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Nottinghamshire Rifle Association

Providing support for smallbore, fullbore, and black powder shooting clubs in the county

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Formation of the Nottinghamshire Rifle Association

The first half of the nineteenth century had seen Europe in turmoil with the Napoleonic Wars followed by nationalistic uprisings in many countries. Great Britain was undergoing the Industrial Revolution with Luddite unrest whilst building an Empire in India and Africa and fighting in the Crimea. Gold was discovered in California and the United States was drifting towards civil war.

In Britain there was concern about the rising costs of the regular army and about the possibility of invasion from an unsettled Europe. By the 1850's a volunteer army had been organised in many counties to be on hand to defend the country and in 1860 the National Rifle Association was formed to encourage rifle shooting skills amongst the volunteer corps. In Nottingham the Robin Hood Rifles was formed and shortly afterwards in Mansfield the Sherwood Foresters

The Nottinghamshire Guardian of 28th March 1861 carried a small advertisement on page four announcing the intention to form the Nottinghamshire Rifle Association to work in conjunction with the National Rifle Association to promote shooting skills through competition


A PUBLIC MEETING will be held in the Mechanics' Hall, Nottingham, on Wednesday, April 3, 1861, for the purpose of ESTABLISHING a RIFLE ASSOCIATION for the COUNTY of NOTTINGHAM. The Right Hon. The Speaker will preside.

It is proposed by this association, acting in concert with the National Rifle Association, to assist in giving permanence to the volunteer movement by the offer of prizes, and by encouragement of rifle shooting throughout the county.

The attendance of the nobility, gentry, and all persons interested in this great and patriotic undertaking, is earnestly requested.

The Chair will be taken at One o'clock precisely.

Communications, in the meantime, to be addressed to
Mr THOS. WRIGHT, Hon. Sec., pro tem.
Pelham Street, Nottingham, March 18, 1861.

Transcript from Nottinghamshire Guardian Thursday 28/03/1861 p4
British Library Newspaper Archive