Sunday, 5 August 2012

Richard Sealy, Esq. Lisbon

RICHARD SEALY (b. abt. 1745 – d. Lisbon 1821).

 He was merchant at Lisbon and a distinguished member of the British Factory,  a partner of the Lisbon House of Evans, Offley, & Sealy, a firm linked by partnership to the Offley firms in London and Porto. He married Elizabeth Baldwin (b. ?- d. 2.09.1811, at Lisbon.)

When in the autumn of 1807, British merchants were ordered to leave the country due to French preassures, Captain Mac Kinley, R.N. played an important role, as senior officer on the Lisbon station, in protecting the property of the British Factory members and bringing them safely aboard British vessels. Among the merchants who afterwards presented Cap. Mc Kinley with a gift was Mr. Richard Sealy.

He had at least two children: George Timothy Sealy, (Lisbon, 07.09.1781) and Mary Harriet Sealy, (Lisbon, 1.02.1784 – d. 29.06.1811).

His son George married in 5.11.1809, Sophia eldest daughter of George Roach Esq., of Liverpool and of Lisbon, who died at Lima, Peru in 16.07.1835. George Sealy was British Vice-Consul at Lima, Peru. He was established by 1820’s in Brazil with a firm Sealy & Co which was dissolved in 1826.

Mary Harriet Sealy in turn, married in 17.05.1809, at Saint George, Liverpool, Dr. Henry Herbert Southey MD (Edinburgh), FRCP (London), FRS, Honorary DCL (Oxford) in 1847, b. Bristol 18.01.1784, the younger son of Robert Southey, a linen draper, (c. 1745 – c. 1792) and his wife (m. 25.9.1772), Margaret Hill (b. c. 1752 in Somerset, died 5.1.1802 in London). He was the younger brother of the famous poet Robert Southey born 12.8.1774, who refers Richard Sealey, his brother's father-in-law in some of his letters.

Of Richard Sealey two different bookplates are known in Portuguese collections(both NIF).
The one, that seems to be the oldest - in oval shape (see above) - was first published by the collector Jaime Augusto Moura, in the «Archivo Nacional de Ex-Libris», I vol. nº 5, December, 1927, pp. 83-84, referring also the second bookplate which had been previously revealed by another famous collector and writer Col. Henrique de Campos Ferreira Lima, in the earlier «Revista de Ex-Líbris Portugueses», vol. II, p. 135.

But as it usually occurred in those days, little information was given on the bookplate owner, apart from being a British merchant.
The British armorials do not give arms to this gentleman or family which is not at all anormal, since many commoners adopted arms of a given surname without registering then at the College of Arms.
Having lived so long in Portugal it is natural that his bookplates, although not very common, appear in Portuguese bookplate collections.

Superlibros of Lord Charles Stuart of Rothesay

Reviewed August 2012

Charles Stuart, GCB, PC, GCTS (1779-1845)
1st Baron Stuart of Rothesay (cr. 1828) and Count of Machico (1825) and Marquess of Angra do Heroismo, in Portugal.
For his portrait in fine robes when he was Ambassador to France see,
The son of Lieut.-General Sir Charles Chrichton-Stuart, KB, who commanded a batallion of the 37th Regiment of Foot during the War of the American Revolution, and grandson of John Stuart, KG, 3rd Earl of Bute. His mother was Lady Anne Louisa Bertie, daughter of Lord Vere Bertie.
Lord Stuart of Rothesay married Lady Elizabeth Margaret Yorke, daughter of the 3rd Earl of Hardwicke and had two daughters.
Minister at the Hague (1815), Ambassador to France (1815-24 and 1828-30), Envoy to Portugal (1810), Ambassador to St. Petersburg (1841-45), Ambassador to Portugal (1825-26) and a member of the Regency of Portugal during the Peninsular Wars.
In 1823, acting as a mediator, he was sent as an Ambassador of King John VI of Portugal to Brazil to negotiate the independence and on behalf of George Canning, to assure a new trade agreement with the Empire of Brazil favourable to British interests.
Later, after John VI's death in 1826, he went again to Brazil and brought to Portugal the Constitutional Chart given by the new king Dom Pedro IV together with his abdication on his daughter Mary who was to marry her uncle D. Miguel, the ultras leader, then in exile in Austria.
This however did not settle the dynastic dispute, since his younger brother Dom Miguel was acclaimed king in 1828, giving rise to a civil war- known to British authors as the 'War of the Two Brothers' - which lasted till 1834.
He was awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of the Tower and of the Sword in 1812.
Lord Stuart of Rothesay fullfilled his life dream of reacquring his grandfather's estate - Highcliffe - and built a new house - Highcliffe Castle , Hampshire, in the Gothic revival style.
For his earlier house - Bure Homage see,

His library, like so many others, was sold in an auction in London in 1855, of which a Catalogue was printed.
Fortunately enough, two XIXth century well-knonw Portuguese bibliophiles bought many books at the auction of Sir Charles Stuart of Rothesay's Library, in 1855: the Count of Lavradio and Mr. João da Guerra Rebelo Fontoura, a wine merchant in London. The latter was married 2ndly, to Cecilia Eleanor Canning. Both these libraries were in turn later dispersed at auction sales, Fontoura's having been sold in Leipzig, by Mssrs. Karl W. Hiersemann, in 1899 (cf. Luís de Bivar Guerra, «A biblioteca de Lord Stuart de Rothesay núcleo de duas importantes livrarias portuguesas», pp. 120-123).
Lord Stuart of Rothesay also used another superlibros (a crest with motto) on the bindings of his books (see, example from a book at St. John's College, Cambridge -
Part of his papers with important correspondance have left Europe and are at the Andersen Library, University of Minnesota (see, and at Lilly Library (see, An important collection of maps his at the Univ. of California, Los Angeles (see,

Lord Stuart used in his books bindings a superlibros described below.

Arms: Stuart of Rothesay
Motto: «Avito Viret Honor», «Nobilis Ira»