Posts Tagged ‘George IV’

Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Sir Richard Westmacott
15 July 1775 – 1 September 1856


Richard Westmacott

Sir Richard Westmacott studied with his father, also named Richard Westmacott, at his studio in Mount Street, Grosvenor Square in London before going to Rome in 1793 to study under Antonio Canova. On returning to England in 1797, he set up a studio, where John Edward Carew and Musgrave Watson gained experience.

Westmacott had his own foundry at Pimlico, in London, where he cast both his own works, and those of other sculptors, including John Flaxman’s statue of Sir John Moore (1810–18) for Glasgow. Late in life he was asked by the Office of Works for advice on the casting of the reliefs for Nelson’s Column. He also had an arrangement with the Trustees of the British Museum, which allowed him to make moulds and supply plaster casts of classical sculpture in the museum’s collection to country house owners, academies and other institutions.

He exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1797 and 1839. His name is given in the catalogues as “R. Westmacott, Junr.” until 1807, when the “Junr.” was dropped. He was elected an associate of the Royal Academy in 1805, and a full academician in 1811; his diploma work, a marble relief of Jupiter and Ganymede, is still in the academy’s collection. He was professor of sculpture at the academy from 1827 until his death. He received his knighthood on 19 July 1837.

Among his works are the reliefs for the north side of Marble Arch, the sculptures of figures representing The Rise of Civilisation on the pediment of the British Museum, and the Waterloo Vase now in Buckingham Palace Gardens. This enormous urn was sculpted from chunks of marble earmarked by Napoleon for a trophy commemorating his anticipated victory in the Napoleonic Wars and then given to George IV as a gift from the Grand Duke of Tuscany.

His statue of Horatio Nelson, Birmingham was the first statue of Nelson in Britain. There are other monuments to the admiral by Westmacott at Bull Ring, Birmingham, and Barbados, while that at Liverpool was modelled and cast by Westmacott, to a design by Matthew Cotes Wyatt. In Liverpool there is also an equestrian statue of King George III sculpted by Westmacott, which was unveiled in 1822. He was responsible for the statue of the agriculturalist and developer Francis Russell, 5th Duke of Bedford in Russell Square, and the one of the Duke of York on top of the column in Waterloo place. His Achilles in Hyde Park, a bronze copy of an antique sculpture from Monte Cavallo in Rome, is a tribute to the Duke of Wellington, paid for by £10,000 raised by female subscribers.

His sculptures of poetical subjects were in a style similar to those of the contemporary Italian school: his works of this type included Psyche and Cupid for the Duke of Bedford; Euphrosyne for the Duke of Newcastle; A Nymph Unclasping her Zone; The Distressed Mother and The Houseless Traveller.

Westmacott also sculpted the memorials to Pitt the Younger, Spencer Perceval, Charles James Fox and Joseph Addison in Westminster Abbey; and those to Sir Ralph Abercromby, Lord Collingwood and Generals Pakenham and Gibbs in St Paul’s Cathedral.

His other sepulchural monuments include those to Lt. General Christopher Jeaffreson (d.1824) in St.Mary’s Church in Dullingham; to Commander Charles Cotton’ (d.1828) at St. Mary’s Church in Madingley; to William Pemberton (d.1828) at St Margaret’s Church in Newton, South Cambridgeshire; to Sir George Warren (d.1801) at St. Mary’s Church, Stockport, Greater Manchester, depicting a standing female figure by an urn on a pillar; and to Rev. Charles Prescott (d.1820), in St. Mary’s Church, Stockport, showing a seated effigy.

Westmacott lived and died at 14 South Audley Street, Mayfair, London where he is commemorated by a blue plaque. His son, also called Richard Westmacott, followed closely in his footsteps also becoming a notable sculptor, a Royal Academician and professor of sculpture at the academy.

Westmacott is buried in a tomb at St Mary’s Church at Chastleton, Oxfordshire, where his third son Horatio was rector in 1878.

Read Full Post »

Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Sir James Bland Lamb 1st Baronet
8 June 1752 – 13 October 1824


James Bland Lamb

Sir James Lamb 1st Baronet was born James Burges and known as Sir James Burges and born at Gibraltar. He was the only son of George Burges and Anne Whichnour Somerville. His mother was the daughter of James Somerville, 13th Lord Somerville. His father had distinguished himself at the Battle of Culloden by capturing the standard of Charles Edward Stewart and was later deputy paymaster in Gibraltar.

He went to Westminster School and then entered University College, Oxford in 1770 before studying law at Lincoln’s Inn in 1773.

Burges first served in Parliament as Member of Parliament for Helston from 1787 to 1790). He then served as Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs between 1789 and 1795 before becoming a Baronet and Knight Marshal of his majesty’s household (1795) where he played an important role in the coronation of George IV.

Burges was an ambitious and productive writer. He was well established; being a friend of William Cumberland and John Graves Simcoe; and a patron of Thomas Dermody. He was connected by marriage to Lord Byron. He wrote music for Ode to the Passions by William Collins and wrote the prologue to Vortigern and Rowena (1796).

