London Metropolitan Archives - Item Details


Date of Creation:


Reference Code:


Scope and Content:
  • This collection consists mainly of letters written to George Cruikshank and drafts of letters, memoranda and speeches by him, with a few rough drawings and doodles. Most of the papers relate to Cruikshank's activities as Lieutenant Colonel of the 48th Middlesex Rifle Volunteers, and concern recruitment, muster rolls, discipline, drills, inspections, uniforms and arms.
Extent: 0.3 linear metres
Classification: ASSOCIATIONS
Site Location: London Metropolitan Archives
Level of Description:

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Administrative History:
  • 48th Middlesex Rifle Volunteers was a Temperance Corps, composed of men who had pledged not to drink any alcohol. The 48th Middlesex were originally the 24th Surrey Rifle Volunteers, but were refounded as a Middlesex battalion in 1862.

    George Cruikshank was a graphic artist well known for his political and social caricatures and his collaboration with Charles Dickens on "Sketches by Boz". From around 1847 Cruikshank was a supporter of the temperance movement, producing propaganda for this cause, speaking at meetings and sitting on the boards of organisations such as the London Temperance League. In 1859 the threat of a French invasion let to the formation of volunteer corps. Cruikshank supported these corps in a pamphlet published in 1860 entitled "A Pop-Gun". He joined the 48th Middlesex corps and rose to become their lieutenant-colonel and commanding officer. However the corps encountered many problems, primarily from lack of money, discipline and motivation; and Cruikshank resigned in September 1868.

    For more information on Cruikshank see Robert L. Patten, ‘Cruikshank, George (1792–1878)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004.
Creator: Cruikshank | George | 1792–1878 | graphic artist
Copyright: City of London
Source of Acquisition:
  • Records deposited in July 1954.
  • ACC/0534
Access Restrictions: These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 2018
Physical Condition: Fit
Arrangement: ACC/0534/001-012: Correspondence; ACC/0534/013-014: Personal Papers.