Hans Henrik von Essen was a favourite of King Gustavus III of Sweden and present at his murder at the doomed masquerade ball in 1792. In 1800, von Essen was made Governor of Pomerania but was discharged by King Gustavus IV after he had to accept a truce during the war against France in 1807. Nevertheless, he was made a Count in 1809 and embarked upon a diplomatic career. He was made a field marshal in 1811, Royal Governor of Norway 1814-1816 and Lord High Steward in 1816.
We are indebted to Ms Emilia Ström, Swedish Portrait Archives, Stockholm, for her help in the research of von Essen's miniature.