He exchanged poetry with royalty and wrote long poems. The Birth and Triumph of Love was published in 1796 and the 16,000 line poem was very poorly received. It was quoted as a project that was known for its lack of success. Despite the ignominy Burges still had a prestige and funds available where he could indulge his literary interests. He wrote an introduction for William Henry Ireland Shakespearian forgery and Thomas Dermody stole money from him. Burges continued to publish poetry and he had a play in Drury Lane. Despite being championed by Lord Byron, no other plays followed.

He wrote an introduction to a later edition of the Pilgrim’s Progress sequel, Progress of the Pilgrim Good-Intent in Jacobinical Times. In this introduction he revealed that the true author of the work was his gifted sister Mary Ann Burges.

Lamb married three times; his first marriage to Elizabeth Noel, second daughter of Edward Noel, 1st Viscount Wentworth in 1777 produced no children. His second marriage to Anne, third daughter of Lieutenant-colonel Montolieu, Baron of St. Hypolite produced the following children.

  • Charles Montolieu (1785–1864), 2nd Baronet.
  • Wentworth-Noel (b. 30 December 1792), an ensign in the Coldstream Guards, he was killed at the 1812 Siege of Burgos during the Peninsular War.
  • Somerville-Waldemar (b. 7 March 1794), an ensign in the 1st Foot Guards, lost a leg at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. In 1821 he married Mademoiselle Melanie-Marianne Meray, daughter of Capt. Meray, of the French Army.
  • Clara-Maria (d. 4 February 1821).
  • Emilia-Charlotte, who married Major-General Sir Hugh Halkett on 25 May 1810.
  • Caroline-Eliza-Anne (d. 20 November l863).
  • Sophia-Anne (d.11 October 1858), who married Warburton Davies on 21 December 1821.
  • Julia-Octavia (d. 28 October 1826).

In 1812, Lamb married for the third time to Lady Margaret Fordyce, widow of Alexander Fordyce and daughter of James Lindsay, 5th Earl of Balcarres. The couple had no children.

  • Heroic epistle from Serjeant Bradshaw to John Dunning. 1780.
  • Considerations on the law of insolvency. 1783.
  • A letter to the Earl of Effingham. 1783.
  • Address to the country gentlemen of England. 1789.
  • Letters on the Spanish aggression at Nootka. 1790.
  • Narrative of the negotiation between France and Spain in 1790. 1790.
  • Alfred’s letters: a review of the political state of Europe. 1792.
  • The birth and triumph of love. 1796.
  • Richard the first: a poem in eighteen books. 2 vols, 1801.
  • The exodiad [with Richard Cumberland]. 1807, 1808.
  • Riches, or the wife and brother: a play. 1810.
  • Songs, duets, etc. in Tricks upon travellers, a comic opera. 1810.
  • Dramas. 2 vols, 1817.
  • The dragon knight: a poem in twelve cantos. 1818.
  • Reasons in favour of a new translation of the holy scriptures. 1819.
  • An inquiry into the procrastination attributed to the House of Lords. 1824.
  • Selections from the letters and correspondence, ed. Hutton. 1885.

Read Full Post »

Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Isabella Ingram-Seymour-Conway Marchioness of Hertford
1759 – 12 April 1834


Isabella Ingram-Seymour-Conway

Isabella Ingram-Seymour-Conway Marchioness of Hertford was an English courtier and mistress of King George IV when he was Prince of Wales. She was a daughter of Charles Ingram, 9th Viscount of Irvine, and married Francis Seymour-Conway, the second Marquess of Hertford in 1776, at age sixteen.

Tall, handsome and elegant, she soon caught the attention of the Prince of Wales. His attentions were not welcomed by her husband, who took her to Ireland to keep her from the Prince. However, this only increased his passion for Lady Hertford, and she became George’s mistress in 1807. As a result, the Prince was a regular guest at Hertford House, Hertford’s London residence, and Ragley Hall in Warwickshire. A Tory herself, she was influential in turning the Prince toward the Tories, and used her London residence as the headquarters for Tory sympathizers.

On the death of her mother in 1807, she inherited Temple Newsam in West Yorkshire, where the Prince of Wales had paid her a visit. She and her husband added the name of Ingram to their surname due to the fortune they received.

Lady Hertford’s relationship with the Prince, now Prince Regent, ended in 1819, when he turned his attentions to Elizabeth Conyngham, Marchioness Conyngham. According to Greville’s diary for 9 June 1820:

“Somebody asked Lady Hertford if she had been aware of the King’s admiration for Lady Conyngham, and ‘whether he had ever talked to her about Lady C’. She replied that ‘intimately as she had known the King, and openly as he had always talked to her upon every subject, he had never ventured to speak to her upon that of his mistresses’.”

Lady Hertford died in 1834.

