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Nottinghamshire Rifle Association

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

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Robin Hood Rifles reports from 1864

There were three items of interest in reports of the activities of the Robin Hood Rifles in 1864.

The first appeared on April 8th and consisted of details of the receipts and expenditure of the Capitation Grant to 31st March 1864. The Grant was received from the Government to finance the costs of maintaining and equipping the Volunteers. We can see in the earlier reports of the AGMs of the Nottinghamshire Rifle Association, that the Association was involved in the finances of the annual volunteer match; but there is no indication of involvement in the construction and maintenance of the Nottingham Butts, which was in the Mapperley Hills near Woodborough Road and Union Road. The accounts now published show that the range was run and financed by the Robin Hood Rifles.

Friday, 8th April, 1864


Extract from Receipts and Expenditure of the Capitation Grant to 31st March 1864.


1864. March 25£s.d.
By paid Salary of Care-taker of Town Butts and Rifle Range one year6000
By paid Wages Two Markers, at 15s. per week each, 52 weeks7800
By paid Construction and Repairs at Butt and Range41110
By paid Target Plates and Repairs1256
By paid Coals and Water417
Total paid195181

The report of June 3rd covers the competitive shooting arranged by the Robin Hood Rifles to select those to go to Wimbledon in the following month to take part in the National Rifle Association competitions. We learn that in the previous year ten were in the detachment; but that this year it was to be twenty men.

The Annual Volunteers Match arranged by the Nottinghamshire Rifle Association included the Bronze Medal of the National Rifle Association, the winner of which was entitled to go to Wimbledon for the Prince of Wales' Prize of £100; but not until the following year as the Medal was shot for in August.

Friday, 3rd June, 1864


On Wednesday, the marksmen of the Robin Hood Rifle Battalion of Volunteers desirous of proceeding to Wimbledon to compete for the prizes offered by the National Association, commenced firing at the Town Butts, to determine who shall be the representatives of the corps at WimbIedon. Last year there were only ten marksmen from the Battalion; this year there will be twenty, but each competitor has to pay ten shillings entrance towards the expenses. The shooting commenced as early as seven o'clock, and was continued at stated intervals throughout the day. Adjutant White had charge of the ground, and Sergeant-Major Thompson conducted the firing. The marks made showed a much higher average than on any preceding competition, no fewer than ten members having made scores above forty, The shooting will be resumed this day and tomorrow, at the same hour in the morning.

The last report, dated 21st October, was about a meeting at the Nottingham Butts to consider an extension of the range to 1000 yards. The previous year there had been two All Comers prizes which were shot at 600 and 800 yards and at 800 and 900 yards. Presumably the challenge of longer ranges was being felt. However there was concern that the firing point was on the other side of a road from the range in a garden near the Police Station, and that the public on the road would be in much danger.

Use this link to see the location of the Nottingham Butts 1000 yard firing point.

Friday, 21st October, 1864

The Rifle Butts. The Mayor (Mr. Parsons, Esq.), the Town Clerk, and some members of the Town Council visited the Rifle Butts on Monday, and inspected the garden near the Police Station, which has been taken for the purpose of erecting a platform of masonry for marksmen at a thousand yards range. One of the Councillors suggested that, as the garden was situated at the side of the road, opposite to the present ranges, the practice from the platform here would be attended with much danger to the public passing up and down the road. Captain Hadden, who accompanied the party, explained that there was no risk whatever; and his explanations were so satisfactory that we understand it is highly probable the erection of a platform at this range will receive the sanction of the Council at the next meeting. When this thousand yards range will have been ready for practice, the skill of the marksmen of the R.H.R. can be tested and improved in a manner much more satisfactory than at present, when 900 yards is the longest distance from the targets.

Transcripts from Nottinghamshire Guardian Friday 08/04/1864, 03/06/1864 and 21/10/1864
British Library Newspaper Archive