“Your most obedient servant and friend Earl Guilford”
Frederick North, Earl of Guilford, Founder of the Ionian Academy in 1824
Exhibition proposal curated by Megakles Rogakos, MA MA PhD
With the present catalogue of material (works of art, archives and documents) a visual art exhibition entitled “Your most obedient servant and friend Count Guilford” is proposed, about Lord Frederick North, 5th Earl of Guilford (1766-1827), founder of the Ionian Academy in 1824, for the 200th anniversary of the Ionian University in Corfu.
Guilford – British classicist scholar and collector of rare books and manuscripts; son of the 2nd Earl of Guilford; first British Governor of Ceylon 1798-1805; and founder of the Ionian Academy, Corfu, 1824 – is known above all for his philhellenic activity, especially during his life in the British protectorate of the United States of the Ionian Islands (1815-1827). In spite of the fact that the Ionian Academy was short-lived and eclipsed with the Union in 1864, it was the first Greek academic institution of modern times and forerunner of the University of Athens. Guilford promoted not just classical Greek culture but helped establish modern Greek as a language of education. His fascination with all things Greek had led him, earlier in life, to secretly become a member of the Orthodox Church, secretly, at the instigation of Georgios Prosalentis. The High Priest Dimitrios Petrettinis (1722-1795) baptised Guilford in the Orthodox faith in the Petrettinis Mansion, at 10 Kapodistriou Street, on 23 January 1791, at the age of 25, giving him the name “Dimitrios”. He later became a Member of the British House of Commons and the first British Governor of Ceylon, before becoming involved in his Ionian project.
It is proposed that the Ionian University takes charge of organising the overall project, under which both the Corfu Reading Society and the Corfu Heritage Foundation will collaborate. The best conditions for this exhibition would be to be present it at the Municipal Gallery of Corfu during the summer months of 2024.
Lord Guilford, the forgotten philhellene: How an eccentric British aristocrat founded the first university in modern Greece
By Alex Sakalis, MA
The distinguished writer on Greek affairs, C.M. Woodhouse, once wrote that the two most influential Hellenophiles in Europe were Lords Byron and Guilford. But while Byron, whose life exemplified the golden age of the romantic idealist and roving revolutionary, remains idolised in both Britain and Greece, Guilford has faded into obscurity. Yet Lord Guilford, the eccentric aristocrat who founded modern Greece’s first university, remains one of the most fascinating and elusive figures of the golden age, unlike anyone else of that era, a rogue among rogues.
Guilford was born Frederick North in 1766, the youngest of three sons of Lord North, who was Prime Minister between 1770 and 1782, during which time he notoriously ‘lost’ the American colonies. Like his father, the young Guilford attended Eton and Oxford after which he travelled aimlessly and took sinecure posts in Ceylon and Corsica. All this was meant to groom him for a political career like his father.
Instead, while on a visit to Greece, Guilford fell madly in love with the country, mastering the language and converting to Greek Orthodox Christianity, much to the displeasure of his family. He spent the rest of his life working for the cause of Greek emancipation through education, establishing in Corfu the first university in modern Greece, providing scholarships for Greek students to study abroad, and embellishing the university with thousands of valuable books from his personal library. During this time, he rubbed shoulders with iconic figures such as Lord Byron, Ali Pasha and Ioannis Kapodistrias, independent Greece’s first President. Largely disowned by his family back in England, he continued to devote his entire life and finances to helping the Greek people until his death, unmarried and childless in 1827.
Guilford first visited Greece in 1791, arriving in Corfu and spending the next two years travelling the country, most of which was under Ottoman rule at the time. He quickly fell in love with Greece, mastering the language and absorbing the history. In 1792, Guilford returned to Corfu where, at the age of 25, he converted to Greek Orthodox Christianity, causing him to be shunned by his family. Incidentally, he became the first Greek Orthodox Christian to sit in the British Parliament – he was MP for Banbury at the time – and perhaps the only one until the election of Bambos Charalambous as MP for Enfield Southgate in 2017. For political reasons the conversion was kept secret from everyone except his family and close friends – this was at a time when Catholics were banned from sitting in Parliament and having to deal with a Greek Orthodox MP would have been too much of a headache for the political establishment.
