‘The General and Commodore settling the question of precedence’, King’s House, Jamaica

Lionel Grimston Fawkes (1849 - 1931)

Watercolour on paper

c1883
  • About the work
    Location
    Country: Other
    City: other locations abroad

    This sketch shows two British colonial leaders at King’s House in Kingston, Jamaica, in about 1883. From 1661 to 1962 Jamaica was a British Crown Colony with a colonial government, lead by an appointed governor. The inscription on this sketch ‘The General & Commodore settling the Question of Precedence, King's House, Jamaica’ suggests there was a degree of tension between the two characters depicted.

    From 1872 the King’s House was the official residence of the governor-general in Jamaica. Following the departure of the former governor, Sir Anthony Musgrave, in 1883, two acting governors, Somerset M. Wiseman Clarke and Dominic Jacotin Gamble, served briefly before the appointment of the new governor, Sir Henry Wylie Norman (1826-1904), later that year.

    The general, referred to in the inscription and seen in a red and black uniform, is Major-General Dominic Jacotin Gamble.

    The ‘Commodore’ in charge of Jamaica, depicted here, is either Commodore Edward White, who was in Jamaica from 2 March 1882 to 25 July 1883, or Commodore Francis M. Prattent, in Jamaica from 25 July 1883 to sometime in 1885.

  • About the artist
    Lionel Grimston Fawkes, grandson of Walter Ramsden Hawkesworth Fawkes (an MP and patron of Turner), began his military training at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. By 1883 he was Dominic Gamble’s aide-de-camp in Jamaica. In 1885 he entered Staff College, Sandhurst. He became a Colonel in the Royal Artillery and later a Justice of the Peace. In 1891 he married Lady Constance Eleanor Kennedy, daughter of a Scottish peer. He was Professor of Military Topography at the Royal Military Academy from 1895 to 1900. By 1923 he and his wife had moved to Canada, purchasing the Point Comfort Hotel on Mayne Island and changing its name to Culzean after Constance’s ancestral home, Culzean Castle. They remained at Culzean for the rest of their lives.
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  • Details
    Title
    ‘The General and Commodore settling the question of precedence’, King’s House, Jamaica
    Date
    c1883
    Medium
    Watercolour on paper
    Dimensions
    height: 13.00 cm, width: 10.00 cm
    Acquisition
    Purchased from Morton Morris, June 1979
    Inscription
    Inscribed top: The General and Commodore / settling the question of precedence. King's House, / Jamaica.
    Provenance
    Purchased from Morton Morris & Co., London, June 1979
    GAC number
    14614