Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Sir John Francis Edward Acton, 6th Bt (1736-1811), Prime Minister of Naples

Sicilian minister, a Catholic of English extraction, b. Besançon of a French mother; served with the French and Tuscan navies; knight of the Order of St Stephen 1767 [1] ; in 1779 reorganised the navy in the Kingdom of Naples, where he became chief minister 1789, grand chancellor 1795 and prime minister 1799-1806; knight of the Order of St Januarius 1783 (or 1785, with the Order of St Stephen,) [2] of Ferdinand 1801 and of the Golden Fleece (Spain) 1802; succeeded as 6th Bart of Aldenham Park, Shropshire, 1791; married 1800 his niece, Mary Anne Acton (c.1782-1873); d. Palermo.

'a thin genteel looking man; not handsome, but neat and quiet and gentlemanlike' (Lady Palmerston, 1794).

Footnotesback to top

1) Dizionario biografico degli Italiani, II, 1960, pp 207-9.
2) W. Betham, Baronetage, II, 1802, pp 18-19.


This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Ingamells, National Portrait Gallery: Mid-Georgian Portraits 1760-1790, National Portrait Gallery, 2004, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.