Since the Domesday Book in 1086, Bunny has been included in the "Rushcliffe Hundred". The Hundreds were county divisions, so called because they were based on an area of one hundred tythings, families or a requirement to supply one hundred men for the King's wars. In the following centuries these Hundreds were used to judge how many men should be supplied for the Navy or Army.
Although volunteers and press-gangs provided men for the services during the Napoleonic Wars, not enough men were forthcoming and attempts had to be made to gain more "volunteers", therefore County and Town Justices were asked to raise the numbers. They worked out the numbers to be met in each area by ascertaining the number of inhabited dwellings throughout the various Hundreds. From these returns we learn that in 1795 there were thirty-seven substantial inhabited dwellings (those with a rental value of more than £5 per annum) in Bunny and that the Rushcliffe Hundred as a whole was required to raise ten men. It became the responsibility of the Churchwardens and Parish Overseer to make a list of possible men.
A volunteer by the name of Stephen Pickard went forward to represent Bunny and Bradmore enrolling for the duration of the war plus three months. If the Parishes could not find anyone to volunteer they were allowed to pay a substitute from another area to join up on their behalf. These positions were advertised in the local papers and the volunteer would be paid a bonus upon enlisting. In 1796 an order requiring thirteen men to be found for the Army was made upon Rushcliffe and those responsible apparently had little success in recruiting anyone. As a result of this failure, Bunny and West Leake were fined £23 11s 0d by the Justices in Nottingham.
Local people were also called upon to form a Militia to defend their locality in times when invasion or rebellion threatened. Men aged 18 -50 were chosen by lot or ballot and served for three years. If those chosen defaulted they were fined £10 and then had to serve for a further three years! They were required to train at monthly meetings and at one time had regular annual training for a week at Whitsun. In later years this was changed to twenty-eight days annually. Latterly non-compliance could result in six months in jail. Augustus Parkyns of Bunny Hall was a Captain in the Militia in 1786 and rose to the rank of Major in 1792.
As well as the Militia, bodies of volunteers were formed in the County. In 1794 encouragement was given to the formation of Companies to defend the Kingdom in the time of the war with France. Amongst these bodies was the "Bunny Troop of Yeomanry" who were commissioned on the 4th May 1798. The troop was formed following an initial request from Sir Thomas Parkyns in March 1798 to the Duke of Portland:
The response was quick and positive and a further letter with the names
of the proposed officers - Joseph Boultbee to be Captain Commandant, William
Timm to be Lieutenant and Henry Breedon to be Cornet - was forwarded for
the King's signature. Sir Thomas did not take command of the troop he
had raised but it was referred to as 'Sir Thomas Parkyns' Troop' on more
than one official return.