~ British Militia Buttons ~


1757 - 1881

By any stretch of the imagination I cannot claim to be especially knowledgable on either the history of the British Militia or their buttons.  But perhaps what I lack in scholarly attributes I can, in some part, make up for in my enthusiasm and a desire to share my modest collection of Militia Buttons on these few pages.

The history of British Militia units is complicated, occasionally ephemeral and far beyond the scope of what I  hope to present here.  This said, I have found collecting these buttons no less enjoyable.  Much of the history of these units, especially the early ‘Local Militia’ organizations (1808 - 1816), is either poorly recorded or in some cases not recorded at all.  But as with much of history and the study of such, we often find that our knowledge is enhanced through the collecting and studying of those (often elusive) artifacts that have survived.

Presented here is my modest but ever-growing collection of British Militia Buttons.  As examples are able to be obtained, it is my intention to include representative buttons from all of the regions of Great Britain: Scotland, Wales, Ireland, the Chanel Islands and of course, England.  I will also include a section dedicated to those early units known as ‘Local Militia’ (all regions), as this short lived area of study I find especially interesting.  Each of the above categories can be a focus and study in their own right but for my own interest, any British Militia Button is of potential interest.

In order to help the reader more easily navigate to a specific area of interest, I have chosen to divide the collection into the six categories previously described.  Each will have its own dedicated page which can be easily identified in the links above. Also note that for aesthetic reasons I have chosen to display all buttons the same size, which they are clearly not, please refer to the text adjacent to each button for more information which will include their specific dimensions along with other pertinent details.

For reference I am using the excellent books written by Howard Ripley, Denis Darmanin & Bob Moodie (English Infantry Militia Buttons - Scottish, Welsh & Channel Islands Infantry Militia Buttons - Local Militia Buttons) and Buttons Of The Irish Militia by J. McDonnell.  I must also give credit to my many collector friends worldwide who have so patiently shared their vast knowledge and experience to assist me with correct identification and detailing of specific buttons - a finer and more generous group of gentlemen would be harder to find.

There are many joys that come from collecting but for me one of these has always been in the mutual sharing of collections, information and discoveries with friends and fellow enthusiasts.  These few pages will in time, I hope, become a useful medium for this and who knows with a little luck may also evolve into somewhat of a reference, all be it modest.

Each button will have an image that displays both the front and back but please bear in mind that I am not an especially accomplished photographer, so my apologies in advance for any images that are lacking in some way.  Occasionally there may be duplicate buttons displayed, if this is the case then it is likely due to some difference, either in the finish, design, size or back-mark.

If you have any questions, comments or perhaps new information about any of the buttons and/or backmarks, then I would very much like to hear from you.  Also if you have a button for sale that you feel may be a good fit for my collection, then please feel free to contact me.

Happy collecting,

Roy
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