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This portrait is a characteristic, polished work of the 1780s and shows Romney at the height of his powers and at his most fluid.
The 3rd Viscount Falmouth, who had been born in the year of this victory, took a commission in the 15th (Royal Irish) Dragoons. Although this regiment did not serve in the American War of Independence, Falmouth himself is described as being present at the Battle of Lexington Green in 1775, the first engagement of that war.
Lord Falmouth did not serve at any length in America. In the absence of other legitimate heirs, he succeeded his uncle as Viscount Falmouth in 1782, and appropriate court appointments followed.
The timing of this portrait suggests that the commission may have been related to his marriage in June 1784 to Elizabeth Anne, only daughter and heir of John Crewe Esq., of Bolesworth Castle, Chester.
Lord Falmouth's family home was at Tregothnan, near Falmouth.
oil on canvas
H 76 x W 63.5 cm
purchased with the assistance of the Resource/Victoria and Albert Museum Purchase Grant Fund, the National Art Collections Fund, the Beecroft Bequest and Philip Mould/Historical Portraits, 2003