Read Full Post »

Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Sir Charles Henry Knowles
24 August 1754 – 28 November 1831


Charles Henry Knowles

Sir Charles Henry Knowles was born at Kingston, Jamaica on 24 August 1754, the second son of the Governor of Jamaica Admiral Sir Charles Knowles and his wife Maria Magdalena Theresa de Bouget. He received his initial education at Eton College circa 1764–6, and then subsequently at Glasgow and Edinburgh. He joined in navy in 1768 as a midshipman aboard the 36-gun frigate HMS Venus, which was then serving in the English Channel under the command of Captain Samuel Barrington. He was then aboard the Spithead guard ship the 74-gun HMS Lenox under Captain Robert Roddam, before joining the 32-gun HMS Southampton under Captain John MacBride, where he served at Plymouth and in the Channel.

Knowles was appointed as acting-lieutenant without pay aboard the sloop HMS Diligence by Sir George Brydges Rodney in 1773, and Knowles went on to serve in this capacity aboard HMS Princess Amelia, HMS Portland and HMS Guadeloupe under Captain William Cornwallis at Pensacola and from Jamaica. He then moved aboard Captain Collins’s 20-gun HMS Seaford where he served off Cap Francois and Santo Domingo. His next appointment was aboard Rear-Admiral Clark Gayton’s flagship, the 50-gun HMS Antelope at Port Royal from 1774 to May 1776, from which he moved aboard the 20-gun HMS Squirrel under Captain Stair Douglas. Under Douglas Knowles served at Jamaica, the Mosquito Shore and the Bay of Honduras.

Knowles’s commission was confirmed on 28 May 1776 and he was appointed as second lieutenant of the 28-gun HMS Boreas, then under the command of Captain Charles Thompson. He served aboard the Boreas at Port Royal, and later on the North American Station at New York after the Battle of Bunker Hill. He was promoted to first lieutenant and in 1776 moved aboard the 50-gun HMS Chatham, which was at that time the flagship of Vice-Admiral Molyneux Shuldham. He went on to see service on the flat boats at New York and Rhode Island.

Knowles returned to Britain aboard HMS Asia in January 1777 to see his father, who was in declining health. Whilst at home he took the opportunity to prepare his first signal book, A Set of Signals for a Fleet on a Plan Entirely New, for publication, before returning to the Americas in summer 1777. The book, published that year, proposed innovative new ways of flying numbered signals, and the development of tactics whereby the traditional line of battle would be abandoned once the battle began. Knowles claimed to have communicated the work to Lord Howe, and that Howe’s tactics at the Glorious First of June reflected Knowles’s theories on effective naval tactics. The death of his father on 9 December that year and his succession as the second baronet caused Knowles to return to England again.

He returned to active service again during the summer of 1778, and was present with Barrington’s fleet at the Battle of St. Lucia on 15 December 1778, serving aboard Commander James Richard Dacres’s 18-gun HMS Ceres. Two days later the Ceres was chased and captured by a squadron under the comte d’Estaing. He was exchanged and appointed to serve as lieutenant aboard Vice-Admiral Barrington’s flagship, the 74-gun HMS Prince of Wales. In May 1779 he was briefly ordered to be master and commander of the storeship HMS Supply, but had returned to the Prince of Wales by 6 July, when he took part and was wounded in the Battle of Grenada. Knowles returned to England with Barrington in October 1779, and by December had joined Admiral Sir George Rodney’s flagship, the 90-gun HMS Sandwich, as a volunteer for the Relief of Gibraltar.

Rodney appointed him to command the 18-gun xebec HMS Minorca on 26 January 1780, quickly following this with a promotion to post-captain and an appointment to the 24-gun HMS Porcupine on 2 February. Knowles went on to serve in a highly active role in the defence of British trade in the Mediterranean, engaging privateers and escorting convoys. At one point he was briefly blockaded in Minorca, where he fell ill. He was eventually able to escape to sea in January 1781, and was based out of Gibraltar until his return to England in April 1782. On his arrival he was accused of piracy and murder, but was able to clear his name, returning to Gibraltar aboard HMS Britannia to resume command of the Porcupine. He became senior naval officer there on the departure of Sir Roger Curtis, until returning to England once more in command of the 74-gun Spanish prize HMS San Miguel.

The end of the war allowed Knowles to continue with his studies, and he made a tour of France in 1788. The outbreak of the French Revolutionary Wars in 1793 led to Knowles returning to active service in command of the 32-gun frigate HMS Daedalus. He was ordered to Halifax, but given permission to move to the Chesapeake, where a French convoy was planning to sail from. Problems with manning his ship meant that Knowles sailed from Portsmouth with a largely inexperienced crew, but Knowles was able to have them fully trained by the time of their arrival at Hampton Roads. Shortly after his arrival, the French escort arrived, and the convoy sailed shortly afterwards, observed by Knowles on the Daedalus. Knowles passed this latest information on to Lord Howe, who moved his Channel fleet to intercept it, setting in motion the events that would lead to the Glorious First of June. Having fulfilled his objective Knowles sailed to Halifax, and from there returned to England. He was appointed to the 74-gun HMS Edgar and served in the North Sea. Once again Knowles was beset by difficulties in manning his ship, the Edgar put to sea from the Nore manned by soldiers from 23 different regiments, and commanded by officers from still other regiments. Typhus and ‘the itch’ were rampant, on the ship’s return to port she had to be scrubbed with lime water and fumigated with vinegar, while 100 men were discharged to the hospital. Knowles suffered a further mishap when the Edgar was dismasted in a storm off the Texel, and had to be towed back to the Nore.

