|Dimensions||I.90 by 55mm, S. 130 by 80mm|
Theodore Stephen, Baron von Neuhof & nominal King of Corsica (c.1694- 1756). A rare portrait of the Westphalian Military adventurer, who for a short time was also King of Corsica. Following a career flittign around the courts of Europe, Neuhof, at the encouragement of some Coriscan exiles, landed on Corsica in 1736 with a supply of guns provided by the Dey of Tunis. He at first fought the Genoese with sucess but gradually was defeated, defeats which destablised the Corsican clans. He tried, and failed, to gain recognition for his state from the Grand-Duke of Tuscany in 1736 and then wandered across Europe seeking the assitance of one of the Great Powers. He attempted to return to the Island in 1738, 1739 and 1743, but the French, Genoese and opposition forces had grown considerably in Stregnth. He ended up in London subsiting on the charity of Horace Walpole, who put up this tablet in St Anne's Westminster to his memory:
'NEAR THIS PLACE IS INTERRED
THEODORE, KING OF CORSICA,
WHO DIED IN THIS PARISH, DECEMBER 11, 1756,
IMMEDIATELY AFTER LEAVING
THE KING'S BENCH PRISON,
BY THE BENEFIT OF THE ACT OF INSOLVENCY;
IN CONSEQUENCE OF WHICH
HE REGISTERED THE KINGDOM OF CORSICA
FOR THE USE OF HIS CREDITORS.
The grave, great teacher, to a level brings Heroes and beggars, galley-slaves and kings. But Theodore this moral learned ere dead: Fate poured its lessons on his living head, Bestowed a kingdom, and denied him bread.'