Last updated: 25 June 2012
The 25th Regiment of Foot was stationed in Minorca from 6 June 1769 until 1775, one of several regiments garrisoned there to maintain British control of this important Mediterranean base.
Other paintings in the series show the regiment in everyday scenes, in camp, an inspection of troops and the regimental dog, as well as the fortifications guarding the main harbour at Port Mahon. The detail included in these works make them an important record of the military dress of the time, for instance showing that, despite the introduction of new clothing regulations in 1768, uniforms could have a ‘wearing out’ time or that new patterns might be slow to arrive at overseas garrisons.
Seated on a regimental bass drum, Lady Louisa Lennox (1739-1830) poses serenely with her pet dog, while her husband, Colonel (later General) Lord George Henry Lennox (1737-1805), leans casually on a walking stick beside her. The couple married on Christmas Day 1759, and by 1771 had all of their four children, including Charles Henry (1764-1819), who was later to become the 4th Duke of Richmond and Lennox, and Governor-General of Canada.
The bare-headed officer to the left of Lady Lennox, facing left, could be Colonel James Johnston, Lieutenant-Governor of Minorca. In 1772, while temporarily in charge of the island, Johnston could not help making reference to ‘litigious quibblers and troublesome people’ in his report to Lord Barrington at Horse Guards, no doubt referring to Lennox who quarrelled seriously with the Governor, General John Mostyn (1710-79), about the price of wine charged to his men.
The series of paintings originally belonged to, and were probably commissioned by, Lord George Lennox, who was colonel of the regiment 1762-1805.
Generously donated by Mary Ponsonby of Haile Hall, Cumberland, in memory of her husband Major-General Sir John Ponsonby KCB CMG DSO.