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Carte de Visite, studio Birtles, Northwich and Knutsford.
Quarter Master John Twiss, Earl of Chester's Yeomanry.

The back of this Carte de Visite is displaying the following little text :
"Quarter Master John Twiss, joined The King's Cheshire Yeomanry on the
5Th April 1825 and resigned April 9, 1872.
47 Years."

We learn about the subject through "The Earl of Chester's Regiment of Yeomanry Cavalry: its formation and services, 1797-1897" (Frederick Leary, Ballantine Press, 1898)

This comprehensive book gives some Muster Rolls of the members o fthe Troops called out on duty.

In the "MUSTER ROLL OF TROOPS OUT IN AID OF THE CIVIL POWER - August 1839", we find in the CONGLETON TROOP : "Captain C.C. Antrobus, Qr Master Jno. Newbold, Sergeant John Twiss".

Here is a description of these troubles :

"The attitude assumed by the Chartists during this year gave rise to anxiety on the part of the authorities. At the beginning of May, Lord John Russell authorised the Major-General commanding the Northern District to call out the yeomanry in his district whenever it appeared necessary; orders were accordingly issued to the commanding officer of the regiment to hold the corps in readiness to assemble as quickly as possible, in aid of the Civil Power, in case of emergency. In consequence of a public notice being given of a Chartist meeting to be held at Macclesfield on July 22nd, at which it was expected a numerous body of turn-out colliers would attend, the magistrates of that borough considered it their duty to apply to the Lord-Lieutenant for military aid, and the Tabley and Tatton Troops were ordered to Macclesfield, and remained on duty on the 22nd and 23rd; but their services were not required. They received the thanks of the magistrates of the borough for their "prompt attention on so short notice."

In August, Lieutenant-Colonel Egerton applied for and obtained from the Board of Ordnance twelve light cavalry carbines for each of nine troops (the Stockport Troop being already in possession of them), in accordance with the Yeomanry Regulations of 1837, as he thought they would be found more effective than pistols for dismounted service, or other detached duties the troops might be called upon to perform in aid of the Civil Power. The Chartists had resolved to hold simultaneous meetings throughout the country on the twelfth of August, and a report was spread that it was their intention to march on Chester for the purpose of rescuing a number of prisoners who were awaiting their trial at the Assizes at that city, which were to be opened on that day. On the tenth, the following communication was forwarded from Whitehall to Lieutenant-Colonel Egerton :-

"I am directed by Lord John Russell to acquaint you that it is his Lordship's wish that the King's Cheshire Yeomanry Cavalry should be ordered to assemble to assist the Civil Power in case of necessity, and to be posted in the neighbourhood of Chester, and that a communication to this effect has been addressed to the LordLieutenant of the County of Chester.
J. M. Phillipps."

In accordance with this request, orders were given for the regiment to march on the twelfth, and Lieutenant-Colonel Egerton informed the Home Office that he would be in or near the city with the regiment under his command in the course of the day. The whole of the regiment was on its way to Chester, when a communication was received from the magistrates of that city stating that they thought one squadron would be sufficient, on which eight of the troops were ordered back, and the Forest and Arley Troops alone proceeded to Chester, and remained there until the seventeenth.
In the meantime application had been received from Macclesfield and Hyde for troops in aid of the Civil Power, and as the Macclesfield and Congleton Troops had reached Northwich on their way to Chester, before their orders could be countermanded, and could not return the same evening, the Altrincham and Dunham Massey Troops were sent. This squadron had left home at four o'clock in the morning and marched eight miles towards Chester before they received counter-orders, and returned to Altrincham, a distance of sixteen miles. This, with their march to Macclesfield, another distance of sixteen miles, made a total of thirty-two miles; and shortly after arriving in the latter town they were 1839 called out in aid of the civil authorities, and employed for two hours in clearing the streets, the same evening. They were reinforced on the following day by the Tatton and Tabley Troops, who had been turned back at the Smoker Inn, after a march of four miles. On the thirteenth the Morley and Stockport Troops were sent to Hyde, Stockport being in charge of a troop of the 6th Dragoon Guards. The whole of the regiment (with the exception of the Macclesfield and Congleton Troops, which reached home on the evening of the thirteenth) remained on duty until the seventeenth, when they were allowed to proceed to their respective homes.

In forwarding their thanks for the services rendered on this occasion, the magistrates of Macclesfield wrote to Lieutenant-Colonel Egerton:-

"The magistrates think it right to state that the benefit of a yeomanry force, in times of popular commotion, was shown on the present occasion. They had applied for the aid of a regular troop without effect, the services of the latter being required elsewhere, and had it not been for the yeomanry they must have been left without military assistance."

John TWISS is also listed among the "MUSTER ROLL OF TROOPS OUT IN AID OF THE CIVIL POWER - August and September 1842" :"Captain Antrobus, Lieutenant Reade,Qr Master Jno. Twiss".

