A maritime militia raised in Britain for limited service, and for a definite period, as a defence against invasion during the Revolutionary (1793–1801) and Napoleonic (1803–15) Wars against France. They were made up mainly of fishermen and local residents in coastal areas, and service in the Sea Fencibles protected a man from impressment into the navy. They were ranked junior to marines and soldiers of the line regiments, but senior to yeomanry and volunteers. The force was first raised in 1798 and reached its peak in 1810 with a strength of 23,000 men.
Subjects: Maritime History.