Although Guilford continued to travel extensively, including a stint as governor of Ceylon, his heart remained in Greece. In 1814, he became president of the Society of the Friends of the Muses in Athens, an organisation that brought together philhellenes and members of the Greek intelligentsia. His time in Athens, still under Ottoman rule, consolidated his desire to do something for the cause of Greek emancipation.
In 1815, he attended the Congress of Vienna where he met Ioannis Kapodistrias, the future President of Greece. They discussed founding an institute of higher education in the Ionian Islands, which had just become a British Protectorate. They reasoned that an autonomous, self-governing Greek university, with Greek professors and Greek students, would be an important step in the emancipation of the Greek people. Guilford was enraptured – he had finally found his calling.
By this time, he had inherited the title of Lord Guilford from his father and began to exploit all his connections to realise his mad project of building a university on Corfu. He convinced Lord Bathurst, Secretary of State for War and the Colonies, to appoint him director of education for the Ionian Islands. In 1824, the Ionian Academy opened its doors. Its professors numbered some of the finest Greek minds of the day, teaching subjects as diverse as mathematics, botany and English.
Perhaps in protest of Britain, where Catholics were forbidden from attending Oxford or Cambridge, Guilford made sure the Academy was open to any man of any faith. However, as in Britain, only men were eligible for admission. There was also a strict code of conduct that banned everything from drunkenness to “conduct unworthy of a gentleman”. Rulebreakers were confined to the island’s fort for up to a month. This was to be a place for serious academic study only.
Guilford nearly bankrupted himself by buying rare books to fill the Academy’s library, which had already been embellished with his own collection. At its peak, the library had 30,000 tomes, including “the most complete collection of modern Greek literature in the world”. He paid scholarships for promising Greek students to study abroad, with the expectation that they would return to teach at the Academy. He also financially supported many Greek students from the mainland who could not afford living expenses in Corfu.
Guilford died in 1827, unmarried and childless, having devoted his entire adult life to the cause of Greek emancipation through education. Unfortunately, this would be the beginning of the end for the Ionian Academy. His relatives in Britain fought over his will and managed to reclaim many of his books, decimating the library. Without Guilford’s patronage, the Academy struggled for funding and lost many of its most talented staff. After the union of the Ionian Islands with the Kingdom of Greece in 1864, the Ionian Academy was closed to support the newly established University of Athens. Corfu would be without an institute of higher education until 1984, when the Ionian University was created as the successor to the Academy.
Guilford was certainly eccentric. He dressed in ancient Greek robes like Plato and conversed in an archaic form of Greek with the locals in Corfu. He also insisted on a strict dress code for students at his university, which was based on ancient Greek robes, with different colours for the different tiers of students. On the other hand, he recognised the importance of education to Greek emancipation and was conscious of the need to establish strong, self-governing institutions in Greece in preparation for the country’s eventual independence.
Contemporaries undoubtedly saw the importance of Guildford to the Greek national revival and state-building process, as can be seen by the naming of prominent streets in Corfu and Athens after him. A statue of Guilford stands in a garden not far from today’s Ionian University. Despite this, Guilford has largely been forgotten in both Greece and Britain. Byron, the swashbuckling hero, womaniser and poet whose untimely death during the Siege of Missolonghi helped galvanise international support for the Greek War of Independence, fit easily into a narrative of romantic philhellenes giving their life for the noble cause of Greek emancipation.
By comparison, it is difficult to fit Guilford into this narrative. His eccentricity was ridiculed, rather than admired. He was not a self-publicist and his contributions were far less dramatic, though no less important. He had no great affairs, no military exploits, limited contact with key figures in Greece and abroad and largely confined his activities to the academic field. As a result, he was excluded from Greece’s post-independence meta-narrative and largely forgotten.
But as Greece celebrated 200 years of independence, there has been a reappraisal of Guilford, rescuing him from the margins of history and restoring his status as one of the most important philhellenes. The Ionian University has recently set up the Guilford Project to research and promote his legacy while plans are afoot to nominate him as Corfu’s “personality” in the centenary celebrations. Meanwhile, last year’s Corfu Literary Festival hosted an event celebrating Guilford and venerating him as a pioneer of Anglo-Hellenic friendship, a full century before the Durrells arrived. Of course, Guilford, being the modest man that he was, would find all this fuss over him a bit embarrassing. And yet it’s modest men like him who deserve to live long in the memory.
