Four mounted Troops, called the Nottinghamshire Yeomanry were raised in Nottinghamshire in 1794 at Nottingham, Newark, Retford, and Mansfield as part time volunteer sub-units under command of Lieutenant Colonel Eyre.
They were raised in response to a call from William Pitt to the Lords Lieutenant under new legislation to raise Volunteer Troops of Cavalry, initially to prevent the threat of the republican movement in France, which resulted in the French Revolution, catching on in England.
In 1802 the peace treaty with France, the Treaty of Amiens, triggered the disbandment of all Troops other than the Newark Troop, but the peace was short lived and all were re-raised, with more besides to meet the new threat of invasion from Napoleon, The threat came to an end through a combination of the Battle of Trafalgar and the capture of the Danish fleet by the Royal Navy but not before the Regiment had received a warning order for actual mobilization when invasion was thought to be imminent.
The Sherwood Rangers take their name from an infantry unit raised in 1798 by a former Nottinghamshire Yeoman, Thomas Woollaston White of Wallingwells, who received a baronetcy for funding the unit until it was wound up in 1808. When the Nottinghamshire Yeomanry was reorganised into two regiments in 1826, the northernmost took up the White family motto ‘Loyal until Death’, together with the Sherwood Rangers name, bugle-horn badge, and uniform colour of rifle green, unusual for cavalry in the British army.
The Sherwood Rangers were frequently called out to maintain order during the industrial revolution’s civil disturbances and rioting in Nottinghamshire, until the mid -19th century when the newly formed police forces took over this role. For the next 50 years the Regiment retained their role of reserve cavalry, resplendent as hussars in green with gold trim, and building a strong reputation for efficiency, horsemanship and style.
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