King's College London
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‘A brighter Hellas’: rediscovering Greece in the 19th century

George de la Poer Beresford

George de la Poer Beresford (1826-65) was the fifth son of Henry Barré Beresford and Elizabeth Bailey. His paternal grandfather was the Irish statesman John Beresford. In 1849 he married Anne Conyers, daughter of Lieutenant General Conyers, and the couple had three children. Two sons were born, in 1850 and 1851, and Anne died ten days after giving birth to their daughter in 1854.

Very little is published about Beresford, a captain in the 16th regiment of the army. In 1855 he dedicated a series of lithographs, Twelve studies in double-tinted lithography of scenes in southern Albania, to Lady Emily Cozziris (1800-68). Lady Emily was the daughter of an Irish diplomatist, the second earl of Clancarty, Richard Trench. Her husband Nobile-Signor Giovanni Cozziris of Corfu was Keeper of the Prisons.

The scenes were drawn by Beresford and lithographed by the prominent firm of Day & Son. The firm was built up in the 1820s by William Day (1797-1845), a printer and bookseller, and Haghe, a Belgian artist. Their partnership produced some of the most impressive lithographic work in England at that time. The firm was continued by Day’s three sons after their father’s death.

Beresford’s views of southern Albania include Janina (Ioannina), Paramithia, Arta, Parga, Philiates, Peta and Butrinto. Following the Balkan Wars (1912-3) and the Treaty of Bucharest in August 1913, Greece acquired the region of southern Epirus, containing the majority of places depicted in the lithographs. Four of Beresford’s twelve scenes are shown in this section, each accompanied by his own description of the scene.

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