Another gem on John's site that I have been trying NOT to write about is this pearlware figure of Admiral Rodney-- I do remember that many of you prefer me to focus on more ordinary figures. But this figure of Lord Rodney is, I believe, unique. I do wish John had bought it before my Schiffer volumes were published! Unfortunately, it only came to market recently, so I was not able to get it to the publisher in time.
Lest you doubt that the figure is indeed Lord Rodney, you have but to look inside.
I am perplexed by the fame of Lord Rodney in his time (1718-1792). In fact, this naval officer's fame continued long after his death, as evidenced by this figure, which was made in the early 1800s. Rodney lined his pockets and apparently put self-interest ahead of his duty, and Wikipedia describes him as "vain, selfish and unscrupulous."
Today and in his time, Rodney was harshly condemned for his actions in capturing the Caribbean island of St. Eustatius from the Dutch in 1781. He tarried on the island too long, plundering its wealth for his own personal benefit. In the process he harshly persecuted and expelled its thriving Jewish community, and he was condemned in Parliament for his avarice and anti-Semitic vindictiveness. Unfortunately, Rodney, like so many modern-day politicians, survived this condemnation to fight another day, and his name has gone down in history, albeit not unblemished! The first name "Rodney" was first used as a given name in honor of Lord Rodney. When next you meet someone with that name, I suggest you NOT share this factoid!