[Talk given at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church, 16 September 2021]
The need for one more special portrait of Guilford
By Megakles Rogakos, MA MA PhD
The philhellenic movement is a unique phenomenon that focuses exclusively on the culture of Greece. There are Philhellenes all over the world. Their common denominator is Greek education, which according to the famous definition of Isocrates, “Greeks are those who partake in our education or share our common nature”.
Guilford is a leading Philhellene. Testimonies of his contemporaries present him as having an exaggerated philhellenism, which prompted him to declare sometimes that he is Greek and not philhellenic and sometimes that he is not the same as any of his fellow countrymen and that in England itself he is half Greek, to sign as an Athenian citizen and to not take off the ring with the Athenian owl that was donated to him by the Philomuse Society of Athens (Nikolaos K. Kourkoumelis, Education in Corfu during the British Protectorate – 1816-1864, Athens 2002:155). In addition, his ancient university garb, despite the derisive comments caused by circles of the British civil service of the protectorate, gave prestige to the Ionian Academy and organised the foundations of a unique university community in the European area. Thus Guilford was esteemed and praised by all cultured Greeks. His philhellenism was known throughout the 19th century, the era covered by his known portraits – that is, from 1790 to 1883. In fact, the portraits created after his death outnumber those created while he was alive.
From the 20th century until today, however, the name Guilford for the vast majority of residents mainly of Athens and Corfu is nothing more than a street that bears his name in these two cities! Unfortunately, numerous other Philhellenes have suffered similar depreciation. For Guilford in particular, however, it is worth keeping his memory alive. Let it be known that thanks to him the modern Greek language is spoken. The conquest of the Byzantine Empire by the Ottomans in the middle of the 15th century resulted in the sudden interruption of the intellectual life of Hellenism in general and especially of its educational life (Ioannis K. Vogiatzidis, “The gap in the spiritual tradition of the Greek people” in Historical Studies, Thessaloniki: Aristotle University 1933). The main reasons were the flight of almost all Greek scholars to Western Europe, the withering of the intellectual centres of the Byzantine Empire, the serious decrease in the population of the urban centres, the great decline of all economic activity and the impoverishment of the populations and the demographic changes that occurred in the conquered areas due to the flight of the local people and the settlement by Turkish or Slavic populations (Konstantinos K. Hatzopoulos, Greek Schools in the Period of Ottoman Rule 1453-1821, Thessaloniki: Vanias 1991). In the Ionian Islands during Venetian rule, the official language was no longer Greek, but Italian (Venetian dialect). The local lords and townspeople preferred the language of the conquerors, with the result that Greek was self-taught only by the inhabitants of the countryside! The recognition of modern Greek as an official language in the Ionian Islands was established during the British Protectorate with the Constitution of 1817 (articles 4-6) and with the contribution of Guilford. The use of the modern Greek language is due to him and he defended more than the members of the Senate its predominance in the Ionian Academy, the first Greek university of the modern era founded by Guilford in Corfu before Greece gained its independence. Guilford always considered the main goal of his Academy to be the progress and dissemination of the modern Greek language (Angelomatis-Tsougarakis, The Ionian Academy, Athens: Mikros Romios 1997:76). Guilford with his teaching staff benefited Greece, reforming its education in the best possible way!
The beginning of the unjust languishing of Guilford’s hindsight can be traced to the unexpected fate of his statue created by Kosmas Apergis in 1883 to be placed alongside Adamantios Korais in the propylaea of the National University in Athens (Nikos-Dimitrios Mamalos, “The Adventures of the Statue of Guilford” in Portoni, Summer 2020, pp. 50-53). Although the sculptor emerged as the winner of the competition, the Senate considered the final work unsuitable to be exhibited where it was intended and decided it would be better to set it up in Corfu. And there, however, a majority of the advisory committee, which included the artists Charalambos Pachis, Antonios Villas, Angelos Giallina and Vikentios Bokatsiampis, underestimated the artistic value of the work, but decided to judge it mildly if the place found for it were “not very ostentatious”! Retrospectively, by today’s criteria, this particular negativism comes to the detriment not so much of art but of history more broadly. When cultural heritage is at stake, petty differences should be put aside and magnanimity should prevail.
It is surprising that on the 100th anniversary of the Ionian Academy no celebration ever took place! However, on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the Ionian University, the creation of another portrait of Guilford is a critical and imperative need for Greece to honour its supreme admirer.
