in 1802.  References and an index.

The book is written in both an informative and entertaining style and is destined to be the standard Jersey Militia reference work for this early period.

It is available From amazon, Société Jersiaise bookshop, Jersey Heritage Museum or from the author, David Dorgan, at  It retails at £24.95



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