George Macartney, 1st Earl Macartney and  first British Ambassador to the Court of the Emperor of China (1737-1806)
George Macartney, 1st Earl Macartney and  first British Ambassador to the Court of the Emperor of China (1737-1806)
George Macartney, 1st Earl Macartney and  first British Ambassador to the Court of the Emperor of China (1737-1806)

WALTER JORDEN (worked c.1776-1786)

George Macartney, 1st Earl Macartney and first British Ambassador to the Court of the Emperor of China (1737-1806)

c. 1780 United Kingdom

Offered by Ellison Fine Art

£750 gbp
Request Information Call Dealer
Favourite Item
set in the original hammered brass frame

George Macartney, was a British statesman, colonial administrator and diplomat. He is often remembered for his observation following Britain's success in the Seven Years War and subsequent territorial expansion at the Treaty of Paris that Britain now controlled "a vast Empire, on which the sun never sets"..

He was an Irishman descended from an old Scottish family, the Macartneys of Auchinleck. In 1759, he became a student of the Temple, London. Through Stephen Fox, elder brother of Charles James Fox, he was taken up by Lord Holland. Appointed envoy extraordinary to Russia in 1764, he succeeded in negotiating with Catherine II an alliance between Great Britain and that country. He was returned in 1768 to the Irish House of Commons as MP for Armagh Borough, in order to discharge the duties of Chief Secretary for Ireland. On resigning this office he was knighted.

In 1775 he became governor of the British West Indies and was created Baron Macartney in the Peerage of Ireland in 1776. Macartney was the Governor of Grenada from 1776 to 1779. Macartney was the Governor of Madras from 1781 to 1785. During his tenure as governor, renovation and strengthening of the walls of Fort St. George was commenced after the siege of Lally and completed in 1783. It was also during this time that most of the buildings and barracks in the western portion of the Fort were erected. The Palace Street, the Arsenal, the Hanover square and the Western Barracks were constructed during this time.

After being created Earl Macartney in the Irish peerage (1792), he was appointed the first envoy of Britain to China, after the failure of a number of previous embassies, including Cathcart's. He led the Macartney Embassy to Beijing in 1792 with a large British delegation on board a 64-gun man-of-war, HMS Lion. The embassy was ultimately not successful in its primary aim to open trade with China, although numerous secondary purposes were attained, including first-hand assessment of the strength of the Chinese empire. The failure to obtain trade concessions was not due to Macartney's refusal to kowtow in the presence of the Qianlong Emperor, as is commonly believed. It is probably described most neutrally as a result of competing world views which were uncomprehending and incompatible.

The Macartney Embassy is historically significant because it marked a missed opportunity by the Chinese to move toward some kind of accommodation with the West. This failure would continue to plague the Qing Dynasty as it encountered increasing foreign pressures and internal unrest during the 19th century.
Dimensions
Height 13.00 cm (5.12 inches)
Stock Code
4918
Medium
Silhouette painted on flat glass, backed with paper
Ellison Fine Art

Ellison Fine Art
London
United Kingdom

Contact Details
+44 (0)20 3845 2430
-
+44 (0)7720 317899
-
Email Dealer More Contact Details
Opening Hours
Contacts
Member Since 2007
Members of
View Full Details