back of this CDV is handmarked in
contemporary ink "F.H. M'Calmont. June - 1877".
An additional mention was pencilled (likely by a collector) :
"CB ADC Wolseley - 7H and 4RDg- p139 harts 1888 for details".
This was an intriguing start : as a
matter of fact, pouch belt, plume and cap lines are wrong for an
officer of the 7th Hussars. A quick look in Army Lists revealed
the presence of an officer named M'Calmont in the 7th Hussars
indeed, but by 1877 he was a Captain - and the sitter here wears
the rank badges of a sub-lieutenant.
Further research unearthed the existence
of a sub-lieutenant Frederick H. M'Calmont, Royal North Devon
Hussars, who was presented to the Prince of Wales at the Levée
held at St. James's Palace on June 7th, 1877 - likely the occasion
when he was photographed in his uniform in Bassano's studio.
By 1880 F.H.M'Calmont is not listed
anymore among the officers of the Royal North Devon Hussars.
Frederick Haynes MacCalmont was the author of a book called the
"Parliamentary Poll Book", a second edition of which was
published round July 1880, giving "the particulars of every
election in every constituency from the first reform Bill in 1832
down to the present month". Overall there will seven editions
between 1879 and 1910.