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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:

My Lord

I have proposed to some gentlemen in my neighbourhood to raise a troop of cavalry amongst our tenants for the protection of the Rushcliffe Hundred in case our military should be called at distance. I find them equally disposed to adopt a plan, that I am sorry to observe to your Grace seems highly necessary to preserve our peace, for we have a number of disaffected riotous people in this neighbourhood, from whom we have every reason to expect depredation if unrestrained by soldiery. We learn from Bingham that a similar troop is raised with the approbation of the Government, and we request the favour of your Grace to inform us whether ours will be approved, and if Government will provide arms for the Troop, all other expenses we take upon ourselves. An answer from your Grace as soon as convenient will be esteemed as a favour by, my Lord
Your Grace's obedient humble servant
Thomas Parkyns

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.
The commission was recorded in the following document:

"George the Third by the Grace of God, King of Great Britain, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith & c. To our Trusty and welbeloved Joseph Boultbee, Esqre, Greeting:
We reposing especial Trust and Confidence in your loyalty, courage and good conduct, do, by these present, constitute and appoint you to be Captain of the Bunny Troop of Gentlemen and Yeomanry, but not to take rank in our Army, except during the time of the said Corps being called out into actual service You are therefore to take the said Troop into your care and charge, and duly to exercise as well as the Officers as Soldiers thereof in Arms, and to use your best endeavours to keep them in good order and Discipline; And We do hereby command them to obey you as their Captain and you are to observe and follow such Orders and Directions from time to time, as you shall receive from us or any other your superior Officer, according to the Rules and Discipline of War; in pursuance of the Trust hereby reposed in You.
Given at our Court at Saint James the fourth day of May 1798 in the Thirty-eighth Year of Our Reign
By His Majesty's Command
PORTLAND
Entered with the Secretary at War.
M. LEWIS

Entered with the Commry. General of Musters
Wm WOODHOUSE
JOSEPH BOULTBEE Esq., Captain of the Bunny Troop of Gentn & Yeomanry

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