I. PORTRAITS OF GUILFORD
1. Hugh-Douglas Hamilton (Ireland, 1740-1808). Portrait of Guilford, 1790, Rome.
2. Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (France, 1780-1867). Portrait of Guilford, 1815, Rome.
3. Charles-Joseph Halmandel (England, 1789-1850). Portrait of Guilford after Ingres, 1815, Rome.
4. William-Thomas Fry (England, 1789-1843). Portrait of Guilford after John Jackson, August 1817.
5. Edward Orme (England, 1775-1848). Portrait of Guilford, 1 May 1818, London.
6. Ioannis Kalosgouros (Corfu, 1794-1878). Bust Portrait of Guilford after Pavlos Prosalentis, 1827.
7. Pietro Mancion (Italy, 1803-1888). Portrait of Guilford, c. 1830, Rome.
8. Petros Pavlidis-Minotos (Ioannina, 1800-1862). Portrait of Guilford, c. 1846, Athens.
9. Periklis Skiadopoulos (Greece, 1833-1875). Portrait of Guilford after Pavlidis-Minotos, c. 1872.
10. Spyridon Prosalendis (Corfu, 1830-1895). Portrait of Guilford after Skiadopoulos, 1882, Athens.
11. Kosmas Apergis (Tinos, 1836-1898). Statue of Guilford, 1883, Athens.
12. Anonymous (England). The late Earl of Guilford in his Greek College Dress, c. 1830, Corfu.
This picture of the young Guilford encapsulates the romantic vision of Rome. The sitter is positioned in the heart of the Roman Forum, centre of ancient Rome and home to the city’s most impressive temples and monuments. He stands resting his hand on the wall before the Temple of Saturn (497 BC), with its familiar columns of the Ionic order, an icon of Rome’s architectural heritage. In the distant background can be seen the Basilica of Maxentius (306-312 AD) and the Colosseum (72–80 AD). On the side of Guilford rests a broken fragment from the entablature of the nearby Temple of Vespasian (80s AD). Its sculpted representations include instruments of sacrifice: from the left to the right appears the horn of the bucranium hung with rope on the temple, the ceremonial jug containing the wine to be sprinkled on the head of the animal just prior to execution, the knife for cutting it up and the patera (shallow plate) for holding the wine. Aged twenty-four, this is the earliest known representation of Guilford. His gaze seems to be lost in the reverie of the Classical world, of which he was so fond. He wears a blue tailcoat and holds with the bare right hand his hat and with the gloved left his other glove.
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780-1867) was a French Neoclassical painter. Although he considered himself to be a painter of history in the tradition of Nicolas Poussin and Jacques-Louis David, in whose studio he studied, it is his portraits, both painted and drawn, that are recognised as his greatest legacy. He was profoundly influenced by past artistic traditions and aspired to become the guardian of academic orthodoxy against the ascendant Romantic style, exemplified by Eugène Delacroix and Théodore Géricault. Following the fall of Napoleon in 1815, Ingres found an enthusiastic clientele among the English tourists in Rome, who had flocked back to the city liberated from French rule. One tourist after another beat a path to his door wanting their portrait drawn. The first Englishman to sit to Ingres was Frederick North (1766-1827), 5th Earl of Guilford and youngest son of Lord North, prime minister to George III. He was an engaging eccentric portrayed with a penetrating eye for his quickness of mind. Ingres made several drawings of Guilford, whose spare but lively descriptive pencil line impressed his sitter. One of these is in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney. A passionate philhellene and linguist, North travelled widely and lived much of his life abroad. After a stint as governor-general of Ceylon (1798-1805), he led the campaign to establish the Ionian University at Corfu, becoming its first chancellor in 1824. When Guilford retired to London a few years later, he amused his friends by going about in academic robes, or turning up to dinner wearing the vestments of an archbishop of the Orthodox church, to which he was a convert. [Dr Mark Stocker, Curator, Historical International Art – April 2018]. At the time of this work Ingres was unquestionably at the height of his powers as a graphic portraitist. [Brinsley Ford, “Ingres portrait drawings of English people at Rome 1806-1820”, The Burlington Magazine, pp 3-13, London, July 1939, p 4]
Invented in Bavaria in 1796, lithography was still a new medium when Charles-Joseph Hullmandel (1789-1850), an English printmaker, enthusiastically took up the process in Munich and set up a printing press in London in 1818. This lithographic Portrait of Frederick North, Earl of Guilford is an early one in the history of the medium and was printed between 1818-1827, after the original drawing by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780-1867). As lithography could produce numerous high-quality copies of an original, it was significant in the development of popularising obscure yet significant works, like this one, for a wide audience.