Knowles transferred to the 74-gun HMS Goliath in late 1795, serving under Sir John Jervis at Lisbon. While serving there he ran foul of Jervis, who had him court-martialled in 1796 on a charge of disobeying a verbal order. At the trial Jervis’s captain of the fleet Robert Calder swore that no order had been given, and the lieutenant who was supposed to have transmitted it swore he had not received one. The charge was therefore dismissed, but this appears to have been the start of a personal enmity of Jervis against Knowles.

Knowles was still in Jervis’s fleet in command of Goliath when the Battle of Cape St Vincent was fought on 14 February 1797. During the engagement Jervis ordered his ships to tack in succession whilst in close action with the enemy. Knowles did so, coming under heavy fire and was forced to temporarily drop out of the action while the Goliath‘ knotted and spliced their rigging. On his return to the battle, Knowles observed an opportunity to pass to windward of the Santísima Trinidad and so becalm her. Jervis however signalled Goliath and ordered Knowles to stop the manoeuvre. The following morning both Knowles on the Goliath, and James Whitshed on HMS Namur had observed the vulnerable situation that the Santísima Trinidad was in, and attempted to signal this to Jervis. They received no reply.

The fleet anchored in Lagos Bay the following day, with Knowles placing the Goliath where she could provide flanking cover for the line. On going aboard Jervis’s flagship HMS Victory he was however told by Jervis that the Goliath was vulnerable where she lay. Knowles replied that the Spanish were hardly likely to attack given their condition. While Knowles was dining with Vice-Admiral William Waldegrave that evening, Jervis sent the Victory‘s master to move Goliath, a great insult to Knowles. Jervis also ordered him to swap ships with Thomas Foley and take over HMS Britannia. Knowles soon returned to England after this, citing poor health.

Knowles attended the service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral on 19 December 1797 for the victories at St Vincent and Camperdown, receiving a Naval Gold Medal, and then largely retired from public life. He spent the rest of his life in study, producing seven books of professional studies and a new code of signals in 1798, based on his 1777 work and incorporating revisions he had made in 1780, 1787 and 1794. He was promoted to Rear-Admiral on 14 February 1799, two years to the day after the Battle of Cape St Vincent, a Vice-Admiral on 24 April 1804 and a full Admiral on 31 July 1810. He suggested using balloons to observe the French invasion forces at Brest in 1803, and in 1830 he published his largely autobiographical work Observations on Naval Tactics.

He had married Charlotte Johnstone on 10 September 1800, the couple eventually having three sons and four daughters. He was nominated a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath on 16 May 1820 at the accession of King George IV. Admiral Charles Henry Knowles died on 28 November 1831 at the age of 77. He was succeeded as baronet by his son Francis Charles Knowles.

Read Full Post »

Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Philharmonic Society of London
6 February 1813-

Philharmonic Society of London was formed at a time when there were no permanent London orchestras, nor organised series of chamber music concerts, by a group of thiry music professionals. The idea was that by cooperating, they could build a stronger orchestra than by competing against one another. However, given the organization’s choice to hold its concerts at the Argyll Rooms, it is likely that the society was initiated because of John Nash’s bold urban redesign of Regent Street. In this way, the society would gain an impressive performing space once the old Argyll Rooms had to be rebuilt due to the Regent Street plan, and Prince Regent George IV could promote classical music as a British institution and thereby improved his reputation. Concerts were held in the Argyll Rooms until it burned down in 1830.

The Society’s aim was “to promote the performance, in the most perfect manner possible of the best and most approved instrumental music”. The first concert, on 8 March 1813, was presided over by Johann Peter Salomon, with Muzio Clementi at the piano and the violin prodigy Nicolas Mori as lead violinist, performing symphonies by Joseph Haydn and Ludwig van Beethoven. Among the founders were the pianist and violinist William Dance (who became the society’s first director and treasurer until his death in 1840), composer Henry Bishop, and Charles Neate, a pianist and friend of Beethoven, who publicised Beethoven’s music at the Society.

The Society asked Beethoven to come to London, but the composer’s health prevented his accepting the invitation. However the society’s request for a new symphony from him resulted in the Choral Symphony. In 1827 Beethoven wrote to the society outlining his straitened circumstances; at a special general meeting the society resolved to send the composer £100 immediately.

Other works written for the Society include the Italian Symphony by Felix Mendelssohn. The Italian Symphony was finished in Berlin on 13 March 1833, in response to an invitation for a symphony. He conducted the first performance himself in London on 13 May 1833 at a London Philharmonic Society concert. The symphony’s success, and Mendelssohn’s popularity, influenced the course of British music for the rest of the century.

From 1830 to 1869, the Society gave its concerts in the concert-hall of Hanover Square Rooms, which had seating for only about 800.

