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Portrait of Captain James Carden, circa 1830

Oil on canvas. Half length portrait of Lieutenant James Carden of The Prince of Wales Loyal Volunteers during the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815), his dress comprising stovepipe shako with Prince of Wales’s feathers badge, scarlet coatee, shoulder belt and plate. Canvas: 44cm (17.25in) x 34.5cm (13.75in). Contained in a period gilt wood frame, applied with plaque reading 'James Carden Esqre - Father of Sir Robert W. Carden’.

James Carden (1756-1829) of Bedford Square, Bloomsbury was a patriotic London merchant of sufficient social standing to secure a commission Prince of Wales's Loyal Volunteers during the Napoleonic Wars (1803-15). The regiment which was raised and headquartered at St Martin in the Fields in 1803 attracted the patronage of the Prince Regent, who granted the corps the title of  Prince of Wales's Loyal Volunteers and the use of the Prince of Wales’s feathers as a badge in July of that year.  In 1805 the Volunteers were the subject of an engraving entitled ‘The Prince of Wales's Loyal Volunteers preparing for the Grand Review by His Majesty October 28th 1803 ….’. The engraving by William Say (1768-1834) after M.W. Sharp (d. 1840) further includes in its title ‘… with Portraits of the Commandant, Field Officers, Captains, Lieutenants, &tc…’ and as such may include Carden.

Carden married Mary Walter in 1794 and settled in St Martin in the Fields. They had five sons and a daughter. The fifth son (baptised at St Martin in the Fields in 1801) was the the banker Sir Robert Walter Carden, 1st Baronet, M.P. for Gloucester, and Lord Mayor of London in 1857. This portrait is probably a posthumous work commissioned by Sir R. Carden as an homage to his father.

Reference. Sun (London), 21.7.1803.

© The Armoury of St James's 17 Piccadilly Arcade London SW1Y 6NH