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
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
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.