Four printed War Office documents relating to the formation of the Volunteer Force [called 'Rifle Volunteer Corps' and 'Volunteer Corps'], comprising a draft of the 'Rules', two printed circulars from Sidney Herbert and one from his secretary.

[The Rifle Volunteer Corps; The Volunteer Force, 1859-1908; The War Office, Whitehall; Sidney Herbert (1810-1861), 1st Baron Herbert of Lea, Secretary of State for War, 1859-1861; Viscount Ranelagh]
Publication details: 
All four documents from the War Office [Whitehall, London]. The three circulars dated 8 September, 14 October and 20 December 1859; the 'Rules' dated 10 August 1859.
SKU: 12789

The four items in very good condition, on lightly-aged paper. For a full account of the subject see Hugh Cunningham's 'The Volunteer Force: A Social and Political History, 1859-1908' (1975). Item One: 'RULES OF THE ---- VOLUNTEER CORPS.' 5pp., folio (paginated to 6). The cover page has in its top left-hand corner: 'V | General No. | 469', and carries a table of contents. Preceding the rules is a page headed 'WAR OFFICE, | 10th August, 1859', giving a list of the twelve committee members, preceded by the statement: 'PROCEEDINGS of a COMMITTEE assembled, by Order of the Secretary of State for War, for the purpose of drafting model Rules and Regulations for the government of Volunteer Corps when not on actual Service and subject to Military discipline.' In the list that follows, the President of the Committee is named as 'VISCOUNT RANELAGH, South Middlesex Rifles', and the first three members are: 'EARL SPENCER, Althorp Rifles. | MAJOR CLIFFORD, Victoria Rifles. | MR. J. H. ORDE, Yarmouth Rifles.' The 24 rules follow over three pages, and include: '1. THE Corps having been raised under the Act 44 Geo. III., cap. 54, the members are consequently subject to the provisions of that Act, and to all regulations which have been or shall be issued, under the authority of the Secretary of State for War.' and '14. The following fines shall be imposed, [the amounts to be settled as above, provided that they shall not be less than the following sums respectively, viz., | For loading contrary to orders, or shooting out of turn .... 2s. 6d. | For discharging the rifle accidentally .... 5s. | For pointing the same, loaded or unloaded, at any person without orders .... 5s.]' Item Two: Circular from 'RIPON' (on behalf of 'Mr. Secretary Herbert') to 'The Officer Commanding | [blank] Volunteers.' Dated 'War Office, | 8th September 1859.' 1p., folio. In top left-hand corner: 'V | General No. | 486'. Forwarding Item One, which 'Mr. Herbert considers likely to assist you in preparing Regulations for the government of the Corps under your Command.' Item Three: Circular from 'SIDNEY HERBERT' to 'Her Majesty's Lord Lieutenant | for [blank]'. Dated ' War Office, | 14th October, 1859.' 2pp., folio. In top left-hand corner of first page: 'V. | Gen. No. | 509'. Announcing that 'Her Majesty's Government have determined to issue immediately to Rifle Volunteer Corps an additional supply of Long Enfield Rifles (pattern 1853), to the extent of 25 per cent. on the effective strength of the Corps. This supply will raise the aggregate issue to 50 per cent. on the effective strength of the force; [...] At a later period I shall be prepared to issue a third instalment of arms of the same pattern as the 50 per cent. now granted. And I hope to be in a position, in the course of next summer, to supply the short Rifle, with Sword Bayonet, to a limited extent, in exchange for the long one at present issued.' He ends with a list of 'the amount of ammunition for effective members, to be issued at cost price, on the requisition of the Commanding Officers'. Item Four: Circular from 'SIDNEY HERBERT' to 'Her Majesty's Lord Lieutenant | for [blank]'. Dated ' War Office, | 20th December, 1859'. 1p., folio. Announcing another 'additional supply' of Long Enfield Rifles, and hoping soon to be in a position 'to exchange these Rifles gradually for the Short Enfield, in the case of any Corps which may desire it, on the understanding that the Long Rifles must be returned in good condition, fair wear and tear excepted, or that the Corps must pay for any damage they may have received.'