Formation of Volunteer  Rifle Corps

From the

Bucks Advertiser & Aylesbury News

 7th January, 1860



On Wednesday last, an important meeting took place at Ashridge, the residence of Earl Brownlow, to take into consideration the propriety of forming a rifle corps in this locality. The Earl of Verulam, Lord-Lieutenant of the county of the county of Hertford. took the chair. Amongst the company present were Sir A. P. Cooper, Bart., Rev. Sir. J. J. Seymour, Bart., Lieut.-Colonel R. A. Smith Dorrien, Colonel P. Cust, Rev. F. J.Moore Halsey, F. J. Moore, Esq.; Rev. A. P. Cust, Rev. G. Acklom, Rev. Jas. Hutchinson, &c.

The Right Hon. the Earl Brownlow moved the first resolution.- "That it is highly necessary and expedient to from a volunteer rifle corps in this neighbourhood and the adjoining localities." In moving the resolution, his Lordship remarked that, although a young man, his wish was to be among the corps, and as such he would wish to serve as a private.

Other resolutions followed, in which it was advised to form a corps at Ashridge, another at Berkhampstead, another at Hemel Hempstead, and another at Tring. A committee was also appointed, comprising gentlemen in the above named localities, to carry out the objects.

A subscription was entered into amongst those present, Earl Brownlow heading the list by a subscription of £100. Sir A. P. Cooper, 'Bart., followed with £50. Others also subscribed, making a total of upwards of £300 in the room.

Arrangements were made for calling meetings in the other districts and for giving information to all concerned.




Hemel Hempstead





A public meeting was held on Thursday afternoon in the Town-hall, presided over by Mr. Balderson, the bailiff, for the purpose of taking into consideration the propriety of forming a Rifle Corps at Hemel Hempstead. At the hour appointed (three o clock) the Bailiff took the chair, in the immediate vicinity of which were Sir A. P. Cooper, Bart.; Rev. G. Acklom; Captain Tower, of Weald Hall. Essex; Captain Tower, R.N., Berkhampstead; R. Eden, E.q.: S. Saunders, E.q.; G. Grover, Esq. ; &c., &c.

The Town-hall was well filled.

The Chairman introduced the subject to the meeting in a brief but clear way, and stated that he had received letters of apology from the Earl of Verulam, Lord- Lieutenant of the county, who regretted his inability to attend in consequence of being compelled to attend the Quarter Sessions at St. Alban's; also from C. Loojam and J. Evans, Esqrs., of North Mills, and Rev. J. B. Bingham, but all approved of the objects of the meeting.

Sir A. P. Cooper, Bart., introduced the first resolution, namely, "'That a Volunteer Rifle Corps be at once formed for the town and district of Hemel Hempstead," and pointed out that it was to the interest of both old and young to support the movement.

The Rev. J. F. Moore Halsey seconded the resolulotion, which was put and carried unanimously Captain Tower, of Weald Hall, Essex, then moved the second resolution, and in an animated speech called upon the inhabitants of Hemel Hempstead to join in this one of the noblest institutions. He was well aware there were hardly any living of that troop of 100 volunteers which he had the honour to command in 1803 ; still there were the sons or grandsons living, the examples of whom he trusted they would follow. Having entered fully into the duties and the responsibility and advantage of the movement to England at large, whereby an invasion was rendered almost an impossibility, his advice was for all the young men to join as he had done, for now he was a private in the Brentwood Ride Corps, and concluded by moving " That a subscription be entered into for the purpose of defraying the expenses of the club."

The Rev. G. Acklom seconded the resolution,and defended his conduct in joining such movement from the attacks made upon him by the Peace Society, both on scriptural grounds as a religious man, and on social grounds as a citizen of the world, for the whole of the proceedings in connection with the movement were defensive and not aggressive.

The resolution was then put and carried unanimously. and a committee appointed to carry out the objects of the meeting.


Bucks Advertiser & Aylesbury News

 14th January, 1860



On Monday last, a meeting was held at the King's Arms Inn, Great Berkhampstead, for the purpose of forming a volunteer rifle corps in this neighbourhood. ILieut.-Colonel R. A. Smith Dorrien took the chair. Amount the compaay percent were — T. Curtis, Esq.; F. J. Moore, Esq. . --Dorrien, jun., Esq. ; B. H. Pearse. jun.. Esq. ; C. Winsor, Esq. • Captain Tower; Revds. J. Hutchinson, D. Norton, J. Barnes, J. H. Crawford, F. B. Harvey ; Messrs. W. Parsons, W. Claridge, H. Price, J. E. Lane, J. Skinner, S. Holloway, &c., &c.

The Chairman said he had called that meeting in compliance with the wish of a meeting held the week before at Ashridge, at which the sum of £356 had been subscribed towards the general fund. Since then he had further received from B. Pearce, Esq , £15 ; B. H. Pearce, jun., Esq., £5; G. Willis, Esq., £10. Having pointed out the utility, the necessity, and also the moderate cost of the volunteer rifle corps, the Chairman moved --

"That a volunteer rifle corps be formed in this and the surrounding neighbourhood, and that companies of the said corps be formed at Tring, Berkhampstead, Hemel Hempstead, Aehridge, and such other places as may be agreed upon."

This resolution, having been put to the meeting, was carried unanimously.

T. Curtis, Esq., then moved --

"That a sub-division or a company of volunteer rifle corps be raised at Berkhampstead with Northchurch."

This resolution was seconded by Mr. C. Collins and carried unanimously.

In answer to questions, the Chairman said that a subdivision consisted of 30 members and a company from 60 up to 100, and that the time of drill would be two ' or three times a week, as might be agreed upon, and moat probably in the evening.

 There was a code of laws agreed upon by the company at Hertford, some of which, he thought, might be altered to suit the locality. The Lord-Lieutenant had expressed a wish that all the rules for the county should be as nearly alike as circumstances would allow.He would also say that any one joining was at liberty to leave the corps on giving 14 days' notice, and that 24 days drill during the year would entitle any one to be returned as effective ; but they would be liable to be called out in case of actual invasion, or the appearance of an enemy in force, or on the coast, or in case of a rebellion, during which time they would be subject to military law, and would be billeted and receive pay in the same way as the regular army. The Chairman then moved --

"That three lists be opened -- the first for those who were willing to enter the rifle corps and defray their own expenses ; the second for those who could not afford to pay the whole of the expenses of the outfit; and the third for honorary members who desire to be exempt from active service either from age or infirmity, or from their professional duties, business, or occupation, who might wish to identify themselves with the corps and help it by annual subscriptions."

The Rev. Jas. Hutchinson seconded the adoption of the three lists, which was carried unanimously.

Several persons then came forward and signed their names, making nearly 30 between the different lists.

The Chairman then explained that the signing of the lists would not be considered as binding on any one — it was merely for the purpose of guidance to the central committee. The following gentlemen were then nominated on the local committee :—Lieut.-Colonel R. A. Smith Dorrien, F. J. Moore, Esq. ; Messrs. J. Pethybridge, C. Collins, T. Holloway, T. Parsons, W: Hazell, and J. Skinner, and that three form a quorum.

F. J. Moore, F.sq., then moved that the thanks of the meeting be given to the chairman. This being acknowledged by the chairman, the meeting separated.


Bucks Advertiser & Aylesbury News

 14th January, 1860


Very long account of Tring meeting - ending ....

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