Rutland Record 27 – From Militiamen to Stone Age Hunters
Unlikely bedfellows are brought together in the new issue of the Rutland Local
History & Record Society’s annual journal, the 27th Rutland Record, just published.
As always, this publication contains articles on different aspects of the county’s
past as well as notes on the activities of local organisations involved in work on its
archaeology, history, museums and archives.
The first article, by Robin Jenkins of the Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester
& Rutland, is about the history of the Rutland Militia, an article prompted by a
Record Office exhibition on the 250th anniversary of the Militia Act of 1757. Those
who served in the militia were selected by ballot: you couldn’t avoid selection, but
if you could afford it you could pay a fine or hire a substitute to serve in your
place. It’s hardly surprising, then, that some locals chose to avoid military service
in this way, as Robin demonstrates, drawing on surviving archives to illustrate his
The early development of Rutland’s railways formed the subject of the RLHRS’s
annual Bryan Matthews lecture in 2005, and in the second article in this issue John
Wales has now put pen to paper to record the basis of his talk on that occasion.
The history of the Welland Valley line from Market Harborough to Peterborough
and the importance of the Midland route from Kettering to Nottingham, over the
Harringworth viaduct, are brought out in this study. The county’s shortest line,
from Seaton to Uppingham – less than four miles, is also featured, as well as other
components of the complex of lines that criss
crossed Rutland in the latter part of
the 19th and the earlier 20th centuries.
The Society’s Honorary Editor, Tim Clough, said, “I remember getting the special end-of-term train which left
Uppingham station at 6.33am when I was a boy – so this article has a special interest for me: but as always there’s
something to fascinate anyone with an eye for the history or archaeology of our county in this issue.”
Members of the Society have been taking part in archaeological fieldwalking across the county for years, and in
recent seasons their activities around Uppingham have led to a series of discoveries of unexpected importance.
Evidence has been found by the fieldwalking team, led by Elaine Jones of Uppingham, that nomadic hunters and
gatherers of the Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic – the later Old Stone Age and the Middle Stone Age – lived in or
passed through the area around 18,000 years ago. Elaine’s article describes finds of early flint tools from some 30
sites in this part of Rutland, and compares the life-style of these early peoples to that of reindeer hunters
and fishers of Lapland in more recent times.
This edition also contains obituaries of two prominent members: George Boyle, of Bisbrooke Hall, who was past
President and then Patron of the Friends of the Rutland County Museum, as well as a past President of the RLHRS;
and Olive Adams, a founding member of the Rutland Field Research Group for Archaeology and History, later
merged with the RLHRS of which she was an honorary member.
Descriptions of archaeological fieldwork across the county, of Rutland archives acquired by the record offices in
Lincoln and Leicester, of the activities of the Rutland Historic Churches Preservation Trust and of the county’s own
vibrant Rutland County Museum Service through 2006-07 bring the issue to a close.
Copies of the new publication can be obtained from the Rutland Local History & Record Society at the Rutland
County Museum for £3.50 (plus £1.25 pence p&p) or via local bookshops. ISBN-13: 978-0-907464-40-2.
Click here to order on-line using the Genfair Service
For further information, please contact: Peter Diplock, Assistant Editor, RLHRS, Rutland County Museum,
Catmose Street, Oakham, Rutland, LE15 6HW, or tel 01572 724629, or
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