The British artist John Jackson (1778-1831) was a prolific and successful portrait painter. Aristocratic patronage enabled him to attend the Royal Academy Schools, where he befriended David Wilkie and Benjamin Haydon. At Castle Howard, residence of the Earl of Carlisle, he could study and copy from a large collection of paintings. His watercolours were judged to be of uncommon quality. He was elected full member of the Royal Academy in 1817. On the same year William-Thomas Fry (1789-1843), one of the earliest engravers to experiment with steel plates, created the portrait of Guilford after a now lost original painting by Jackson. The portrait conveys the sitter’s solemnity at the age of fifty-one. He wears a riband from shoulder to hip under his coat; a ceremonial acknowledgement of high achievement. It is worth noting that on the one side of Guilford an accumulation of books signifies his love of the letters. The spine of the flat book inscribed “Greece”, the ultimate object of his lifelong philhellenism, could be a volume from William Mittford’s best known work, “The History of Greece” (1784-1810). Guilford is positioned in a typical Grecian landscape, against a rocky terrain descending to a glimpse of the calm Mediterranean Sea in the distance. Atop the rock the ghostly presence of an abstract draped figure from Classical times rises from the ground and bends forward like a dramatic sculpture fragment.
The legend reads “From a Drawing made in Ceylon, and Engraved by desire of the Inhabitants of that Island.” Then follows text written in Sinhalese: “The King of England to Ceylon, for the benefit of its people and for the development of the people and the country, appointed Lord Frederick North as the Honourable Governor. The noble King appointed him after one year at the request of the people of Ceylon. The seal of the King shows his approval. Sri Vikrama Rajasinha, King of Kandy.” During his Ceylon administration (1798-1805), Guilford contributed improvements in various areas of public life, including building, draining, mining, the creation of canals, the formation of a battalion of infantry made up of Madras sepoys and the introduction of vaccinations against smallpox (Add MS 88900/2/11). Here he is sitting in an armchair on a balcony overlooking the bank of the Kelani River in the capital Colombo. He wears a gold embroidery coat that befits him as Governor and rests with his hand on his knee a book likely about the country.
Ioannis Kalosgouros belongs, along with Pavlos Prosalentis the Elder and Dimitrios Trivolis-Pieris, among the Ionian island artists who revived the art of sculpture there, creating the first works of modern Greek sculpture. The bust of the great Hellenist and Philhellene Frederick North, Earl of Guilford (1776-1827), who in 1824 founded the Ionian Academy on Corfu and with whose financial assistance a number of Greeks studied abroad, was made in the year of his death, 1827, initially by Prosalentis, on commission from the society of the professors of the Ionian Academy. Kalosgouros then made a similar bust on his own initiative, more than life-size, which was nearly an exact copy of the one by Prosalentis. When the latter was requested in Athens, it was replaced by the bust of Kalosgouros. But its base, with its inscription composed by the distinguished scholar and colleague of Guilford Christophoros Filitas, stayed at the Ionian Academy and on it was placed Prosalentis’ work, which was destroyed by the bombing of 1943. The sitter is depicted wearing the specially designed ancient-style uniform of the Lord of the Ionian Academy, fastened on his right shoulder by a brooch. His mature age is expressed by the wrinkled cheeks and the stringy but at the same time rather loose neck while his gaze is fixed, in keeping with the neoclassicist model, his eyebrows heavy and lips fleshy, with a slight smile. The thin hair on his head is framed in relief by a decorative band with an owl in the centre, the symbol of education. The imposing rendering of the figure expresses self-confidence and satisfaction and stresses the Earl’s dynamic personality. (Tonia Giannoudaki. National Glyptotheque – Permanent Collection. Athens, GR: National Gallery – Alexandros Soutzos Museum, 2006, p.30).
