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Francis Brown, Royal Gloucestershire Hussars, Tetbury Troop

As the name implies, Yeomanry troops were raised by and from the property-owning class ; that is certainly the case of the sitter, Francis Brown :

Francis Brown was born in Silver Street, Tetbury in 1803. It is interesting to note that he is recorded as living at that very address in 1841, 1851, 1861, 1863, 1871 and 1881. He certainly is a landowner : the list of his properties in 1860 includes "cottages on Charlton Rd, Gumstool Hill x2, house and garden on Fox Hill, with tenants".

He was a builder by  trade ; he's recorded as being the architect of the Malmesbury and Westport C. of E. School (built c. 1849). In 1861 he was employing 32 men and 7 boys, a figure that soared to 66 men and 7 boys in 1871, to get down to 22 men and 2 boys in 1881.

He married Sarah Sisum on september 9th 1833 in Hankerton, Wiltshire (where she originated from). They will have some 11 children, all born in Tetbury (Sarah Ann, Francis, Martha, James Sisum, Edward, Robert, Esther anna, Alfred, Henry, Walter and Emily Jane). Francis Brown died in 1890 ; in Tetbury of course.

It is interesting to note that the Tetbury Troop was sent in 1831 to Bristol - they spent one week there to prevent pillaging in the wake of riots. It is not impossible that Francis Brown, then a 27 years old bachelor, was part of the action. He is listed as a Private in a 1835 list for the Gloucestershire Yeomanry.

Members of the yeomary were to provide their own horse - this somehow shows on that photograph : though a superb animal, Francis Brown's mount is no racing steed and may have been employed for more mundane tasks.

Many thanks to Lynne Cleaver for providing information about Francis Brown ; if you want to know more about Tetbury's history and people, please refer to her very informative website - that also has a specific  page on the Tetbury troop :