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203rd Anniversary of Admiral Lord Collingwood’s Death – and a Portrait (or isn’t it?) 7 March, 2013

Posted by Molly Joyful in Art, Cuthbert Collingwood, Royal Navy.
Tags: , , , , ,

While countless activities in and around Morpeth are happening this very moment to remember our highly esteemed Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood, those of us who can’t attend unveilings and speeches are left with a puzzle. I recently stumbled over this alleged portrait of “Admiral Collingwood” which is attributed to John Hoppner.

(c) Eden District Council; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

The painting is dated to 1787 – 1795 and is part of the Eden District Council art collection.

Now my lamentable numerical memory is legendary (never ask me how old I am, I’ll be confused, and I can’t memorise my phone number, either), but wasn’t Collingwood promoted to rear-admiral in 1799? There doesn’t seem to be enough tinsel on the uniform; maybe it’s Captain Collingwood?

Inquiring minds want to know: is this Old Cuddy as a Young Cuddy, a different Collingwood or even a Fakingwood?

face1 face2

If you can solve this riddle, please let me know. And let the BBC know as well!

Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a “new” portrait to cherish? While you’re guessing, I’m raising my glass to the Admiral – may he always be remembered and may we all gather for many more years to come.



1. Jen - 8 March, 2013

Well, it does seem plausible from two points of view…

http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/paintings/search/painted_by/john-hoppner_artists shows all the paintings by Hoppner, and he obviously did do portraits of naval officers (including Nelson c1800).

And the date seems plausible as well – one thing they were talking about yesterday was about Collingwood coming back to Newcastle in 1786 already a hero, because the West Indies trade issue was important – moving in Newcastle society then, which was how he became friendly with the mayor’s daughter! And by 1795 he was one of the heroes of the Glorious First of June.

Maybe shiprat, who knows everything, can tell us if Coll ever wrote about getting his portrait painted, before the one that Sarah famously complained about :)

There’s a bit more about the painting at http://www.eden.gov.uk/leisure-and-culture/museum-penrith-and-eden/museum-collections/paintings-gallery/?entryid41=20105 (including a little bit about how a Cumberland town ended up with a portrait of a Northumberland hero, which I was curious to know!) – and they do say it’s a captain’s uniform.

Have you been in touch with Eden council at all? I’ll go down at some point if it’s on display – I’m occasionally in Penrith going to or from the Lake District, although not usually during museum opening hours! – so I’m happy to contact them if you like, but if you’re already talking to them you can maybe ask for me :)

(I’m about to run foul of this link limit, I expect…)

2. ShipRat - 11 March, 2013

(I’ll just have to stand in for this mythical Shiprat who knows everything.)
Interesting – my little gray cells are digesting this… more A.S.A.P.

Jen - 11 March, 2013

You always seem to have a quote for every occasion :)

ShipRat - 11 March, 2013

Je veux que la mort me trouve plantant mes choux, mais nonchalant d’elle, et encore plus de mon jardin imparfait.

– Montaigne, “Essays”

I would like death to catch me planting my cabbages, indifferent to its arrival and even more indifferent to the quality of my gardening.

3. ShipRat - 11 March, 2013

Egad, my Florrie Ford link went under March 5th by mistake, not the 7th.

I hope this patches things up…

ShipRat - 11 March, 2013

Ack, no hotlinking… let’s try that again.

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