The creator of the present Posthumous Portrait of Guilford is largely unknown – one Pietro Mantion, born in 1803 in Ragusa and active in Rome, where he died in 1888. He modelled the portrait based on the famous marble bust of 1827, the year of his death, by Pavlos Prosalentis (1784-1837). Guilford looks off with the authority of a Lord / Rector and is dressed classically as a Doctor of Law, after a design by Prosalentis himself. According to a description in his letter to his sister Anne, written from Otranto on 1 June 1824, he wears a fleshy white tunic and above it a purple robe that holds a gold flower-shaped buckle on the shoulder. A distinctive accessory is the archaic way that keeps the rich side crown of his head steady. He characteristically writes: “However, instead of Odysseus’ hat, I wore around my head a narrow black velvet ribbon embroidered on the front with gold laurel leaves and a golden owl” (British Library, Add. MS 61983, p. 129).
Petros Pavlidis-Minotos was a professor of oil painting at the National Technical University of Athens between 1854-1862. His painting specialised on portraiture, distinguished by its academic idiom. With painting studies in Italy and knowledge of the painting trends of Paris and Munich, he was clearly influenced by the Ionian School, discerned by fine design and characterised by lyricism. This portrait reveals the hallmark of Ionian portraiture, as it developed during the period of its prominence during Nikolaos Koutouzis and Nikolaos Kantounis, and was preserved by their descendants, to whom Pavlidis-Minotos belongs. This is a half-length figure of Guilford. The gaze turns away from the viewer serenely towards the left. His eyes are fixed and his lips are sealed. He wears an official dress – a European jacket, a shirt with high neck and a cravat. The opening of the jacket reveals a sash with the badge of the Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George. The star of the Knight Grand Cross distinctly adorns the lapel of his jacket. Finally, a magnifying glass pendant hanging on neck cord evokes his widely known love of studying closely ancient Greek manuscripts. Pavlidis-Minotos benefited from the new lithographic presses brought to Nafplion by Kapodistrias from Paris, and from the experienced contribution of Bavarian artists to the art of lithography. He was distinguished in this form of art and made two lithographs on the subject of Kapodistrias (Corfu Reading Society and Municipal Historical Library of Zante).
Periklis Skiadopoulos was one of the most skilled Greek printmakers, having studied woodcut in Athens, Paris and London, and known for the quality of his work [John Bolis & Dimitris Pavlopoulos, Greek Printmaking, 1843-1915. History – Dictionary of Printmakers, Athens 2012, pp 59-62]. To cut on wood the Posthumous Portrait of Frederick North, 5th Earl of Guildford, circa 1872, Skiadopoulos used the relevant 1846 lithograph by Petros Pavlidis-Minotos as a prototype. Evidence of this reference is the preservation of the neck cord although the present composition does not include the magnifying glass pendant. The technique in this particular woodcut has reached its peak, as even the minutest engraving is masterfully studied.
Spyridon Prosalendis is an important representative of this artistic family – son of the painter and sculptor Pavlos the elder and father of the painters Emilios and Pavlos the younger. He took his first painting lessons at the art school founded and directed by his father in Corfu and completed his studies at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia, graduating with first prize. After a rather long stay in Venice he returned to Corfu, while in 1865 he was appointed professor of painting at the Athens School of Fine Arts and settled in that city. After a short period of teaching he resigned and returned to Venice, where he was awarded at the city’s International Exhibition. In 1870, at the urging of King George I, he permanently settled in Athens and undertook the decoration of the chapel of the old palace, while in 1876, with the establishment of a second painting chair at the School, he was again appointed professor, remaining in this position until his death. Primarily a portrait painter, he depicted various personalities, as well as fighters of the Greek Revolution, combining academic style with realistic rendering. To create the Posthumous Portrait of Frederick North, 5th Earl of Guildford in 1882 he used as a prototype the relevant woodcut by Periklis Skiadopoulos. His painting bears the clear hallmarks of the Ionian School – fine design and lyrical atmosphere. This picture also reveals the typical features of Ionian portraiture – the size of the figure, the position of the body, the expression of the character and its declared identity are elements developed during the period of its prominence by Nikolaos Koutouzis and Nikolaos Kantounis, and preserved by their descendants, to whom Prosalendis belongs. However, the new trends of the time and his encounter with artistic circles abroad and Athens are evident in this work. The half-length figure of Guilford, seated in an armchair dominates the picture’s centre against a dark background. He has a slight inclination to the right, while the gaze turns the other direction away from the viewer. His style is serene and his lips are sealed. He wears an official dress – a European jacket, a shirt with high neck and a cravat. His left hand, resting on the chair’s draped back, brings attention to the star of the Knight Grand Cross that adorns the lapel of his coat. His right hand, finding support on his bent knee, supports a leather-bound book, likely on his beloved subject of Greece. The riband, passing from the right shoulder to the left hip, presents on its lower end the badge of the Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George.
