Mystery Man Identified!

Henry Peter Brougham, 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux (1778–1868)

Henry Peter Brougham, 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux (1778–1868)

If you ever wondered why we work in a museum, here’s why:  you never know what you are going to find out next!

Two years ago we purchased the oil on canvas painting at right at an auction in Gagetown.  It had been purchased at the Anthony Flower House auction in 2002 but was unsigned and unidentified.  Since it was from the house and was clearly the work of Anthony Flower, we purchased it.  Since then, we have been looking through papers and prints trying to figure out who the subject might be; we even thought it could be a local person – a family member, friend, minister, etc.

At long last he is identified!  Ann Lowe, Queens County Heritage Research Associate extraordinaire found him in an 1868 Illustrated London News.  Coincidentally, the same issue in which the Rembrandt portrait of the Dutch lady appeared.  Drum roll . . . .

He is Henry Peter Brougham, 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux (1778–1868), (“Brougham” is pronounced Broom), a British statesman who became Lord Chancellor of the United Kingdom in the 1830s.  Previous to this, he had served as an attorney for the spurned Queen Caroline of Brunswick, when George IV tried to divorce her and deny her rights as Queen.  Lord Brougham died in May 1868 at Cannes, on the French Riviera, and is buried there as well.

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