Robert Stewart, 2nd Marquess of Londonderry (Lord Castlereagh)

1 portrait on display in Room 20 at the National Portrait Gallery

Robert Stewart, 2nd Marquess of Londonderry (Lord Castlereagh), by Sir Thomas Lawrence, 1809-1810 - NPG 891 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Robert Stewart, 2nd Marquess of Londonderry (Lord Castlereagh)

by Sir Thomas Lawrence
oil on canvas, 1809-1810
29 1/4 in. x 24 1/4 in. (743 mm x 616 mm)
Purchased, 1892
Primary Collection
NPG 891


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Sitterback to top

Artistback to top

  • Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830), Portrait painter, collector and President of the Royal Academy. Artist associated with 684 portraits, Sitter in 25 portraits.

This portraitback to top

Associated with repression in Ireland and the unpopular measures of Lord Liverpool's ministry, Castlereagh was despised for the brutal way in which the rebels were suppressed - hung from trees and shot without any kind of hearing - resulting in at least 20,000 casualties. Hazlitt observed that Lawrence's portrait showed him 'with the prim smirking aspect of a haberdasher'.

Related worksback to top

  • NPG D37412: Robert Stewart, 2nd Marquess of Londonderry (Lord Castlereagh) (source portrait)

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Events of 1809back to top

Current affairs

Duke of Portland resigns as Prime Minister to be succeeded by Spencer Perceval. Motion for parliamentary reform is defeated in the House of Commons. Notorious duel between George Canning and Viscount Castlereagh over strategic failures against Napoleon.

Art and science

Maria Edgeworth publishes Tales of Fashionable Life, a popular and perceptive series of stories exploring Anglo-Irish society after the Union. Robert Smirke completes the New Covent Garden Theatre after fire. 'Old Price' theatre riots quickly break out against rising cost of admission. Pall Mall in London is lit by gas for the first time.

International

British army lands in Lisbon and defeats the French at Talavera. Arthur Wellesley is created Viscount Wellington as a result of this victory. Walcheren expedition led by General Chatham, which aimed to take Antwerp, fails amidst allegations of military corruption and carnage. James Madison is elected President of the United States.

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