An enthusiastic follower of Pitt the Younger, George Canning was one of the more prominent politicians of the early nineteenth Century. He was Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs from 1807-9 and 1822-7 and in the last year of his life, 1827, he served as Prime Minister, dying suddenly after 119 days in office. Interestingly, in the present picture, Canning holds a letter inscribed 'J.Gladstone' which is dated indistinctly. Sir John Gladstone took a keen interest in politics; initially a Whig supporter, he soon came to support the Tories, and in particular, George Canning. In 1812 he presided over a meeting at Liverpool which was called to invite Canning to represent Liverpool in the House of Commons, a position that Canning duly accepted.