[ONLEY, Thomas]. ~ Account book. [London: W. Clowes] 1839-52.
8vo (180 × 115 mm), pp. 16; . Partially completed in manuscript. Quite thumbed and stained, strip cut from the head of last 2 leaves (affecting tables), sewn in contemporary limp parchment with wallet flap and linen tie. Lower cover removed and the whole folded vertically and kept in the rear flap of a canvas roll with spaces for other papers or implements. Soiled.
A regimental account book preserved in the owner’s army ‘hussif’ — a coarse canvas roll with pockets for essential personal items (such as papers, pencils or needlework materials).
It belonged to one Thomas Olney of Northamptionshire serving with the 1st Batallion Rifle Brigade (soldier 1718) successively at Corfu and the Cape of Good Hope and lastly garrisoned at Walmer (Kent). Issued to all serving soldiers, the officia account book records enlistment, next of kin (in this case a mother), distinguishing features, kit issue and payments, which are written into printed columns prefaced by rules and regulations for engagement and conduct. Enlisted for a bounty of £3 17 shilling and sixpence Olney (of the village of Weedon) was issued with a knapsack, towels, shirts, stockings, a holdall, cutlery, shaving kit, a forage cap and strap, webbing, a shell jacket and a clothes brush. After service abroad he seems to have been furloughed in 1851, and the last record here is from Walmer in 1852. Though fairly lightly completed the book evidently travelled everywhere with its owner, folded into its canvas roll case, the lower parchment cover sometime removed by him. An evocative item.