Read Full Post »

Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

William Porden
1755 – 1822


William Porden

William Porden was born in Kingston upon Hull, he trained under James Wyatt and Samuel Pepys Cockerell.

In 1784, the year of his marriage to Mary Plowman, Porden was appointed estate surveyor by the 1st Earl Grosvenor. This position involved assessing buildings on the Grosvenor Estate in Mayfair and determining the “fine” which an occupier had to pay when his lease fell in, and the revised ground rent. More than twenty years later Porden was appointed to reconstruct the Grosvenors’ country seat, Eaton Hall in Cheshire. This project was carried out in a Gothic revival style.

From 1804–08 he designed the stables, riding house and tennis court at the Brighton Pavilion for the Prince of Wales. The riding school was in the “Indo-Saracenic” style, inspired by pictures of Indian buildings. The main building was a notable technical accomplishment for the time, being circular and domed, with a diameter of 24 metres (79 ft) and a height of 19 metres (62 ft). It survives and is now a concert hall called “The Dome”. Also in 1804, he designed Steine House for Maria Fitzherbert, the Prince’s wife.

Porden was also a garden architect and furniture designer and he was involved in the development of housing on the Phillimore Estate in Holland Park, London.

In 1785, William and Mary Porden had twin daughters, Mary Hannah (who died at the age of two years) and Sarah Henrietta. A son, William, born in 1793, also died at the age of two. The youngest child, the poet Eleanor (born in 1795), became the first wife of John Franklin, Arctic explorer and later Governor of Tasmania, but she died before reaching thirty.

Read Full Post »

Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Lieutenant General Sir John Hamilton 1st Baronet of Woodbrook
4 August 1755 – 24 December 1835


Sir John Hamilton 1st Baronet of Woodbrook was a highly respected and experienced officer of the Honourable East India Company, the British Army and during the Napoleonic Wars the Portuguese Army who saw action across the world from India to the West Indies and was honoured for his service by both the British and Portuguese royal families. Of noble Irish descent, related by birth to the first Earl Castle Stewart and by marriage to the Earl of Tyrone, Hamilton’s extensive career and brave service was widely recognised during his life and after his death.

John Hamilton was born in Woodbrook near Strabane, County Tyrone, Ireland to James and Elinor Hamilton in 1755. His mother was the niece of the Earl Castle Stewart and through family connections young Hamilton was able to secure a commission in the army of the Honourable East India Company aged only 16 in 1771. Taking a Bengal cadetship and joining the Bengal Light Infantry in 1772, Hamilton was almost immediately pressed into action, participating the British invasion of Cooch Behar at the invitation its rulers who were facing a simultaneous invasion from the Bhutanese to the north. In 1778 Hamilton was promoted to lieutenant and in 1780 was once again in action during the First Anglo-Maratha War, where his troops participated in the storm and capture of Lahar, Gwalior and Bijaigarh from the Maratha Empire. In 1781 at the war’s conclusion, Hamilton was promoted again, to captain.

In 1788, seeking advancement, Hamilton transferred to the regular British Army, being attached to the new 76th Regiment of Foot in Calcutta as captain. With this formation, Hamilton was engaged in 1794 during the Second Mysore War fought against the Tipu Sultan, when his troops captured the city of Bangalore which later became part of British East India. The same year, Hamilton married Emily Sophia Monck, the daughter of George Paul Monck and Lady Aramita Beresford, daughter of Marcus Beresford, Earl of Tyrone. Hamilton was promoted to brevet major in the aftermath of this operation and in 1795 was sent as a lieutenant colonel with the 81st Regiment of Foot to the West Indies during the British attempt to capture San Domingo. The effort failed due to the ongoing Haitian Revolution, but Hamilton again distinguished himself during the campaign.

In 1798 Hamilton was sent to the Cape Colony in South Africa which had only recently been captured from the Dutch. There he and his regiment formed part of the garrison until the Peace of Amiens when he returned to Britain, briefly returning to the Cape at the fresh outbreak of the Napoleonic Wars in 1803 before being made a brigadier-general and appointed to the staff in Ireland. Tiring of working in Ireland, Hamilton volunteered in 1809 to be attached to the Portuguese Army, a formation shattered by the French invasion of 1808. In 1809 as he trained and organised a division of Portuguese infantry, Hamilton was promoted to major-general and in his new rank was made Inspector-General of Portuguese Infantry.

Hamilton was an efficient officer and with his division, attached himself to Sir Arthur Wellesley’s British army on campaign in 1810. In 1811 the Portuguese formation underwent its first major action at the Battle of Albuera, Hamilton’s division acting as a ready reserve and being called into the height of the battle to reinforce the Allied centre. Hamilton’s forces had in fact been drawn into the fight on the left of the Allied line and took some time to be extracted. In the aftermath of the battle, Hamilton’s troops were the steadiest and freshest available and immediately returned to the ultimately unsuccessful Second Siege of Badajoz. It has been said of Hamilton that he “evinced the utmost steadiness and courage” at Albuera.

