"A portrait is a picture in which there is just a tiny little something not quite right about the mouth." -- John Singer Sargent

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Robert Liston

This 1800 portrait of Robert Liston (8 October 1742 – 15 July 1836) by Gilbert Stuart hangs in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.
"Sir Robert Liston, GCB, PC (8 October 1742 – 15 July 1836) was a British diplomat and ambassador to several countries. Liston was born in Kirkliston, Scotland, went up to Edinburgh University, and then tutored the sons of the Earl of Minto. Said to be able to speak ten languages, Liston joined the diplomatic service and enjoyed a career spanning Europe appointed on September 22, 1793, eventually arriving at Constantinople on May 19, 1794. He hated it there and left on November 4, 1795.

In a promotion he was posted to the United States. In 1796 he married the heiress Henrietta Marchant of Antigua. Henrietta's charm and social tact were a great asset to her husband; she also kept an interesting diary in which she records favourable impressions of George Washington and John Adams, and an unfavourable impression of Talleyrand. Robert was also on excellent terms with Washington, though relations cooled somewhat after Adams' election.

On 26 March 1812 he was sworn a Privy Councillor, and on 21 October 1816, he was awarded the Grand Cross of the Bath. Liston's wife died in 1828 and he died in 1836. He had no children." -- Wikipedia

 This obituary appeared in the The Gentleman's Magazine, November 1836.

 Rt. Hon. Sir Robert Liston, G.C.B.
Jul 5 (1836). At his seat, Milburn Tower, near Edinburgh. in his 94th year, the Right Hon. Sir Robert Liston, G. C. B a Privy Councillor. and late Ambassador at Constantinople.Sir Robert Liston was the father of the diplomatic body, it is believed, throughout Europe. It is little more than ten years since Sir Robert retired from public life, the last appointment which he held having been that of his majesty's  representative at the Court of the Ottoman Porte. He was sworn a Privy Councillor, March 26, 1812, and invested with tbe insignia of a Grand Cross of the Bath, Oct. 21, 1816.

The laat years of a life so distinguished, and so protracted were in every way worthy of its brightest periods. With an entire freedom from ostentation, and in the enjoyment of universal esteem, Sir Robert was distinguished by tbe uniform urbanity of his deportment, by activity in the promotion of every good work. and by an enlightened regard for the interests of the poor in his neighbourhood, wbo will long deplore his loss. Sir Robert had the misfortune to lose Lady Liston about six years ago, and has left no issue.

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