William Say after Sir William Beechey
The Right Honble. Lord Porchester
15 x 19 inches
Half-length mezzotint by William Say, Engraver to the Duke of Gloucester, after the portrait by Sir William Beechey; published in London in 1811.
This delightful portrait depicts a youthful Lord Porchester in his position as Colonel of the West Somerset Yeomanry. The West Somerset regiment was first raised in 1794 with Porchester as one of its first colonels in chief. It was a response to the French Revolutionary government's threat to invade England in 1793. At the time of this print the whole country lived in fear of Napoleon Bonaparte and it was essential to maintain a military presence in the shires outside London. The regiment continued to serve throughout the nineteenth century and went on to distinguish itself in the Boer War of 1899.