The School of Musketry at Hythe, circa 1860
An albumen print showing soldiers from different regiments at the School of Musketry at Hythe in Kent. An inked inscription in a period hand in the lower margin reads ‘School of Musketry Evening Class.’ Several other images in the same album were dated November 1860.
Established in 1853 by Lord Hardinge, the Hythe School of Musketry was charged with maintaining the proficiency of the army in the use of small arms, support weapons and range management. The Hythe Manual of Musketry Instruction, ironically a translation of an earlier French manual, quickly became the standard for all musketry training.
Verso presents a portrait of a handsome young officer serving in the 2nd (The Queen’s Royal) Regiment of Foot. A pencilled inscription identifies him as ‘Dicky Bird’ in inverted commas. An inked inscription gives his regiment and the location, which is Walmer. His clipped autograph is also pasted into the lower margin.
Condition: the print is in very fine condition, with excellent tonal range. The album page presents a couple of nicks at its edges and a short tear at its lower edge.
Description: the print measures 4.6” by 6i.7” (11.7 cm by 17.1 cm); the album page measures 11.4” by 9” (29 cm by 22.8 cm).