The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

Captain Dobie (12th Lancers)

Captain Dobie (12th Lancers)

This portrait does not appear in the Silvy daybooks but judging by the background and props, the sitting almost certainly took place during the period covered by the missing volume of the daybooks, July 1863 to June 1864. This is confirmed by an inscription on the album page, which dates the portrait to 1864. The sitter is identified on the album page, but the inscription is difficult to decipher. It appears to read ‘Captain Dohee’, but this is probably Captain William Alexander Dobie of the 12th Lancers.

There is a portrait of a man identified as ‘Captain Dobie’ in the Silvy daybooks (volume 7, page 46, sitting number 8430) but the sitter is not the same man. There is, however, a marked resemblance, particularly with regard to the shape of the forehead and the hairline, so the two men are quite possibly brothers.

Dobie joined the Army as a Cornet or Ensign on 6 April 1855. He was promoted Lieutenant by purchase on 24 February 1857. When Hart’s Army List for 1859 was published, he was serving in the 1st West India Regiment of Foot. He was promoted Captain, again by purchase, on 29 November 1859. According to the London Gazette (31 January 1860), he had recently transferred from the 1st West Indian Regiment to the 14th Regiment of Foot. According to the United Service Magazine, he transferred from the 14th Foot to the 12th Lancers in 1862. According to the inscription in the album, he died in August 1867.

According to an announcement in the Times (18 April 1929), Mrs Ellen Arabella Caroline Dobie, of New Lodge, St. John’s Park, Ryde, Isle of Wight, ‘widow of Captain William Alexander Dobie, 12th Lancers’, died on 17 November, aged 87.

Photographed by Camille Silvy in 1864.


Code: 124147
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