A Presentation Tankard

Today we feature a very ordinary pewter tankard. The tankard has age, for it carries an inscription with the date 1874.

A pewter presentation tankard at Market Lavington Museum

Let’s look more closely at that inscription.

The inscription on the tankard

Presented by Lady Charlotte Watson Taylor to the 7th Wilts V.R.C. April 1874.

This raises questions, some of which we can answer and some for which we seek help.

First of all the 7th Wilts V.R.C. were the local branch of the Volunteer Rifle Corps – a forerunner of the present territorial reserve. The members tended to be former soldiers. They met regularly and practised so they were ready for whatever might be expected of them.

Amongst their members was John Baker. A shelf in one cabinet is devoted to his family and you can read about it here.

Lady Charlotte Watson Taylor was a daughter of the Deputy Lieutenant of Wiltshire and lived at Erlestoke Park (now the prison). She’d have been aged about 27 at the time of the presentation. One can imagine the old soldiers being flattered by the attention of the young Lady.

What we do not know is why the presentation was made. Can you help with any information on that? If so, do contact the curator.

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