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Edward Long (1743-1813), the author of The History of Jamaica, circa 1813


Artist: English School

A Label on the reverse is inscribed Edward Long/ prob at 70/ Lady H Howard's/ given to me by/ HH after her death/ C.E.L.
locks of hair on blue glass tied with gold wire

Edward Long was a British colonial administrator and historian, and author of a highly controversial work, The History of Jamaica (1774). This book gives a political, social, and economic account with a survey of the island, parish by parish from 1665 to 1774. It is a comprehensive book, yet it contains some of the most virulent descriptions of Jamaicans and Africans in general.
In 1752 Long became a law student at Gray's Inn, and from 1757 until 1769 he was resident in Jamaica. During this period he explored inside the Riverhead Cave, the Runaway Bay Caves and the Green Grotto. He was judge in the local vice admiralty court, and briefly Speaker of the Assembly, elected 13 September 1768.

Long was an influential and wealthy member of British society, as well as an established Jamaican planter and slave owner. He moved permanently to England, in 1769, for health reasons.

The Lady H Howard referred to on the label on the reverse of the portrait is likely to be Elizabeth, Edward's youngest daughter who married Lord Henry Molyneux-Howard. The initials C.E.L found at the end of the inscription on the label is referring to Charles Edward Long, who was the grandson of Edward Long and Elizabeth Lady Howard's nephew.

In 1758, Long married Mary, daughter of Thomas Beckford who was the brother of Peter Beckford the younger, and widow of John Palmer of 'Springvale' in Jamaica. They had three sons and three daughters: Edward Beeston, who married Mary, daughter of John Thomlinson; Catherine, who married Richard Dawkins, ;Charlotte, who in 1791 married Sir George Pocock, 1st Baronet; Elizabeth, who in 1801 married Henry Molyneux-Howard.
After the birth of their fourth child in 1769, the family returned to England Twin sons were born 1771 at Chichester: the elder, Robert Ballard, and Charles Beckford, who married Frances Monro Tucker. Charles Edward Long was their son.
More Information
Year                 circa 1780
Medium                 Watercolour on ivory
Provenance                 Family descent
Collections                 Old restoration on coat, small blister to glass at 5 o'clock
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