Is this a Cheshire Yeomanry uniform?
Some time ago I met with a cousin who showed me an old photograph that took my breath away. We think it depicts my great great grandfather David Hulme, who I’ve never seen a photograph of before.
David was born in 1811 in Over Alderley, Cheshire, and farmed in a village just outside Congleton until 1871, when the family moved to Clun in Shropshire. The farm was part of the Bromley Davenport Estate.
I would love to know if this is a Cheshire Yeomanry uniform of around 1831-1871. I would also be very interested in knowing what being part of the Cheshire Yeomanry at this time entailed. Rosemary Gresty, via email
This photograph, almost certainly a carte de visite (visiting card with photo), shows a member of the Cheshire Yeomanry. Cartes de visite first became popular in the 1860s, as did the wearing of full beards, placing the photograph almost certainly in that decade.
The yeomanry were volunteer cavalry raised for home defence and usually comprised prosperous farmers as the rank and file with minor aristocrats as officers. They were called upon by the civil authorities when there were troubles and in the 1840s the Cheshire Yeomanry “put down” disturbances at some industrial disputes.
Apart from an annual week at camp and training days, there were few commitments and the yeomanry had become, by the late-19th century, as much a social club based around horses as anything else. Phil Tomaselli