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Embodying the Militia in Georgian England$
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Matthew McCormack

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198703648

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198703648.001.0001

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Numbering the Fighting Men

Numbering the Fighting Men

(p.76) (p.77) 4 Numbering the Fighting Men
Embodying the Militia in Georgian England

Matthew McCormack

Oxford University Press

Whereas the first three chapters focused on representation, from this point the book focuses on practice: it explores how the institution was experienced by the men who were actually required to serve in it. This chapter explores the practical processes by which the militia was brought into being, or ‘embodied’ for service. At the same time, it thinks about embodiment in a corporeal sense, as it makes the case that the New Militia represented a watershed in the state’s relationship with its population. The Militia Lists were effectively the first modern census, and the muster rolls constituted a biometric record of the recruits. In addition, procedures of selection and nurture reveal a concern with optimizing the bodily resources at its disposal, and in the masculine civilian population more widely.

Keywords:   militia lists, population, censuses, governmentality, medical history, the body, eighteenth century

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