John Young after John Hoppner
Right Hon.ble The Earl of Moira
Commander in Chief of His Majesty's Forces in North Britain &c &c &c. From an original picture in the possession of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales
A full-length mezzotint portrait by John Young after Hoppner's portrait; published in London in 1805.
This imposing portrait is a meticulous mezzotint image of the oil painting commissioned by the Prince Regent in honour of his confidant and close friend, Francis Rawdon-Hastings, the 2nd Earl of Moira whose dates are 1754-1826.
Moira was a gallant soldier and diplomat who was successfully involved in numerous overseas campaigns ranging from the American and French revolutionary wars to the expansion of British interests in India and the Far East. He fought at Bunker Hill in Boston in 1775 and it is said that he was responsible for the death of the American general, Joseph Warren. Later he led his men at Kips Bay, landing on the island of Manhattan and then took part in the Southern Campaigns of the American War of Independence.
Back in London in the 1780s Moira got involved in political life. He built the Gothic masterpiece Donington Hall in Leicestershire where he offered refuge to the French aristocracy fleeing the terror of post-Revolutionary France. He is said to have left a cheque book in each bedroom allocated to the exiled Bourbon princes. He also became heavily embroiled in the campaign to support the Prince of Wales in his bid for the Regency.
In 1812 he was appointed Governor General of India and in 1813 he arrived in Calcutta with 15,000 British troops at his command. Under his leadership the British went on to acquire Singapore.