This record is held by Cheshire Archives and Local Studies

Details of ZCCF/35
Reference: ZCCF/35

General Committee minute Book


Includes at front list of members of 'existing committee' and printed report of a public meeting held at the Town Hall 18 Nov. 1859, pasted in; also two letters from Philip Humberston, M.P. relating to volunteer funds. 1859-1863


Finance Committee minute book


Includes at front printed report of public meeting 28 Nov. 1859 and newspaper account of a meeting of members of the Chester Volunteer Rifle Corps for the adoption of rules and regulations, pasted in. 1859-1863


Letters and papers relating to the formation of the Chester Volunteer Rifle Company, being mainly lists of suscribers and letters from subscribers.


Includes printed account of public meeting held to consider forming a rifle corps with list of gentlemen appointed to confer with the lord lieutenant. 6 Jun. 1859: posters for the public meeting, 28 Nov. 1859, minutes of meeting 2 Dec. 1859 when it was decided to form an artillery company. 1859-1860


Letters and papers re the volunteer rifle and artillery corps.


Includes tenders for supplying uniforms; letters from the War Office, London; return showing strength of the 2nd company Cheshire Artillery Volunteers, 1860; estimates of annual expences of Chester Rifle Volunteers 1860-1; programme for the presentation of prizes to the 6th Cheshire Rifle Volunteers and minutes of committees including drill room committee, 1860 and list of subscriptions. 1859-1864


Alphabetical list of members of volunteer corps, stating name, residence and trade. 1860


Note: The following additional records are in Chester Public Library ref. H315, 1518, P35.5.


Rifle Corps committee minutes 27 Jun-29 Jul. 1859


Includes printed report of public meeting, 6 Jun. 1859; manuscript copy of handbill asking those wishing to join the rifle corps to register their names at the town hall.


Roll of volunteers for an Artillery Corps in the city of Chester proposed to the Marquess of Westminster, Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire, for recommendation to the Secretary at War.


Divided into columns stating age, residence, occupation, height and age of 71 members of corps. Proposed captain, Col. John Lloyd, late of H.M. Bengal crossed out and Bombay inserted Artillery. Also memoranda re promotions and draft roll of volunteers. 1859

Date: Undated
Held by: Cheshire Archives and Local Studies, not available at The National Archives
Language: English
Administrative / biographical background:

Established in 1859 as a result of the impending war between France and Austria in Italy, this corps was the successor of the volunteer corps raised in Chester by Roger Barnston in 1803 see CR 115. At a public meeting on 6 June 1859, with the mayor as chairman, it was decided to appoint committees, open subscription lists and confer with the lord lieutenant. At another public meeting held on 28 Nov. 1859 a general committee was appointed to increase the strength of the rifle corps already formed, and a finance committee was appointed on 30 Nov. 1859. Captain Richard Brooke of Sweeney Hall, Salop was chosen as commanding officer of the rile corps which became known as the Earl of Chester's Rifles, while the decision to form a volunteer company was taken at a meeting held on 2 Dec. 1859. The volunteers used the cockpit outside the Newgate as their training centre until the volunteer drill hall was built in Albion Street in 1869.


Although the non-military business of the volunteer corps was conducted by a committee of members, these corps were subject to the overall supervision of the War Office in London and the local lord lieutenant and since the lord lieutenant of Cheshire was also lord lieutenant of the city, the volunteer corps of Chester was organised as part of the county volunteer force. In the records listed below the Chester corps are referred to as the 6th Cheshire Rifle Volunteers and the 2nd Company Cheshire Artillery Volunteers. From 1859 to 1871 the Chester Rifle and Artillery Corps came under the supervision of William Morris, clerk to the lieutenancy but the lord lieutenant lost control of the volunteers and militia during the military reforms introduced by Edward Cardwell, Secretary for War in W.E. Gladstone's administration 1868 to 1874. when the Regulation of the Forces Act 1871, 34 and 35 Victoria c.86, made the volunteers and militia the reserve forces for the regular soldiers assigned to each county. After 1871 the artillery corps raised in 1859 became the 1st Cheshire and Caernarvonshire Artillery Volunteers and the rifle corps became the 2nd Earl of Chester's Volunteer Battalion of the Cheshire Regiment. In 1907 these became part of the new territorial army organised under the Territorial and Reserve Forces Act 1907, 7 Edward VII, c.9

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