© National Portrait Gallery, London
by Joseph Brown, after Unknown photographer Click on the links below to find out more
stipple engraving, 1855
7 7/8 in. x 5 1/8 in. (200 mm x 130 mm) paper size
Purchased with help from the Friends of the National Libraries and the Pilgrim Trust, 1966
- Henry Fawcett (1833-1884), Politician, political economist and academic. Sitter in 23 portraits.
His friend and biographer Leslie Stephens suggested this portrait showed Fawcett straining his eyes given his sensitivity to light. Fawcett's career at the Bar was halted in 1858 after he was blinded by his father in a shooting accident.
Palmerston becomes Prime Minister, leading a coalition government after Lord Aberdeen loses a vote of confidence over his handling of the Crimean war. Known by the nickname 'Lord Pumicestone' for his abrasive style, Palmerston is the oldest prime minister in history to take up the post for the first time at the age of 71.Stamp duty on newspapers is abolished, creating the mass media market in the UK as newspapers became more widely and cheaply available.
Art and science
Following a trip through the Holy Land to the Dead Sea, William Holman Hunt begins his symbolically-laden painting The Scapegoat
. John Millais marries Effie Gray, previously John Ruskin's wife, after their marriage was annulled that year. The social theorist and sociologist Herbert Spencer and philosopher G. H. Lewes, publishes Principles of Pyschology
, exploring a physiological basis to psychology.
The Fall of Sebastopol in the Crimean war, as Russia retreats, and the exhaustion of the Turkish alliance means the war nears its end. Despite being rebuffed by Florence Nightingale's team of nurses, Jamaican-born nurse Mary Seacole travels to the Crimea, opening a 'British Hotel' for sick and injured soldiers. She gains significant attention and praise for her nursing work.