Is this a Cheshire Yeo­manry uni­form?

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - QUESTIONS & ANSWERS -

Q

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

A

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

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