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Roger Fenton (1819-69)

Shooting for the Duke of Cambridge's prize, Wimbledon 2 Jul 1860

RCIN 2941856

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A soldier crouches in an open-sided tent and takes aim to shoot for the Duke of Cambridge's prize at the National Rifle Association meeting on Wimbledon Common. Spectators, mostly soldiers, stand either side of the tent. Photographer's credit lithographed on the mount and numbered in pencil on the mount, 'No.12'. The Duke of Cambridge (1819-1904) was a grandson of King George III and a first cousin of Queen Victoria. At the time of the National RIfle Association meeting, he was the Commander-in-Chief of the British army. Although he had a reputation for being somewhat resistant to change, he was keen to investigate the possibilities of breech-loading rifles as weapons for us by the military. The Duke, who attended the meeting on the first day as part of the royal party, instituted a prize of £50 for breech-loading rifles. The prize was won by a Swiss rifleman called Knecht who shot with a Westley-Richards rifle (a design made under license from Joseph Whitworth). The following year, the Duke was responsible for trialling the Westley-Richards within various sections of the army.