The sergeants, who held these posts for many years, were paid by the recruit, receiving a little over £1 for each person who ended up serving in the army. Out of that, the recruiters had to pay expenses, including giving each enlistee a shilling (1/20th of a pound) and paying “bringers” who supplied them with likely prospects. In 1875, 3,605 approved recruits were enlisted from London.

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  • Title: Recruiting Sergeants at Westminster
  • Creator: John Thomson (Scottish, 1837-1921)
  • Date Created: 1877
  • Physical Dimensions: Image: 11 x 8.7 cm (4 5/16 x 3 7/16 in.); Paper: 11 x 8.7 cm (4 5/16 x 3 7/16 in.); Mounted: 27 x 20.7 cm (10 5/8 x 8 1/8 in.)
  • Provenance: (Antiquariat Dr. Jens Mattow, Berlin, Germany), The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
  • Type: Photograph
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/2019.50
  • Medium: woodburytype
  • Series: Street Life in London
  • Inscriptions: Stamped in red ink on recto of mount: “RECRUITING SERGEANTS AT WESTMINSTER.”
  • Fun Fact: The hub of army recruitment in London in the late 19th century was this street corner, the site of the Mitre and Dove, a pub with a name that ironically invoked the church and peace.
  • Department: Photography
  • Culture: England, 19th century
  • Credit Line: Photography Discretionary Fund
  • Collection: PH - British 19th Century
  • Accession Number: 2019.50

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