University Collections of Art and History

Object Record

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Catalog Number 2008.9.195
Object Name Cup, Coffee
Description This cup is part of a service made for Sir John Louis Ligonier, Viscount Ligonier. He was born in 1680 at Castres, France, and was the second son of Louis de Ligonier, Seigneur de Monteuquet. His family, a landowning Huguenot family, had been settled at Castres since at least the sixteenth-century.

Ligonier was educated in France and Switzerland before fleeing to family members in Ireland in 1698, at the age of eighteen. Several of his relatives had already left France in the 1680s following the revocation of the edict of Nantes by Louis XIV. The edict had been signed in 1598 by Henry IV and awarded Protestants freedom of worship. When it was withdrawn, most French Protestants left for the Netherlands, England, and other places where they could worship freely.

Soon after his arrival in Ireland, Ligonier obtained naturalization as an Englishman and volunteered in the British force commanded by John Cutts, Baron Cutts. He served successfully under Cutts and was allowed to purchase a captaincy in the 10th regiment of foot in 1703.

Ligonier continued throughout his entire life to increase ranks in the British military. In 1713, he was appointed to the lieutenant-governorship of the newly acquired island of Minorca, an important Mediterranean base for Great Britain. During his three years on the island, Ligonier oversaw enormous improvements in its fortifications and armaments. In 1720, Ligonier received the first of his many regimental colonelcies, possibly the one with which he has most been associated with- that of the 8th regiment of horse. He retained this colonelcy for twenty-nine years, and the regiment used his crest on its appointments and as its cap badge for two centuries.

In the 1720s, Ligonier grew increasingly important at the English court. He was appointed a gentleman of the privy chamber to King George I in 1724 and aide-de-camp to King George II in 1729. During this time, he had a child with Penelope Miller of Southwark. He secured a suitable marriage for his daughter Penelope in 1748 to Lieutenant-Colonel Arthur Graham of the 1st foot guards.

In 1748 Ligonier was appointed governor of the French protestant hospital in London and was elected as a Member of Parliament for Bath. The next year, he received the post of governor of Guernsey, was sworn into the Privy Council, and was elected a fellow of the Royal Society, the national academy of science of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. In 1753, Ligonier was appointed colonel of the Royal Horse Guards Blue, a rank and position that reflected his prestige and royal favor. In 1760, his portrait was painted by the well-known British portraitist, Sir Joshua Reynolds.

In 1763, the Seven Years' War came to an end, and with this end came a reduction in the size of British forces. Ligonier was removed from the post of master-general but was recognized for his services on 27 April 1763 with the rank of Baron Ligonier. In 1766 he was removed from the post of commander-in-chief, a removal that was marked with his elevation in the British peerage to the title of Earl Ligonier. He died on 28 April 1770 at his London home in North Audley Street and was buried at Cobham parish church.
Year Range from 1755
Year Range to 1760
Material Hard Paste Porcelain
Place of Origin Made in Jingdezhen, Possibly Decorated in Guangzhou (Canton), China
Collection The Reeves Center
Credit line Gift of H.F. Lenfest and Beverly M. DuBose III
On View Reeves Center, Chinese Armorial Gallery
Gallery ID Number 2200