British photographic history

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Bob Lansdale and Louise Freyburger are trying to research this image. They writes...We know the name of Regiment – the 53rd (Shropshire) Regiment of Foot, stationed in London, Ontario, CANADA at the time of the Fenian Raids (1866-1870). The tintype was found in a letter in a staircase when they demolished an old barracks. It made the newspapers when found in 1947. The mystery is why it was never mailed.  The letter was from “No 354 John Banks C Company 53rd Regt” addressed to his "sister" “Mrs [Charles] Rayner/Pantile House/Barling near Rochford/Essex/England,” dated August 24, 1867. 

We wonder if there are duplicates of this image which can offer further information. Can anyone add to our information about the Regiment and the people?  If so, I would be delighted to hear from you regarding my research of this lost tintype that the soldier's sister never got to see.  Its for an article in Photographica Canadiana, the journal of the Photograhic Historical Society of Canada (PHSC).

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Comment by Louise Freyburger on April 28, 2012 at 15:19

If three soldiers went into a tintypist's studio to have a group portrait taken, likely they bought more than just one tintype of the resulting image to send home to England. Perhaps you have a tintype just like this one. If so, I  would sure like to know about it.

Three soldiers of the 53rd (Shropshire) Regiment of Foot, stationed in London, Ontario, CANADA at the time of the Fenian Raids (1866-1870) are shown in this one-sixth plate tintype, which was found inside an unmailed letter, dated August 24, 1867. Instead of being sent off to loved ones in England, the letter containing this tintype was lost and remained in Canada after British forces left, only to be discovered 80 years later inside the staircase structure of the  regiment's former barracks building in London, Ontario in 1947. The letter is from “No 354 John Banks C Company 53rd Regt” and is addressed it to his sister “Mrs [Charles] Rayner/Pantile House/Barling near Rochford/Essex/England”. According to the 1881 Census of England and Wales, also living with the Charles and Emma (nee Lacell) Rayner family, was William Lazell, a.k.a. Lacell, Layzell, etc. "grandfather", likely the man referred to in the letter as the soldier's father.

 If you can expand on this information? If so, I would be delighted to hear from you regarding my research of this lost tintype which the soldier's sister never got to see. For an article in Photographica Canadiana, the journal of the Photograhic Historical Society of Canada (PHSC). Louise Freyburger

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