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February 01, 2019

Historically interesting print; Scottish theme:

Another example of this print is held in the collection of the National Galleries, Scotland (Accession No. SP V 106.1)

The Edinburgh (or, as they were afterwards called, the Royal) Volunteers, were embodied in 1794. were only distinguished by their swords. The regiment, being assembled in Heriot's Green on the 26th September, 1794, was presented with a stand of colours by the Lord Provost (Sir James Stirling), attended by the two senior Magistrates, the Principal of the University, and the whole Members of the Town Council, in their robes. The colours were very handsome: the one elegantly embroidered with a crown, and the letters G. R.; and the other with the City Arms. A vast crowd of spectators attended to witness the presentation.

The mezzotint shows the Regimental Drill Sergeant, Patrick Gould, with the regiment paraded on Heriot's Green, Edinburgh Castle in the background. Gould was a native of Clackmannashire. He was brought up as a weaver, but enlisted in the Foot Guards. In 1793, Gould was appointed Drill Sargeant to the Argyleshire Fencibles, and in the following year was transferred to the First Regiment of the Edinburgh Volunteers: 

'He was accurate, attentive and active; and as a drill none could surpass him. During his connection with the Volunteers- a period of twenty one years- he trained upwards of two thousand men to military exercises. His manner to a pupil was somewhat abrupt, and his language not remarkable for its refinement, but after two to three lessons, the first unfavourable impressions subsided, and the Sargeant gradually became a favourite.'

(From John Kay's 'A Series of Original Portraits and Caricature Etchings', volume 2, part 1.