Illuminated Certificate for George Macartney, 1st Earl Macartney

British 18th century unknown

Ink and watercolour on vellum, with wax seal

1792
  • About the work
    Location
    Country: China
    City: Beijing
    Place: British Embassy

    This illuminated certificate announces George Macartney's creation as Viscount Macartney of Dervock in the Irish peerage in 1792. Diplomat and governor, Macartney is remembered for his missions to India and China. He was knighted and appointed envoy-extraordinary to Russia in 1764 and chief secretary to the Irish viceroy, Lord Townshend, in 1769. Following a second knighthood of the Bath in 1772 he was named governor of Grenada, Tobago and the Grenadines in 1775. In the following year he was created Baron Macartney of Lissanoure in the Irish peerage. He was appointed governor of Madras in 1781 and was recommended as successor to Warren Hastings as governor-general in 1785, a position which he declined. The posting for which he is most remembered arrived in 1792 in the form of an embassy to Peking, although his hopes for the establishment of permanent British diplomatic presence in Peking did not come to fruition. He was created viscount in the Irish peerage before his departure and was raised to an earl on his return. His later appointments include missions to Verona to the exiled French king in 1795, and governorship of the Cape. This certificate was purchased in 2003 along with a pastel portrait of Macartney (see GAC 17853/1).

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  • Details
    Title
    Illuminated Certificate for George Macartney, 1st Earl Macartney
    Date
    1792
    Medium
    Ink and watercolour on vellum, with wax seal
    Acquisition
    Purchased from Sotheby's, 27 November 2003
    Provenance
    Sotheby's, London, 27 November 2003 (Lot 219) (this object added to Lot after catalogue was printed)
    GAC number
    17853/2