Sir Ralph Abercromby
- Extended Catalogue Entry
Sir Ralph Abercromby
after John Hoppner
oil on canvas, based on a work from the early 19th century
36 3/4 in. x 30 1/4 in. (933 mm x 768 mm)
Given by Alfred Jones, 1909
Artistback to top
- John Hoppner (1758-1810), Painter. Artist associated with 213 portraits, Sitter in 13 portraits.
This portraitback to top
In December 1797, Abercromby was named Commander-in-Chief of Ireland. It was to be a brief and controversial appointment. Abercromby did not agree with the Dublin administration and as a professional soldier was appalled by the indiscipline and bad behaviour of the troops under his command. In a famous order of February 1798 he described the army as being 'in a state of licentiousness which must render it formidable to anyone but the enemy'. His comments caused a political storm. On the grounds that he had lost the confidence of the Lord Lieutenant and his advisors, Abercromby insisted on resigning.
Linked publicationsback to top
Events of 1800back to top
Current affairsWidespread food riots after poor harvests of 1798-9. Theorist, Thomas Malthus, controversially argues that poverty and food shortages are an inevitable consequence of population growth, challenging assumptions that populousness was a sign of national prosperity and power. His thesis contributed forcefully to the debate over the existing Poor Law.
Art and scienceWilliam Wordsworth publishes his Preface to the Lyrical Ballads; a retrospective explanation of his experimental poems written with Samuel Taylor Coleridge. It becomes one of the best-known manifestos of Romantic literature.
InternationalLord Castlereagh, Chief Secretary for Ireland, is the main architect of the Act of Union under which Ireland is merged with Great Britain and the Irish parliament is abolished.
British troops support successful uprising by Maltese against the French.
Napoleon is victorious against Austrians at Marengo and reconquers Italy.
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