Prince Rupert, cavalry officer, c 1640.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving by B P Gibbon from a print by W Faithorne after an original oil painting by Anthony Van Dyck. Born in Prague, Rupert Count Palatine (1619-1682) came to England in 1642 and fought for the Royalists in the Civil War (1642-1648). He was appointed general of the Royalist army two years later. After the Parliamentarians triumphed in 1646, Rupert was banished from England. He returned after the Restoration in 1660 and was created first Lord of the Admiralty (1673-1679) by his nephew Charles II (1630-1685). He spent his last years conducting chemical, physical and mechanical researches, including work on mezzotint methods, gunpowder and alloys. He was also a founder member of the Royal Society.