The Congleton Troop was "Called out on August 12 by the mayor and magistrates of Congleton. Sent home on 27th inst."

"The distress at this time was deep and universal. From the agricultural as well as from the manufacturing districts, from all the great centres of trade-Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, and Leeds-there came forth one great cry of agony. Merchants and manufacturers in great numbers succumbed to the pressure, and were driven into bankruptcy. Hundreds of thousands of industrious men were thrown out of employment, and subsisted either by private charity or out of the poor rates, which had swollen to oppressive dimensions. No wonder, among this horde of daring and desperate men, the Chartists found willing hearers and numerous proselytes. A cessation of labour was advocated until the Charter became the law of the land, and the cry went forth, "No Charter, no work." These ravings did not fall unheeded on the ears of destitute and ignorant men. Two or three days' employment per week, at scanty wages, afforded so bare a pittance that it seemed a small sacrifice to throw it up on the chance of securing the Charter and the general abundance which it was guaranteed to insure. The headquarters of the movement were at this time in Manchester. The Potteries were in a very disturbed state, and on the fifteenth of July, about one thousand colliers from that district passed through Congleton, towards Poynton, on their way to attend a meeting at Manchester, and their return was expected in no very good humour. The 1842 magistrates of Staffordshire solicited the aid of the regiment to assist the civil authorities, and the Congleton Troop, under Captain Antrobus, marched to the Red Bull, on the borders of the county, where it was met by an express from the magistrates requiring it to march immediately to Newcastle-under-Lyme, and here it remained on duty, with the Uttoxeter Troop of Staffordshire Yeomanry, until the eighteenth. On the twenty-second and twenty-third the troop was again called out, together with the Tatton Troop, under Captain Egerton, to aid the Civil Power at Congleton, for which they received the thanks of the magistrates for the County of Chester and for the Borough of Congleton.

On the fifth of August, the factory operatives of Ashtonunder-Lyne turned out, and at a meeting held on Mottram Moor, on the seventh, it was resolved that they would not resume work until the Charter became the law of the land. This resolution was followed by all the hands in the mills of Ashton-under-Lyne, Dukinfield, and Staleybridge-twentythree thousand in number-turning out on Monday, August 8th. Several thousands proceeded to Manchester and other neighbouring towns, and turned out all the hands employed at the various works; plugs were withdrawn from the boilers of steam-engines, so that work could not be resumed for some time; and in the course of a few days, the Chartists could boast that for fifty miles round Manchester every industry, except those connected with the supply of food for the people, was arrested.

The whole of the regiment was now called out, and the following tables will show the services of the corps during this trying period :-
the workmen from the salt-pits; and on the eighteenth to Middlewich, in expectation of rioters from Sandbach, and was then called upon to aid the Civil Power at Stockport.

On the eleventh of August ten thousand persons marched into Stockport, and, after stopping the mills, they broke into the Union Workhouse and took the provisions of the paupers. The magistrates and constables, supported by the military, charged the mob and took about sixty prisoners fourteen of whom were committed to Chester Castle for felony, and the remainder, on promise of amendment, were discharged on their own recognisances to appear when called upon. In the neighbourhood of Macclesfield and Congleton, after closing the mills, mobs, armed with sticks, went about levying contributions on small farmers and poor cottagers, and many outrages were committed. Similar scenes of lawlessness took place in other manufacturing and mining districts in Yorkshire, Staffordshire, Wales, and Scotland. At Preston the mob stoned the soldiers, who, in return, fired and killed seven persons; but in all these places delusive hopes soon vanished before stern realities. No work meant no wages, no wages meant no food, and by the end of August all the turn-outs who could find work resumed it."

The Congleton Troop will also be sent ot in 1848, but John TWISS was not among the mobilized.

He is however further mentionned in the History for his musical skills :

"1854 In consequence of apprehended disturbances at Stockport, resulting from trade disputes, in April, the Toft, Adlington, Dunham, and Altrincham Troops were held in readiness to aid the Civil Power from April 23rd to May 16th, but fortunately their services were not required. Seven days later the regiment marched into Chester for permanent duty, and was inspected on the twenty-ninth by Major Unett, of the 3rd King's Own Light Dragoons, who was pleased to express his gratification as to the appearance and efficiency of the regiment.
"The Grand Review March," published and composed expressly for the regiment by Quartermaster Twiss, was played by the regimental band during the officers' mess on the twenty-third. "The march elicited from Prince Albert the warmest approbation."
The deficiency in the Band Fund this year reached eighteen guineas, and the officers were called upon in the following year to subscribe four days' pay. A large fire took place at Messrs. Bellis and Williams' yard while the regiment was at Chester, and the Lieutenant-Colonel Commandant placed at the disposal of the civil authorities any services which it was in the power of the regiment to render, for which he received the thanks of the mayor and magistrates of the city."