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Garnet Joseph Wolseley, 1833-1913

Nationality: English
Date of Birth: 1833
Place of Birth: Golden Bridge House, Co. Dublin
Place of Death: Mentone


Garnet Joseph Wolseley, 1st Viscount Wolseley, was a professional army officer.


An Anglo-Irish soldier who served in the Crimea, China, Canada (suppressing Riel's rising) Africa (against Zulus and Boers) and notably Egypt (Tel el Kebir 1882), he was created Viscount in 1885, Field Marshall in 1904, and was Commander in Chief 1895-1900.

He was etched by Whistler after 'Sunday Breakfast' on 25 November 1877 (Sir Garnet Wolseley 177).

On 23 December 1877 he was again at breakfast in Cheyne Walk and wrote in his diary: 'Breakfasted with Whistler the artist. Rather a dull affair. I confess I cannot enjoy his pictures & should be very sorry to see the English school follow him in careless painting. I like more finish.' (Diary, Cameronian Archive, Hamilton Museums). In the following year he returned the hospitality, writing in his diary on 17 January: ''Had a dinner party of odds & ends: the Hopkins, the Skirrows, Butler, Morris, Whistler, the artist, Miss Wright and Miss Armand.'

Whistler probably did not realise that he was an 'odds & ends' and continued to cultivate the Wolseleys. Sir Garnet went at least twice more to Whistler's Sunday breakfasts. On 27 January 1878 he was accompanied by his wife, Louise, and recorded: 'Loo & I breakfasted with Mr. Whistler in Cheyne Walk.' and on 17 March, he wrote merely, 'Breakasted with Whistler.'


Nelson's Encyclopedia, n.d., [1911]; Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford, 2004.