Colonel John Whitehead Peard: Commonly Known as Garibaldi's Englishman


This original watercolor, signed and dated August 22, 1860, by Thomas Nast (1840-1902), originally was thought to be of Italian patriot Giuseppe Garibaldi, but later was identified as showing Colonel John Whitehead Peard. Known as “Garibaldi’s Englishman,” Peard was an Oxford-educated lawyer and the son of a British admiral. He joined Garibaldi in 1860, ostensibly because of the brutality of the officials he witnessed during a visit to Naples. Peard fought in the wars of Italian unification and was awarded the Cross of the Order of Valour by King Victor Emmanuel II. Following Garibaldi’s retirement, Peard returned to Cornwall and lived the quiet life of a Victorian gentleman. The watercolor is accompanied by two photostats from the New York Illustrated News showing the painting as it appeared in the paper on October 27, 1860. The work is from the Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection at the Brown University Library, the foremost American collection devoted to the history and iconography of soldiers and soldiering, and one of the world’s largest collections devoted to the study of military and naval uniforms.

Last updated: December 18, 2013