Search the Collection

Sir Coleridge Arthur Fitzroy Kennard, 1st Bt

(1885-1948), Diplomat

Sitter in 2 portraits

Tell us More

List Thumbnail

Sir Coleridge Arthur Fitzroy Kennard, 1st Bt, by Bassano Ltd - NPG x74731

Sir Coleridge Arthur Fitzroy Kennard, 1st Bt

by Bassano Ltd
whole-plate glass negative, 19 November 1924
NPG x74731

Sir Coleridge Arthur Fitzroy Kennard, 1st Bt, by Bassano Ltd - NPG x74732

Sir Coleridge Arthur Fitzroy Kennard, 1st Bt

by Bassano Ltd
whole-plate glass negative, 19 November 1924
NPG x74732

Tell us more back to top

Can you tell us more about this person? Spotted an error, information that is missing (a sitter’s life dates, occupation or family relationships, or a date of portrait for example) or do you know anything that we don't know? If you have information to share please complete the form below.

If you require information from us, please use our Archive enquiry service. If you wish to license an image, please use our Rights and Images service.

Please note that we cannot provide valuations.

We digitise over 8,000 portraits a year and we cannot guarantee being able to digitise images that are not already scheduled.

Robert Whelan

4 May 2017, 18:07

In 1904 his mother, the formidable Helen Carew, commissioned Jacques-Emile Blanche to paint his portrait. The image made him look so effeminate that she broke off all contact with Blanche and refused to pay for the picture. When Blanche asked Kennard to explain his ostracism, Kennard wrote: 'My mother is as upset as you, but if she no longer writes to you and refuses to see you and your wife, of whom she is so fond, it is all on account of THE PORTRAIT... because my portrait is too revealing. It has shown her the real Roy, whom in her heart of hearts she imagined quite different. You have seen into my future...' When the portrait was exhibited in a retrospective of Blanche's work in 1924 it was on condition the identity of the sitter was not revealed. The cataloguer entered it as 'Le Portrait de Dorian Gray'. It is now in a private collection in England.

William Cross, FSA Scot

31 May 2016, 15:23

There is an enchanting introduction by Sir Coleridge Kennard to Ronald Firbanks's " The Artificial Princess" ( published in 1934 by Duckworth). In this 90th anniversary year ( 2016) of Firbank’s death his writings ( and Sir Coleridge’s reasons for his admiration of Ronnie) deserves to be better known. Perhaps Dr Richard Canning will have more to say in his forthcoming biography of Firbank. It seems Firbank visited Sir Coleridge frequently in London who remarks “ I hold that all that is essential about a writer is to be found in his works. Firbank expressed himself completely in his books….”

Charles Drace-Francis

4 February 2016, 22:20

A lot! He was born in 1885, the son of Hugh Downing Kennard, who was the son of Coleridge Kennard, the founder and proprietor of the Evening News, and Helen Wyllie the daughter of rich Liverpool merchant of Scottish origin. His father died when he was one; and his grandfather died when he was five. The Conservative Government of Lord Salisbury had offered the grandfather a baronetcy just before he died because of the Evening News' support of the government. But it had not been gazetted and went into abeyance until 1895 when Coleridge junior (the grandson) was eleven. The title was then gazetted in his favour and he became the first baronet. This was because the Evening News had always warmly supported the Conservative Government. Also his mother, who had been styled as Lady Kennard after the death of the grandfather had considerable influence (and resources) to procure this favour. But Coleridge junior was a disappointment. He studied to enter the Diplomatic Service (with Oscar Wilde's eldest son) but he entered into a relationship with an unsuitable fortune hunter, and his mother with the collusion of the then Conservative Foreign Secretary got him appointed honorary attache to the British Legation in Tehran in order to extract him from this relationship. However his lover followed him there and he resigned from the legation. He wrote a number of privately printed books, some of them obscene, very much in the style of the Yellow Book, which was not surprising as his mother had been an admirer of Oscar Wilde and had paid for the famous Epstein tomb of OW in the Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris. The obscene books used to be kept on the restricted shelves of the British Museum Library. His mother had inherited a share in Eden Roc, the fabulous house in Cap d'Antibes which had been built by her wealthy father, and Sir Coleridge spent most of the 1920s there after the death of his mother when he became one of its owners. He produced two sons, SIr Lawrence Kennard, the second baronet (1912-67), who was pig farmer in Hampshire (among many other occupations); and SIr Geroge Kennard, the third baronet (1915-99) who despite having many wives produced no heir, and the baronetcy which had started so peculiarly terminated.

What can you tell us?close

There are occasions when we are unsure of the identity of a sitter or artist, their life dates, occupation or have not recorded their family relationships. Sometimes we have not recorded the date of a portrait. Do you have specialist knowledge or a particular interest about any aspect of the portrait or sitter or artist that you can share with us? We would welcome any information that adds to and enhances our information and understanding about a particular portrait, sitter or artist.


How do you know this? Please could you let us know your source of information.

* Permission to publish (Privacy information)
Privacy Informationclose

The National Portrait Gallery will NOT use your information to contact you or store for any other purpose than to investigate or display your contribution. By ticking permission to publish you are indicating your agreement for your contribution to be shown on this collection item page. Please note your email address will not be displayed on the page nor will it be used for any marketing material or promotion of any kind.

Please ensure your comments are relevant and appropriate. Your contributions must be polite and with no intention of causing trouble. All contributions are moderated.

Your Emailclose

Contributions are moderated. We'll need your email address so that we can follow up on the information provided and contact you to let you know when your contribution has been published.