Antique Portrait Miniatures From Piccolo Fine Art
General William Keir Grant by Adam Buck, c. 1822

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General William Keir Grant by Adam Buck, c. 1822

Watercolour on card. Portrait of General Keir Grant, in 3/4 pose. The General, with fair hair and dark eyes, is dressed in a scarlett coatee, wearing his Knight of Bath medal. Signed and dated, “Adam Buck/1822” to obverse. Original gilt frame embossed "General William Keir Grant, KCB by Adam Buck, c. 1822" to centre obverse. Original framer label to reverse. Rectangular, 5 inches X 4 inches. With frame, 9 3/4 inches X 8 1/2 inches. General Sir William Keir Grant was born in 1772. On 30 May 1792 he joined the 15th King's Light Dragoons (now 15th Hussars). He became Lieutenant in 1793, and accompanied part of his regiment to Flanders, where he fought in the campaigns of 1793–4. He distinguished himself personally on 17 April 1794 when a squadron of his regiment saved the Prince of Schwartzenberg from the enemy's Hussars during a reconnaissance. He was also present at Villiers-en-Couche, when on 24 April 1794 two squadrons of the 15th and two of the Austrian Leopold Hussars, found themselves unexpectedly without support but managed to overthrow a much superior force of French cavalry. They pursued the Hussars through the French infantry, and captured three guns, an action which saved the Emperor of Germany. In the latter year Keir received permission from George III to wear the large gold medal given by Francis II in commemoration of the action at Villiers-en-Couche. Only nine of these medals were struck, one being given to each of the eight British officers present, and the ninth placed in the Imperial Museum, Vienna. These officers were also made Knights of the military order of Maria Theresa, which, as in the case of other foreign orders of chivalry previous to 1814, carried the rank of a Knight-Bachelor in England and other countries. It also gave the wearer the rank of Baron in Austria. On 3 Dec. 1800 Keir Grant was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel in the 22nd Light Dragoons, with which corps he landed in Egypt after the cessation of hostilities in 1801. The regiment was disbanded on the peace of Amiens, and Keir was placed on half-pay. For a short time he was aide-de-camp to the Prince of Wales, and afterwards was first aide-de-camp to Lord Moira, commanding in North Britain from December 1804 to May 1806, when he was appointed adjutant-general of the king's troops in Bengal. He commanded the advance of Major-general St. Leger's force on the Sutlej in 1810. Subsequently, while on the Bengal staff, Keir, who became Colonel in 1810 and a Major-General in 1813. For his services Grant-Keir received the thanks of the governor-general in council and the Persian decoration of the Lion and Sun. He returned home on the expiration of his staff service. He was made K.C.B. in 1822, Lieutenant-General in 1825, G.C.H. in 1835, Colonel 2nd Royal North British Dragoons in 1839, and General on 23 Nov. 1841. He married in 1811. Keir Grant died at his residence, Chapel Street, Belgrave Square, London, 7 May 1852, aged 80. The artist Adam Buck was born in Cork, Ireland, in 1759. The elder son of Jonathan Buck, a silversmith. Buck practiced for some years in Cork, painting miniatures and small portraits in watercolour. He went to London in 1795 and exhibited at the Royal Academy, the British Institute, and the Society of British Artists between 1795-1833, and at the Royal Hibernian Academy in 1802. Examples of his work are in the Victoria & Albert Museum, The National Portrait Gallery, and the British Museum, London, and The National Gallery, Dublin, Ireland.

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