Friday

Unknown - portrait of Marshal Ney

This miniature portrait is unsigned. It appears to be a late 19C copy of an earlier portrait of Marshal Ney who was famous as Napoleon's cavalry commander. Two similar portraits of Ney from the same original portrait are shown below.

Ney was tried for treason after Waterloo and sentenced to death. Some people are of the opinion that he escaped the firing squad and fled to the United States, where he lived for many years.

I have several books that refer to this, and was intending to write it up for this miniature, but never seem to have enough time. As I recollect, when I did some research several years ago, I did find references in Scotland which disproved the claim by some that a Peter McCnee of Scotland, was the man sometimes referred as being the person who went to America and later became Peter Stuart Ney, the name used by the man believed to be Marshal Michel Ney.

This is what I wrote to someone in 2003 about part of my investigation;
I did a search on the LDS family history site for Peter McCnee. It comes up as shown in the Taylor booklet with a baptism date of 3 February 1788 and a father of John McCnee recorded at Fintry. However, I also did a search for Peter McNee and a date of 1788. That comes up with a Peter McNee at Rednock Castel, Perthshire, Scotland and a baptism date of 2 Feb 1788, a father called James McNee and a Death date of 1 Apr 1877. Also that he married Agnes Drummond on 30 Jul 1822. www.ancestry.com records Peter McNee as the same date but his home as Port of Monteith. From other family history work I have done I know that a birth can be recorded at more than one location and there can be transcription mistakes and errors in recording names e.g. James for John

I have looked at www.multimap.com and worked out that Fintry and Port of Monteith are only about ten miles apart. Thus the similarity of date, only one day different, seems to be very close, almost too close to be a pure coincidence. I would therefore be inclined to say both records relate to the same person. [especially as the local population was not large] Thus if the records can be linked even more closely, it would should that it could not be the birth of Peter Stuart Ney.

Thus, if anything, adding evidence to support those who expressed the view that the Peter Ney in America was Michel Ney. Although not showing here, I even went to the expense of buying a genuine army order from the Napoleonic War which is signed by Ney and still hangs on my wall, so I could compare the signature on the document.

For those interested to read more, the books were fascinating and those I have include;
Report of the Trial for High Treason and Attempts Against the Safety of the State of Michel Ney, Paris, 1815 - a rare book
Memoirs of Marshal Ney by his family, Vol I & Vol II, London, 1834
Historic Doubts as the Execution of Marshal Ney by James A Weston, 1895
Marshal Ney Before and After Execution by J Edward Smoot, 1929
Marshal Ney: A Dual Life by Legette Blythe, 1937
Napoleon's Traitor by Toby Giese, 1989
Also a copy of Scholarship and Legend by George V Taylor, 1960 which is an article in The South Atlantic Quarterly about the scholarship of William Henry Hoyt (1884-1957) who did a lot of research about Ney. It is referred to above as the Taylor booklet.

2 comments:

ChrisWoznitza said...

Hi ich bin Chriswab aus Bottrop !! Viele GrĂ¼sse !!

Don, the collector said...

Hello Chris, thank you for making the first comment on the collection. I hope the other portraits are interesting.