United Kingdom
Lancashire Hussars

Carte-de-Visite, studio Fratelli d'Alessandri in Rome

Viscount Southwell, Officer in the Lancashire Hussars

Here is the description of the officers' full dress, extracted from "The Royal Militia and Yeomanry Cavalry List arranged and compilad by Arthur Sleigh, Esq. and published in April, 1850" :

LANCASHIRE HUSSAR REGIMENT (Major Comdt., Sir John Gerald, Bart.)
Regimental Appoinments: Hussar, lace gold.
Officers' Full Dress: Blue Hussar jacket,fully laced with chain lace in front and braided on collar,

cuffs and back seams according to regimental pattern; pelisse fully laced and trimmed with sable; pantaloons crimson; Hessian boots; pouch-belt of stamped gilt metal; pouch, gilt metal with silver ornaments, busby with gold cap-line; sword-belt of gold lace, lined with crimson leather; sabetache, crimson, edged with gold lace and embroidered with gold.

He looks to be holding the crimson undress cap in his right hand.

Further information about this photograph has kindly been provided by Dave Knight :
"The uniform was army blue with gold braid and lace, no facings. Looking at a group photograph of the officers in 1864, I believe that the officer in your photo is T.A.J. Viscount Southwell who served in the B or Liverpool and St Helens Troop (Cnt, 4.1.60, Lt, 14.7.64, retired 1873, late Lt 13th LD). You will notice the unusual shape of the picker plate on the pouch belt, which was of special regimental pattern, a gilt rose and leaves. The braid on the jacket appears flat, which implies the gold chain gimp of the original garment adopted on formation in 1848. Southwell joined in 1860, the year before the braid was changed to round-back gold cord, and has retained his original jacket, not unusual in the yeomanry. The headdress at this time was a hussar busby with a crimson bag and white over crimson plume. The figured braid that can be seen on the collar is two eyes and an Austrian knot. The uniform was worn until 1879 when a conventional hussar full dress with silver lace was adopted."

Thomas Arthur Joseph Southwell (6 April 1836 - 26 April 1878), 4th Viscount Southwell, had been gazetted a Cornet, by purchase, in the 13th Light Dragoons on October 2d, 1855.
At that time the Regiment was in the Crimea (where it had taken part in the "Charge of the Light Brigade" the previous year). The regimental depôt was then stationed at Dorchester Barracks.
It doesn't seem that Cornet Southwell rejoined his regiment in the Crimea.
The 13th Light Dragoons came back from the Crimea on board the steam-transport Assistance, No.115, reaching Spithead on May 24th, 1856. They would move to Ireland in July inst.
T.A.Southwell was promoted to Lieutenant on October 9th, 1857.
The London Gazette announced on April 13th, 1858 :
"13th Light Dragoons, Lieut. Thomas A. Southwell has been permitted to retire from the service by the sale of his commission."

After joining the Lancashire Hussars in 1860, he was promoted to Lieutenant in 1864 :
"Lancashire Hussar Yeomanry Cavalry.
Cornet the Right Honourable
Thomas Arthur Viscount Southwell, to be Lieutenant, vice Standish, resigned. Dated 14th July, 1864."

Viscount Southwell, of Castle Mattress in the County of Limerick, was an Irish Peer ; he was created a Knight of Saint-Patrick in 1871. He also held an appointment as a Major in the Leitrim Rifles Militia - a commission he resigned on May 14th, 1873.

He was a Roman Catholic : in November 1870 he attended a "meeting of sympathy with the Pope", presided in Malborough Street Cathedral, Dublin, by Cardinal Cullen, to protest against the "policy of Italy of invading Rome while France was in difficulties" .
The photograph was most likely taken in Rome on the occasion of a visit to the Vatican.

Hence it is quite an interesting document, if analyzed from a political point of view :
- The Roman photographer stating "I am a Roman Catholic" ;
- The Lancashire Hussars uniform stating concurrently "I am faithful to the British Crown".

Many thanks to Dave Knight, Francesco Simoncini, Gianluigi Parpani and Sean Weir