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Sir John Gladstone

(1764-1851), Merchant, philanthropist and Conservative politician; MP for Lancaster, Woodstock and Berwick

Regency Portraits Catalogue Entry

Sitter in 3 portraits
Born John Gladstones, he dropped the ‘s’ when he moved to Liverpool to become a merchant. From there, he operated throughout the British Empire trading corn with India as well as sugar and cotton with the West Indies. Along with his brother Robert, Gladstone extended his business in the Caribbean purchasing plantations and enslaved Africans in British Guiana (now Guyana). The largest was the Vreedenhoop estate in Demerara, which was worked by 430 enslaved people. With the ending of slavery in the 1830s Gladstone moved into schemes involving the importing of indentured labourers into the Caribbean. His son, William Ewart Gladstone, became a liberal MP and eventually Prime Minister. His start in politics was dependent on financial support from his father. Despite this inheritance and support for the compensation of slave owners, in later life he supported anti-slavery causes.

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Sir John Gladstone, after David Octavius Hill, and  Robert Adamson - NPG Ax29540

Sir John Gladstone

after David Octavius Hill, and Robert Adamson
carbon print, 1843-1848; published 1928
NPG Ax29540

Sir John Gladstone, by Samuel William Reynolds Jr, printed by  Brooker & Harrison, published by  Paul and Dominic Colnaghi & Co, published by  Alexander Hill, after  William Bradley - NPG D34512

Sir John Gladstone

by Samuel William Reynolds Jr, printed by Brooker & Harrison, published by Paul and Dominic Colnaghi & Co, published by Alexander Hill, after William Bradley
mezzotint, published 26 February 1844
NPG D34512

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