Hamilton commanded the division until 1813, his troops seeing further action defending the town of Alba de Tormes against an army under Marshal Soult in November 1812. In 1813 after four years continuous campaigning, Hamilton was forced to return to England on sick leave and during his absence he was made a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Tower and Sword by the Portuguese monarchy and was knighted by the Prince Regent as well as being made honorary colonel of the 2nd Ceylon Regiment. Hamilton returned to his division in late 1813 and commanded them during the last of the fighting in the Peninsula War, seeing action at the Battle of Nivelle. Following the Peace of Fontainebleau, Hamilton returned to the British Army, was made lieutenant general in recognition of his service and placed in the quiet command of Duncannon Fort.

In December 1814, Hamilton was further rewarded with a baronetcy and retirement to his family estates. In 1823 he was made the Colonel-in-chief of 69th Regiment of Foot. He died in 1835 at Tunbridge Wells and was buried in Kensal Green Cemetery in London, survived by his wife, five daughters and son Sir John James Hamilton, 2nd Baronet.

Read Full Post »

Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Paul Storr
28 October 1770 – 18 March 1844

Paul Storr was England’s most celebrated silversmith during the first half of the nineteenth century and his legacy lives on today. His pieces historically and currently adorn royal palaces and the finest stately homes throughout Europe and the world. Storr’s reputation rests on his mastery of the grandiose neo-Classical style developed in the Regency period. He quickly became the most prominent silversmith of the nineteenth century, producing much of the silver purchased by King George III and King George IV. Storr entered his first mark in the first part of 1792, which reflects his short-lived partnership with William Frisbee. Soon after, he began to use his PS mark, which he maintained throughout his career with only minor changes. His first major work was a gold font commissioned by the Duke of Portland in 1797 and in 1799 he created the “Battle of the Nile Cup” for presentation to Lord Nelson.

Much of Storr’s success was due to the influence of Philip Rundell, of the popular silver retailing firm, Rundell, Bridge and Rundell. Rundell’s firm nearly monopolized the early nineteenth-century market for superior silver and obtained the Royal Warrant in 1806. This shrewd businessman realised the talent of Paul Storr and began pursuing him in 1803, however it was not until 1807 that Storr finally joined the firm. After many years of working for Rundell, Storr realised he had lost much of his artistic freedom and by 1819 he left the firm to open his own shop, turning his attentions towards more naturalistic designs and soon began enjoying the patronage he desired. After only a few years of independence, Storr realised he needed a centralised retail location and partnered with John Mortimer, founding Storr and Mortimer in 1822 on New Bond Street.

Son of Thomas Storr of Westminster, first silver-chaser later innkeeper. Apprenticed c. 1785. Before his first partnership with William Frisbee in 1792 he worked in Church Street, Soho, which was the address of Andrew Fogelberg at which Storr’s first separate mark is also entered.

  • First mark entered as plateworker, in partnership with William Frisbee, 2 May 1792. Address: 5 Cock Lane, Snow Hill.
  • Second mark alone, 12 January 1793. Address: 30 Church Street, Soho.
  • Third mark, 27 April 1793.
  • Fourth 8 August 1794. Moved to 20 Air Street, 8 October 1796, (where Thomas Pitts had worked till 1793).
  • Fifth mark, 29 November 1799.
  • Sixth, 21 August 1807. Address 53 Dean Street, Soho.
  • Seventh, 10 February 1808.
  • Eighth ?
  • Ninth, 21 October 1813.
  • Tenth, 12 September 1817. Moved to Harrison Street, Gray’s Inn Road, 4 March 1819, after severing his connection with Rundell, Bridge and Rundell.
  • Eleventh mark, 2 September 1883. Address: 17 Harrison Street.
  • Twelfth and last mark, 2 September 1833.

Heal records him in partnership with Frisbee and alone at Cock Lane in 1792, and at the other addresses and dates above, except Harrison Street.

Storr married in 1801, Elizabeth Susanna Beyer of the Saxon family of piano and organ builders of Compton Street, by whom he had ten children. He retired in 1838, to live in Hill House in Tooting. He died 18 March 1844 and is buried in the churchyard of St Nicholas, Tooting. His will, proved 3 April 1844, shows an estate of £3,000.

There is a memorial to him at the church of St Mary, Otley, Suffolk put up in 1845 by his son the Rev. Francis Storr, the incumbent.

An example of his work is the cup made for presentation to the British admiral Lord Nelson to mark his victory at the Battle of the Nile.

Items from Storr’s workshops may be seen at Windsor Castle and during the summer opening season at Buckingham Palace. There are significant holdings of items in the National Silver Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum as well as in the Wellington Collection at Apsley House. Outside London there are important works at Brighton Pavilion, at the Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle and at Woburn Abbey. In the United States there are holdings of Paul Storr at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Metropolitan Museum, New York, among others. The Birmingham Museum of Art in Alabama has two significant pieces, one of which is illustrated here. In Canada, there are significant pieces in the Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal and the Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Australia has holdings at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne. In Portugal there is a fascinating group of silver made by Storr at the Casa Museu Medeiros e Almeida, Lisbon, whereas in Russia, at the State Hermitage Museum, there is silver supplied to Tsar Nicholas I and members of the aristocracy by Hunt & Roskell, successors to Storr & Mortimer.

