Officers of the 7th Royal Fusiliers - Gibraltar

Officers of the 7th Royal Fusiliers - Gibraltar



Painted in oils on canvas, this picture of officers of the 7th Royal Fusiliers stands out for both the fact that it is a triple portrait and for the location.

A paper label to the back gives the subjects as Captain Sir William O'Malley, Hon. Ivor Talbot and Sir William Kir. It was probably written by a relative at a later date and it would seem an error was made with the name Kir, which does not exist in the Army Lists of this period. The third subject might be either Lieutenant Richard Maunsell or Captain Lacy Walter Yea, both contemporaries of the other two. Given the dates of the subjects, movement of the regiment and scenery, the location is barracks on Grand Casemates Square, Gibraltar. It is very likely that what is represented is the Ceremony of the Keys. We have not been able to find any other painting of this subject.

The 7th left Dublin in November 1839 for The Rock and stayed until January 1845 when they embarked for Barbados. O'Malley purchased all his commissions, enlisting as an ensign in 1832, becoming a Lieutenant in 1835 and a Captain on 12 July 1839. He retired from the Army in 1844. Talbot enlisted as an ensign in 1834, buying the rank of Lieutenant in 1837 and Captain in 1842. He also retired in 1844. Maunsell purchased his Ensign rank in 1835 and his Lieutenancy in 1839. He retired in 1841. Lacy Walter Yea purchased all his commissions enlisting as an Ensign of the 37th Foot in 1825, becoming a Lieutenant in 1826, before the 5th Foot in March 1827. He exchanged to the 7th Royal Fusiliers in March 1828, becoming a Captain in 1836, Major in 1842 and then the 7th's Lieutenant-Colonel in August 1850.

The painting is unsigned and the artist unknown but the style is similar to that of Daniel Cunliffe (1800-1871) who painted similar elongated figures and whose dates match. The Armagh County Museum has a portrait of Captain Richard Maunsell, 7th Fusiliers (search that is very similar in style to this painting and could be by the same artist. It is interesting to note that the figure of the sentry to the right of our painting is almost identical to a figure in the Maunsell portrait.

A striking painting that still has part of its story to tell. The painting, by repute, has come from the O'Malley family. Circa 1844.

Framed size is given.


Height 65.5 cm / 26"
Width 83 cm / 32 34"
Depth 5.5 cm / 2 "

Circa 1844


Oil on Canvas




Military Oil Painting

The Quartermaster General