Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston (1784-1865)

  • About the work

    Viscount Henry John Temple Palmerston (1784-1865) is portrayed with a receding hairline and side whiskers, wearing a lounge coat, a white waistcoat, a shirt with a stand-up collar. This lithograph was made after a carte-de-visite portrait taken at the studio of W & D. Downey, Newcastle, in about 1860. A carte-de-visite is a photograph mounted on a piece of card the size of a formal visiting card. The format was introduced by the French photographer Andre-Adolphe-Eugene Disderi (1819-1889) in 1854 and gained popularity among politicians at the time.

    Palmerston entered politics in 1807 as a Tory member of the House of Commons, where he showed a particular interest in Parliamentary reform and Catholic emancipation (this act of 1829 admitted Irish and English Roman Catholics to Parliament). He served as Secretary at War (1809–1828), Foreign Secretary (1830–1841 and 1846–1851), Home Secretary (1853–1855) and Prime Minister (1855–1858 and 1859–1865). He played a key role in foreign policy, establishing the independence of Belgium and Greece, and ensuring that France kept its distance from Turkey. In 1855, Palmerston helped to negotiate the Treaty of Paris (1857), allowing Britain, France and Russia to bring the Crimean War to an end. 

  • About the artist
    William Downey (1829-1915) and his brother Daniel (1831-1881) were studio photographers of the Victorian period. Their first studio, founded in 1855, was located in South Shields. In 1863, they opened a branch on Eldon Square in Newcastle. In 1872 William moved to 57 & 61 Ebury Street in London and his brother continued to manage the Newcastle studio. The studio enjoyed royal patronage and received a Royal Warrant in 1879.
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    Temple, Henry John, 3rd Viscount Palmerston
    Materials & Techniques
  • Details
    Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston (1784-1865)
    Purchased 1992
    GAC number