Read Full Post »

Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Sir Henry Raeburn
4 March 1756 – 8 July 1823


Sir Henry Raeburn

Sir Henry Raeburn was born the son of a manufacturer in Stockbridge, on the Water of Leith; a former village now within the city of Edinburgh. His ancestors were believed to have been soldiers, and may have taken the name ‘Raeburn’ from a hill farm in Annandale, held by Sir Walter Scott’s family. Orphaned, he was supported by his older brother and placed in Heriot’s Hospital, where he received an education. At the age of fifteen he was apprenticed to the goldsmith James Gilliland of Edinburgh, and various pieces of jewellery, mourning rings and the like, adorned with minute drawings on ivory by his hand, still exist. Soon he took to the production of carefully finished portrait miniatures; meeting with success and patronage, he extended his practice to oil painting, at which he was self-taught. Gilliland watched the progress of his pupil with interest, and introduced him to David Martin, who had been the favourite assistant of Allan Ramsay the Latter, and was now the leading portrait painter in Edinburgh. Raeburn was especially aided by the loan of portraits to copy. Soon he had gained sufficient skill to make him decide to devote himself exclusively to painting. George Chalmers (1776; Dunfermline Town Hall) is his earliest known portrait.

In his early twenties, Raeburn was asked to paint the portrait of a young lady he had noticed when he was sketching from nature in the fields. Anne was the daughter of Peter Edgar of Bridgelands, and widow of Count James Leslie of Deanhaugh. Fascinated by the handsome and intellectual young artist, she became his wife within a month, bringing him an ample fortune. The acquisition of wealth did not affect his enthusiasm or his industry, but spurred him on to acquire a thorough knowledge of his craft. It was usual for artists to visit Italy, and Raeburn set off with his wife. In London he was kindly received by Sir Joshua Reynolds, the president of the Royal Academy, who advised him on what to study in Rome, especially recommending the works of Michelangelo, and gave Raeburn letters of introduction for Italy. In Rome he met his fellow Scot Gavin Hamilton, Pompeo Girolamo Batoni and Byers, an antique dealer whose advice proved particularly useful, especially the recommendation that “he should never copy an object from memory, but, from the principal figure to the minutest accessory, have it placed before him.” After two years of study in Italy he returned to Edinburgh in 1787, and began a successful career as a portrait painter. In that year he executed a seated portrait of the second Lord President Dundas.

Examples of his earlier portraiture include a bust of Mrs Johnstone of Baldovie and a three-quarter-length of Dr James Hutton, works which, if somewhat timid and tentative in handling and not as confident as his later work, nevertheless have delicacy and character. The portraits of John Clerk, Lord Eldin, and of Principal Hill of St Andrews belong to a later period. Raeburn was fortunate in the time in which he practised portraiture. Sir Walter Scott, Hugh Blair, Henry Mackenzie, Lord Woodhouselee, William Robertson, John Home, Robert Fergusson, and Dugald Stewart were resident in Edinburgh, and were all painted by Raeburn. Mature works include his own portrait and that of the Rev. Sir Henry Moncrieff Wellwood, the bust of Dr Wardrop of Torbane Hill, the two full-lengths of Adam Rolland of Gask, the remarkable paintings of Lord Newton and Dr Alexander Adam in the National Gallery of Scotland, and that of William Macdonald of St Martin’s.

Apart from himself, Raeburn painted only two artists, one of whom was Sir Francis Leggatt Chantrey, the most important and famous British sculptor of the first half of the nineteenth century. It has recently been revealed that Raeburn and Chantrey were close friends and that Raeburn took exceptional care over the execution of his portrait of the sculptor, one of the painter’s mature bust-length masterpieces.

It was commonly believed that Raeburn was less successful in painting female portraits, but the exquisite full-length of his wife, the smaller likeness of Mrs R. Scott Moncrieff in the National Gallery of Scotland, and that of Mrs Robert Bell, and others, argue against this. Raeburn spent his life in Edinburgh, rarely visiting London, and then only for brief periods, thus preserving his individuality. Although he, personally, may have lost advantages resulting from closer association with the leaders of English art, and from contact with a wider public, Scottish art gained much from his disinclination to leave his native land. He became the acknowledged chief of the school which was growing up in Scotland during the earlier years of the 19th century, and his example and influence at a critical period were of major importance. So varied were his other interests that sitters used to say of him, “You would never take him for a painter till he seizes the brush and palette.”

In 1812 he was elected president of the Society of Artists in Edinburgh, in 1814 associate, and in the following year full member of the Royal Scottish Academy. On 29 August 1822 he was knighted by George IVand appointed His Majesty’s limner for Scotland at the Earl of Hopetoun house. He died in Edinburgh.

