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Sir Edward Cromwell Disbrowe from the Middleton Watercolor Album

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Sir Edward Cromwell Disbrowe from the Middleton Watercolor Album

Currently in storage

About this object

The oldest child of Colonel Edward Disbrowe and Lady Charlotte Hobart, daughter of the 3rd Earl of Buckinghamshire, Sir Edward Cromwell Disbrowe (1790-1851) grew up on his family’s estate in England and received his education at Eton College and Oxford University. He joined the diplomatic corps in 1810 and was first sent to Lisbon to serve as a secretary to British envoy Charles Stuart. Edward worked at the embassy there until 1813, when he was made attaché to the Ambassador to Russia. In August 1814 he was named Secretary of Legation at Copenhagen, where he remained for several years. Edward was then transferred to Berne, Switzerland in 1820 to serve as the chargé d'affaires. While abroad he married Anne Kennedy, granddaughter of the 11th Earl of Cassilis (52.39.34). By the end of 1822 the couple had settled in England. Upon his appointment as Minister Plenipotentiary to Russia in 1825, Edward and his family relocated to St. Petersburg. The Decembrist uprising took place shortly after their arrival—as a diplomat, Edward would have had first-hand knowledge of the events that transpired. His correspondence with his wife and relations during this period therefore lends significant insight into the revolt and its aftermath. Between 1828 and 1836 Edward served as Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Württemberg, Sweden, and the Netherlands. Queen Victoria attempted to remove him from office in 1842, but he died in harness at The Hague in 1851.

The bust-length portrait depicts Sir Edward Cromwell Disbrowe facing partly right, eyes looking forward, against a city- or townscape. Buildings flank a river or canal that extends off into the distance. On the lower right, a ship rounds a corner. The gentleman wears a dark blue coat with a black collar and gold buttons over a yellow waistcoat and white shirt with a white cravat.

Object name:
Sir Edward Cromwell Disbrowe from the Middleton Watercolor Album
Made from:
Watercolor and gouache on paper
Date made:

Detailed information for this item

Catalog number:
Signature marks:
Inscription __ Sir Ed. Disbrowe__Bottom of page __In cursive
Credit line:
Museum Purchase, 2004