the Bunny Village website:
1 | 2 | 3
Joseph Boultbee was the brother-in-law of Sir Thomas Parkyns, his younger
sister Jane having become Sir Thomas's third wife in 1796. Joseph had
served in the Marines during the American War of Independence and retired
with the rank of Lieutenant in 1783. He had since married and eventually
settled in Bunny where he held a large farm under a long and valuable
lease from his brother-in- law. He was described as a bright cheerful
man and a favourite in society. He was a good horseman and a member of
the Quorn Hunt and Club. The rest of the Corps were chiefly the tenantry
from Bunny and the neighbouring villages and they served as a purely local
force of volunteers having be assured that they would not be called upon
for duties away from the area. In November they were presented with a
standard by Lady Jane, which was consecrated by the Vicar of Bunny. After
the presentation they marched to Bunny Park, their usual place of exercise.
This was reported by The Nottingham Journal, which says that,
"They are a fine body of men, well mounted and went through
a variety of evolutions with the utmost correctness to the satisfaction
of a large assemblage of people, after which the Troop dined together
at Sir Thomas Parkyns"
Their uniform is described as "Dark blue jackets, faced with scarlet,
with gold lace and buttons and gold epaulets, a low cap with crested plume,
buff breeches and jack boots" and they were armed with swords, pistols
and carbines which were provided by the Government.
They joined other volunteer forces from neighbouring areas for church
parades, field days and demonstrations, but in 1800 they were needed to
quell riots provoked by a bread shortage. Poor grain harvests, plus agricultural
depression during and following the Napoleonic Wars, had resulted in high
prices and a shortage of bread nationally and there were three days of
dissent on the streets of Nottingham. On Sunday 31st August, the people
assembled in large numbers in the streets and commenced breaking some
of the bakers' windows and attacking the granaries at the canal wharves.
The Bunny Troop was called out to aid other forces to control the situation.
On the first day one of the Troop was thrown into a ditch in Sneinton
and was "extricated with some difficulty". The disorder continued
until nature intervened in the form of one of the most terrific storms
of thunder, lightning and hail that had ever been witnessed in the locality.
A report on events on 2nd September appeared in the London Morning Chronicle.
"Nottingham Tuesday 3.00.pm
It is very painful to us to state that the public discontent is still
violent and there is not even a prospect of the riot subsiding. The
Yeomanry Cavalry, and the Infantry belonging to this town, have been
on duty all this day, and a great part of yesterday; but the poor inhabitants,
who are alone discontented, absolutely defy them, and even the women
interrupt them with hisses, and other modes of abuse. About fourteen
persons have been secured and are now in Nottingham Gaol. The women
are the principal aggressors, and they are permitted to remain at liberty.
This morning, about one o'clock, a large party attacked a baker's shop
near Suttons's the booksellers; they ransacked the shop of all the flour
they could find, which they exhibited to the persons present as containing
chalk, alum, and other poisonous substances. A Troop of the Blues, however,
arrived, and after the greatest exertions succeeded in dispersing the
mobs. These Blues have been unremittingly on duty three days and two
nights, without rest; and they must continue to parade the streets until
reinforcements shall arrive. Many of the shops are shut up at midday,
and a real panic pervades the minds of the opulent. The rioters at Mansfield
have been overawed and that place is now quiet; but they are so numerous
in Nottingham and the want of bread so general amongst the poor, that
unless something is done to relieve them, the consternation must continue.
This morning about twelve o'clock, the flag was hoisted at the top of
St. Mary's steeple and a messenger sent to Sir Thomas Parkyns, to request
he would immediately dispatch his troop of horse from Bunny, a village
in the neighbourhood; they arrived about an hour ago, and are now parading
A large party made an attack upon a mill in the environs; they loaded
a waggon with wheat and were making off with it when a party of horse
arrived, rescued the wheat and for greater safety brought it into the
The vengeance of the rioters is directed entirely against the bakers,
millers and farmer; they attribute the present scarcity to forestallers,
monopolists and regrafters. Business is entirely at a stand. All weavers
have joined the crowd.
5.00p.m. This moment between 20 and 30 of the rioters have been lodged
in the County prison; they arrived in an open waggon, under an escort
from the village of Arnold, about four miles from Nottingham, and all
belong to the extensive manufactory of Messrs. Davidson and Hawksley
factory. Many of them are fine young fellows and appear under twenty
years of age. The women would gladly have effected a rescue, but were
overpowered by the soldiery. There was a serious conflict before the
prisoners could be secured and the Bunny Yeomanry were obliged to fire
on them; one is dreadfully wounded with a ball in the neck and another
had his arm shattered"
To help the situation farmers from amongst the Volunteer Corps undertook
to bring grain into Nottingham to be sold at a reasonable price and bring
down the contentiously inflated price. Peace was restored and thanks sent
to the Troops for their assistance.
Top of Page