Raeburn had all the essential qualities of a popular and successful portrait painter. He was able to produce a telling and forcible likeness; his work is distinguished by powerful characterisation, stark realism, dramatic and unusual lighting effects, and swift and broad handling of the most resolute sort. David Wilkie recorded that, while travelling in Spain and studying the works of Diego Velázquez, the brushwork reminded him constantly of the “square touch” of Raeburn. Scottish physician and writer John Brown wrote that Raeburn “never fails in giving a likeness at once vivid, unmistakable and pleasing. He paints the truth, and he paints it with love”.

Raeburn has been described as a “famously intuitive” portrait painter. He was unusual amongst many of his contemporaries, such as Reynolds, in the extent of his philosophy of painting directly from life; he made no preliminary sketches. This attitude partly explains the often coarse modelling and clashing colour combinations he employed, in contrast to the more refined style of Thomas Gainsborough and Reynolds. However these qualities and those mentioned above anticipate many of the later developments in painting of the nineteenth century from romanticism to Impressionism.

Sir Henry Raeburn died in St Bernard’s House (17 St Bernards Crescent), Stockbridge, Edinburgh. He is buried in St. Cuthbert’s churchyard against the east wall (the monument erected by Raeburn in advance) but also has a secondary memorial in the Church of St John the Evangelist, Edinburgh.

Raeburn made more than a thousand paintings spanning fifty years.

Read Full Post »

Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Sir Thomas Hislop 1st Baronet
5 July 1764 – 3 May 1843

Sir Thomas Hislop 1st Baronet was the third son of Lieutenant Colonel William Hislop of the Royal Artillery of the British Army. Like his two elder brothers, Hislop followed his father into the British Army, studying at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich before joining the 39th Regiment of Foot as an ensign in 1778. Both of his brothers would be killed in action fighting in India, James at the Battle of Pollilur in 1781 and William at Cundapore in 1783. Thomas Hislop’s first combat was during the American Revolutionary War, when his regiment served in the garrison during the Great Siege of Gibraltar. In 1783 at the end of the war, Hislop was promoted to lieutenant and purchased the rank of captain 1785, serving for a month with the 100th Regiment of Foot before returning to the 39th. In 1792 he left his regiment to become an aide to General David Dundas, with whom he participated in the invasion of Corsica at the start of the French Revolutionary Wars. At the capture of San Fiorenzo he was sent to Britain with the despatches, promoted to major and made an aide to Lord Amherst.

In 1795 Hislop undertook a secret diplomatic mission to Germany at the request of the Prince of Wales and was subsequently promoted to lieutenant colonel in the 115th Regiment of Foot, returning to the 39th six months later. In 1796 his regiment was sent to the West Indies, and Hislop participated in the capture of the Dutch colonies of Demerara, Berbice, and Essequibo. After their capture, Hislop remained in the territory as military commander, raising a number of battalions of the West India Regiment. He moved to Trinidad as lieutenant governor in 1802 after the Peace of Amiens. In 1809, as British forces gathered for operations against the French Leeward Islands, Hislop joined them as a subordinate to Lieutenant-General George Beckwith and participated in the invasion of Martinique in February 1809 and the invasion of Guadeloupe in January 1810, commanding a division during the latter operation. He was promoted to major-general, and returned to Britain due to ill-health in 1811.

In 1812, Hislop was made commander-in-chief at Bombay as a lieutenant general and sailed to take up his position in the frigate HMS Java. On 29 December 1812, Java engaged USS Constitution and was captured, Hislop was made a prisoner. During the naval engagement, Hislop had remained on deck and participated in the fighting, and was commended for his service. He was released at Salvador in Brazil and returned to Britain. In late 1814, Hislop finally took up a post in India as Commander-in-Chief of the Madras Army. He was rewarded for his services the same year with a baronetcy and investiture as a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath. In 1817, the Third Anglo-Maratha War broke out and Hislop was given command of the main British force, numbering 5,500 men. Advancing on 10 November, Hislop defeated the 35,000 strong army of Malhar Rao Holkar at the Battle of Mahidpur on 21 December and then ensured the surrender of the Maratha border fortresses. One fort at Talnar refused to surrender, and Hislop seized the fort and massacred all 300 of its defenders. With the campaign complete, Hislop’s army was dissolved in March 1818. For his leadership in the campaign he was advanced to a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath.

Hislop’s actions at Talnar came under investigation at the urging of the Governor-General of India, Lord Moira, and as a result he was specifically excluded from the vote of thanks proposed in the House of Commons. He was also embroiled in a controversy surrounding the distribution of the valuables confiscated from the Marathas, known as the “Deccan Prize”. Although Hislop claimed the rewards for distribution among his forces, an alternative claim for a force led by Lord Moira was held as equally valid even though they took no part in the fighting. Despite a political defence of his character by the Duke of Wellington, Hislop was removed from command in 1820.

He remained in India however and in 1822 he married Emma Elliott of Madras. Later in life he served as honorary colonel for the 51st Regiment of Foot and the 49th Regiment of Foot and spent a number of years after his return to Britain as an equerry to Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge. He died at his home in Charlton, Kent in 1843.

His daughter, Emma Eleanor Elizabeth, married William Hugh Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, 3rd Earl of Minto, in 1844.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »