Origin of the Sharp Shooters

Sharp-shooters attacked by Cavalry; Coloured aquatint by Thomas Rowlandson

Among our predecessors were the Duke of Cumberland’s Sharp Shooters raised in 1803 at a time when rifle regiments were much in vogue.  Rifle regiment had muskets’ with rifled barrels which took longer to load than smoothbore muskets but were much more accurate.

Despite Rowlandson’s dramatic rendering of the Sharp Shooters seeing off French cavalry,  they never saw action during the Napoleonic Wars. Like all infantry volunteer regiments, they were disbanded at the apparent end of the war in 1814.