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Archibald Hamilton Rowan

3 of 4 portraits of Archibald Hamilton Rowan

Archibald Hamilton Rowan, by Robert Cooper, after  John Comerford, published 1825 - NPG D9343 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Archibald Hamilton Rowan

by Robert Cooper, after John Comerford
stipple engraving, published 1825
8 1/8 in. x 5 1/2 in. (205 mm x 139 mm) plate size; 11 1/4 in. x 8 1/8 in. (285 mm x 205 mm) paper size
Given by Henry Witte Martin, 1861
Reference Collection
NPG D9343

Sitterback to top

Artistsback to top

  • John Comerford (circa 1770-1832), Miniature painter. Artist associated with 9 portraits.
  • Robert Cooper (active 1795-died 1828), Historical and portrait engraver. Artist associated with 189 portraits.

This portraitback to top

As a respectable member of the Protestant gentry who was also part of the radical Society of United Irishmen, Rowan was asked by founder Wolfe Tone to help prevent the Society falling into disrepute after the arrest of their secretary James Napper Tandy. They became a regular spectacle in the gallery of the Irish House of Commons, dressed in colourful uniforms and shouting down any politician who spoke ill of them. Rowan was arrested in 1792 on charges of distributing seditious literature. He was found guilty and imprisoned but escaped to America via France. After witnessing the Terror in Paris he modified his political opinions and was permitted to return to Ireland in 1803.

Events of 1825back to top

Current affairs

Strikes, contract breaking and worker intimidation prompt the passing of a new Anti-Trade Union Combination Act to the dismay of economist John McCulloch, MP Joseph Hume and radical Francis Place who had worked for the repeal of the previous year.
Catholic Relief Bill is rejected by the House of Lords.

Art and science

Construction of Thames Tunnel begins under the direction of Marc Isambard Brunel.
Stockton to Darlington Railway, the world's first passenger system, opens.
William Hazlitt publishes The Spirit of the Age; twenty-five pen-portraits of his contemporaries in the world of literature, philosophy and politics.


Beethoven's Ninth Symphony premieres in London.
John Quincy Adams is elected President of the United States.

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