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George Granville Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, 2nd Duke of Sutherland

1786 - 1861

This person is the subject of ongoing research. We have started by researching their relationship to the enslavement of people.

Biographical notes

Politician and landowner.

National Gallery Trustee (1835–1861).

Slavery connections

In an article published in The People’s Paper (12 March 1853), Karl Marx commented that the ‘history of the wealth of the Sutherland family is the history of the ruin and of the expropriation of the Scotch-Gaelic population from its native soil … And why, then, should the slave-holders in the Southern States of North America sacrifice their private interest to the philanthropic grimaces of her Grace, the Duchess of Sutherland?.’ (Karl Marx, ‘The Duchess of Sutherland and Slavery’, Marxists Internet Archive [online], <> accessed 5 August 2021.)

Abolition connections

The 2nd Duke of Sutherland subscribed to J.S. Buckingham’s anti-slavery The Slave States of America (London and Paris, 1842).

His wife Harriet advocated for the abolition of slavery in America and, in 1853, hosted Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, when she visited Britain.

National Gallery painting connections

Previous owner: NG purchased from a descendant, the 7th Duke of Sutherland: NG6611 and NG6616.


C. Matthew et al. (eds), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford 1992-,
Checked and not foundItem on publisher's website

R. G. Thorne, 'LEVESON GOWER, George Granville II, Earl Gower (1786-1861), of Trentham, Staffs.', in History of Parliament Trust (ed.), The History of Parliament: British Political, Social & Local History, London 1964-, 1790-1820,
Checked and foundItem on publisher's website

J. Turner et al. (eds), Grove Art Online, Oxford 1998-,
Checked and not foundItem on publisher's website

UCL Department of History (ed.), Legacies of British Slave-ownership, London 2020,
Checked and not foundItem on publisher's website