Posts Tagged ‘Hussey Vivian 1st Baron Vivian’

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 Salter
1804–22 December 1875

Salter was born in 1804 and educated in Honiton, Devon. He was able to work in James Northcote’s studios from 1822. Five years later he went on a Grand Tour to Italy. Unlike other grand tourers Salter took up employment as a professor at Florentine Academy of Fine Arts. Salter taught History Painting until 1833 when he returned to England.

His most famous work is The Waterloo Banquet (1836) in Apsley House, which depicts a commemorative banquet held by the Duke of Wellington at Apsley House on the anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo in 1836.

The Waterloo Banquet 1836

The story is that Salter was on his horse in Hyde Park on 18 June when he happened to hear and then see the banquet in progress at the Duke of Wellington’s house at Hyde Park Corner. He was so intrigued by the spectacle that he approached his patron with a proposal for a painting to capture the scene. His patron Lady Berghersh consented to approach the Duke with the proposal. The Duke was immediately against the idea as he considered Salter’s immaturity would not be up to the complexity of the painting Salter was proposing. Lady Berghersh was the Duke’s niece and she and the Duke were close and kept up a correspondence for many years. The Duke was persuaded and he gave Salter access to the room and ornaments so that he could get their likenesses.

The centrepiece of the banquet was a large centrepiece that is over a metre wide and over eight metres long. It was a present from the government of Portugal and was made from silver that came from melting down coins. The silver and gilt metalwork was designed by Domingos Antonio de Sequeira and shows the victories of the Napoleonic wars. This silverware and Salter’s painting are both today at Apsley House.

Salter painted scores of military figures as preparation for the Waterloo banquet painting and many of these are now in the National Portrait Gallery. He worked on this painting for five years at his studio in Pall Mall persevering to obtain a sitting from the invitees. Each of the people in the painting was reported as a good likeness.

The banquet that is shown is the one in 1836 when King William IV attended. The King died the following year, but Lord Bathurst was included in the picture despite his having already died. Earlier banquets may have had even more invitees. All the field officers were invited and over the years some had already died. Others in the picture were William, King of the Netherlands, Charles Lennox, 4th Duke of Richmond, Hussey Vivian, 1st Baron Vivian, Major-General Sir Peregrine Maitland and Rowland Hill, 1st Viscount Hill. Other field officers there included Sir Frederick Adam, Sir Henry Askew Bt, General Sir Andrew Francis Barnard, Colonel Sempronius Stretton, and General Sir Henry Wyndham.

The King is sitting at Wellington’s right as the Duke proposes a toast. The idea of choosing this moment is not by chance. Salter had a problem of composition as he had to deliver a good likeness of over eighty people. As a banquet usually would result in half of the people facing away from a viewer he chose this moment so that the celebrants could more naturally be displayed facing to the side as they sat in conversational groups.

The painting was engraved and was very popular. Tickets were sold to people who wanted to see the painting when it was exhibited in 1841. An 1846 engraving by William Greatbach of the painting also sold well. It was proposed in 1852 to purchase the painting from the artist by public subscription, however this failed to achieve its goal probably due to the Duke’s death in September 1852. The painting remained unsold and passed down to Salter’s heirs.

The painting is now displayed at Apsley House. The tradition of holding a banquet of the anniversary of the day of the battle still continues today.

His picture of Socrates before his Judges was painted whilst he was in Italy and is credited with his favourable reception in Florence and Padua.

In 1835, a new church was built in Honiton. Salter paid for and painted an altarpiece called Descent from the Cross for his hometown in 1838.

Salter was a lifelong member of the Florentine academy and he painted a range of subjects, but he is primarily known for his banquet painting and the related portraits. He, and his patron Lady Burghersh, exhibited at the British Institution and he joined the Society of British Artists in 1846. Salter died at his home in West Kensington on 22 December 1875.

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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.

Hussey Vivian 1st Baron Vivian
28 July 1775 – 20 August 1842


Hussey Vivian

Educated at Truro Grammar School, then at Harrow and Exeter College, Oxford, Vivian entered the army in 1793, and less than a year later became a captain in the 28th Foot. Under Lord Moira he served in the campaign of 1794 in Flanders and the Netherlands. At the end of the expedition, the 28th bore a distinguished part in Lord Cathcart’s action of Geldermalsen. In 1798 Vivian was transferred to the 7th Light Dragoons (later Hussars), and in Sir Ralph Abercromby’s division was present in the Helder campaign in Holland at the battles of Bergen and Alkmaar (19 September to 6 October 1799).

In 1800 he received his majority, and in 1804 he became Lieutenant Colonel of the 7th. In command of this regiment he sailed to join Lieutenant-General Sir David Baird at Corunna in 1808, and took part in Lord Henry Paget’s cavalry fights at Sahagún and Benavente. During the retreat of Lieut-General Sir John Moore’s army the 7th were constantly employed with the rearguard. Vivian was present at the Battle of Corunna, and returned with the remainder of the army to England. It was not until September 1813 that the 7th returned to the Peninsula. On 24 November, Vivian (now colonel and aide-de-camp to the Prince Regent) was appointed to command a light cavalry brigade (13th and 14th Light Dragoons) under Rowland Hill, 1st Viscount Hill in Wellington’s army. With this corps he served at the Battle of the Nive (9–13 December).

In January 1814, Vivian transferred to lead a light cavalry brigade in William Carr Beresford’s corps. The 1,000-strong unit included the 18th Hussars and the 1st King’s German Legion Hussars. Vivian took a marked part in the action of Gave de Pau and the Battle of Orthez. On 8 April, Vivian fought a brilliant action at Croix d’Orade on the Ers River, where he was very severely wounded. In this clash, the 18th Hussars seized a key bridge intact, helping Wellington to isolate the French defenders of Toulouse. At the beginning of 1815 he was made KCB; he had been a Major General for several months.

In April 1815, Sir Hussey Vivian was appointed to command the 6th Brigade of Henry Paget, the Earl of Uxbridge’s Cavalry Division. Vivian’s brigade included the 10th and 18th Hussars and the 1st Hussars KGL. At the Battle of Waterloo the 6th Brigade was posted on the Duke of Wellington’s left flank. In the late afternoon, Vivian’s regiments, with those of Vandeleur’s 4th Brigade, were moved to support the hard-pressed center of the line. After the repulse of Napoleon’s Imperial Guard, Vivian’s hussars made the final charge of the day between Hougomont and La Haye Sainte, sweeping everything before them. This service was rewarded by the thanks of both houses of Parliament, the KCH, and the orders of Maria Theresa and St. Vladimir from the emperors of Austria and Russia.

Vivian sat in the House of Commons as member for Truro from 1821 to 1831; he was then made commander of the forces in Ireland, and given the GCH. He was also appointed to the Privy Council of Ireland in 1831. In 1835 he became Master-General of the Ordnance, and was appointed to the Privy Council of the United Kingdom. In 1837 he received the GCB, and in 1841, being then M.P. for East Cornwall, was created Baron Vivian in the English peerage. A year later he died at Baden-Baden. He was twice married (first in 1804), and the title descended in the direct line.

His natural son, Sir Robert John Hussey Vivian (1802–1887), was a famous soldier in India, who in 1857 was made K.C.B. and in 1871 G.C.B., having previously attained the rank of general.

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