The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

Ralph Bernal Osborne

Ralph Bernal Osborne

A carte-de-visite portrait of the British Liberal politician Ralph Bernal Osborne (1808-1882).

Born Ralph Bernal (his father was also an MP), he was elected to Parliament in 1841 as the member for Chipping Wycombe. In the Liberal interest he later sat for Middlesex, Dover, Liskeard, Nottingham and Waterford.

According to the DNB: 'Bernal Osborne was for many years one of the recognised wits of politics. His speeches at Westminster abounded in telling hits, and were eagerly welcomed by houses crowded with an audience impatient to hear him. On the hustings he was one of the most effective speakers of his age. Biographical and historical anecdotes he revelled in and freely used in his political addresses. His failure to reach those positions which his talents justified was due to his want of official industry and to the absence of that sobriety of judgment which is dear to the average Englishman.'

In 1847 he married Catherine Isabella, daughter of Sir Thomas Osborne, and took her name, becoming Ralph Bernal Osborne.

Photographed by John Mayall of London and Brighton.


Code: 124586
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© Paul Frecker 2019