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Benjamin Thompson was born in Massachusetts and became a school teacher in Rumford, New Hampshire. He joined the army but was suspected of supporting the British, which was correct but not proven. In 1776 he left for London, where he held a number of government posts. He later travelled to Europe where he worked for the Bavarian government, rising to be Minister of War, for which he was created a Count of the Holy Roman Empire.

The Royal Institution


  • Date

    late 18th C–early 19th C

  • Medium

    oil on canvas

  • Accession number

    RC 0183

  • Acquisition method

    presented by the Countess Rumford, 1835, stolen


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The Royal Institution

21 Albermarle Street, London, Greater London W1S 4BS England

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