The Illustrated London News July 21, 1860


Mr. Edward Ross, the Rifle Champion of England, - From a photograph by Claudet.

The birthplace of Homer was a subject of dispute, and two noble Lords honoured young Edward Ross by claiming him, on the platform of the Crystal Palace, for their respective counties. Mr. Ross is, however, a thoroughbred Highlander. He is the fifth son of Horatio Ross, Esq., of Netherley, a very keen sportsman, formerly member of Parliament for Montrose; and his mother is one of the old clan of the Macraes of Kintail, in Ross-shire. Mr. Edward Ross was born and brought up in Ross-shire. He began practising with a small rifle when only five or six years of age, and his father always predicted that he would turn out one of the best rifle-shots in the kingdom - a prophecy fulfilled by his winning the "blue ribbon" of the rifle when only in his nineteenth year. He killed his first stag when ten years old, and has ever since been known as one of the surest shots at deer in the north of Scotland. His eye long practised to search for deer at great distances, he had a great advantage over most of his competitors at the long ranges, He, however, proved equally successful at the short distances, having defeated the two crack swiss shots, Messrs. Nourisson and Knetch, in shooting for the ladies of Northampton prize at 300 yards. Mr. Ross laboured like some others under the disadvantage of not knowing the sighting of his rifle, with which he had never shot until Saturday morning: in consequence he had to throw away two shots at each range to prove the proper angle of elevation, which makes the number of points scored by him the more remarkable as, in fact, he made 24 points at 800, 900, and 1000 yards, with 24 shots, the other six shots having been thrown away to sight the rifle.

A contemporary of the victor when the prizes were given:- "Mr. Ross, the winner of the Royal prize, was no stranger by the time Lord Elcho arrived at that announcement. He had appeared and taken off two minor prizes. When called to receive the Queen's prize of £250 the band struck up 'See the conquering hero comes' and the applause that had greeted him before was redoubled. He bore his honours with great quietness of manner, receiving the prize just as coolly as he shot for it. He is tall, slight, and very youthful in appearance. He was congratulated on his skill and success by the president, the different members of the council, and a knot of friends: among them was his father, the famous deerstalker. Mr Ross was called on to show his gold medal, and finally to put it on: he held it up to the spctators, but could not comply with the other request - the medal had no 'fixings'."