Benjamin Edmonstone (1765–1841)

Image credit: Queens' College, University of Cambridge

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Royal Academy Exhibition 1828 catalogue item 609: 'Portrait of N. B. Edmonstone, Esq. Director of the Honourable East India Company, F.R.S., &c. [by] W. Bradley'. Neil Benjamin Edmonstone was the seventh child of Archibald, 1st Baronet Edmonstone of Duntreath (1717–1807). Neil Benjamin Edmonstone, after a successful career in India from 1783, rising to senior positions in the East India Company, returned to Britain in 1818. From 1820 onwards, he was a member of the Court of Directors of the East India Company. In 1826, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. One of his grand-daughters was Susanna Carnegie Edmonstone (1844–1931), who in 1868 married the famous logician John Venn (1834–1923). Their only child was John Archibald Venn (1883–1958), who became President of Queens' College in 1932.

Queens' College, University of Cambridge



Benjamin Edmonstone (1765–1841)




oil on canvas


H 74 x W 61 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

bequeathed by John Archibald Venn, 1958

Work type


Signature/marks description

Bottom left: 'WB. 1828'

Inscription description

The titles written in Arabic script on the book spines refer to his linguistic abilities: he was, at first, a Persian translator for the East India Company.


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Queens' College, University of Cambridge

Silver Street, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire CB3 9ET England

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