Catalog Archive
Auction 181, Lot 415

British Volunteer Corps Document from French Revolutionary War

"A Plan of Hyde Park Taken on the Fourth of June 1799 When Sixty Six Volunteer Corps Paraded There in Honor of Their Sovereigns Birth Day...",

Subject: London, England

Period: 1799 (dated)


Color: Hand Color

16.6 x 14.9 inches
42.2 x 37.8 cm
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This fascinating piece of British history was created by Charles Random, a member of the Royal Westminster Volunteers Light Infantry, to commemorate George III's review of Volunteer Corps in Hyde Park on his birthday on 4 June 1799. The British Volunteer Corps were established during the French Revolutionary Wars to defend England in the event of an invasion. This plan shows the position of troops in Hyde Park, with the names of each corps and their commanders listed in columns surrounding the plan. This plan was first published on 19 July 1799 with a dedication at bottom to the volunteer associations of London by Charles Random. This second state was issued on 20 September 1799, and replaces the dedication with "General Orders" from Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, Commander in Chief and George III's second son. The "General Orders" commend the Volunteer Corps for their performance at Hyde Park and request that the commanding officers communicate his Majesty's compliments to their troops. Above the plan, an engraved line has been added to personalize it with the name of a volunteer to whom the document could be presented. This example was presented to William Farringdon Maugham of the First Battalion Company and signed in manuscript by James Robertson (1733-1818), Colonel of the Royal Westminster Volunteers, which he had founded in 1787.


Condition: B+

Full contemporary color with light toning and soiling and some extraneous creasing. A fold separation and a short tear at bottom have been repaired with old paper on verso. There is a small chip along the bottom edge of the sheet and an old ink stain at far right.

Estimate: $400 - $500

Sold for: $300

Closed on 2/10/2021