Crafting the Statue of Guilford, Kosmas Apergis faithfully immortalised the highest moment of the official opening of the Ionian Academy at 8.30 in the morning of 29 May 1824. He is formally presented on a throne on a raised pedestal, as he mentions, “between Politis and Filitas in the big hall of the Academy, which was packed with all the officials of both genders” (Angelomatis-Tsougarakis 1997:207). He is anciently dressed in a robe fastened to his right shoulder with a gold button and wears around his head a narrow black velvet ribbon embroidered on the front with gold laurel leaves and a golden owl. His hand, resting on his knee, holds a book probably about ancient Greece.
Here Guilford appears as the public remembers him. He wears a simple and lightly coloured garment that resembles both a Roman cassock and a priestly vestment. Above this a purple cloak is fastened with a buckle. Also characteristic is the cappello saturno (Saturn hat), known as such because its appearance resembles the ringed planet Saturn, which is a priest’s hat with a wide, circular brim and usually a rounded crown worn outdoors by Catholic clergy. Finally, a magnifying glass pendant hanging from the neck cord recalls Guilford’s well-known love of closely studying ancient Greek manuscripts. He had been presented with this at least two more times (see the engraved portraits by Petros Pavlidis-Minotos and Periklis Skiadopoulos). The intense colour on the red ankle boots was probably chosen to attract people’s attention.
II. PORTRAITS OF PERSONALITIES IN THE CIRCLE OF GUILFORD
1. Petros Pavlidis-Minotos (Ioannina, 1800-1862). Isabella Teotochi-Albrizzi (1760-1836), c. 1830.
2. Petros Pavlidis-Minotos (Ioannina, 1800-1862). Count Ioannis Kapodistrias (1776-1831), 1849.
3. Sir Francis Chantrey (1781-1841). King George IV (1762-1830), 1827.
4. Sir Pavlos Prosalentis (1784-1837). Sir Thomas Maitland (1760-1824), 1822.
5. Sir Pavlos Prosalentis (1784-1837). Sir Frederick Adam (1784-1853), 1825.
Isabella Teotochi-Albrizzi (1760-1836) was a famous salonnière and intellectual. An Italian of Greek origin, she was born in the summer of 1760, to a father from Corfu, Count Antonios Theotokis, of the famous Theotokis-Kalokardiari branch, and a Venetian mother, the Countess Nicoletta de Vejia. Her father took a personal interest in his daughter’s education, choosing notable teachers who taught her Italian, French, Latin and ancient Greek. At the age of 16, after the mediation of her family, she married the middle-aged naval officer and then well-known author of historical treatises Carlo Antonio Marin (1745-1815) from Venice. They had a son, after whose birth they decided to move to Venice. Isabella did not return to her birthplace again, but she made sure to keep it alive in her thoughts and to support in her own way every struggle in pursuit of the freedom of the Ionians. In 1796, having divorced her first husband, she married Count Giovanni Battista IV Giuseppe Albrizzi, with whom she had another son. Her second husband particularly admired Isabella’s strong personality and supported the meetings she now organised at Palazzo Albrizzi. At that time, Venice was an important centre of European cultural, social and artistic activity. Isabella soon emerged as a charismatic hostess. Her home became a hangout for people of culture who discussed the new currents and ideas brought by the French Revolution, while she herself was distinguished for her broad education, humour, acuteness and the directness she had with her audience, both as a hostess as well as a writer. Personalities from all over Europe, like Lord Byron, Antonio Canova, Chateubriand, Madame de Staël, Ugo Foscolo, Goethe, Ioannis Kapodistrias, Andreas Moustoxidis, Mario Pieri, Ippolito Pindemonte and Sir Walter Scott, flocked to her literary salon. After the dissolution of the Republic of Venice, in 1797, she travelled for a long time to other Italian cities as well as to Paris, where she organised literary meetings with people who shared her progressive ideas. In 1807 she published her book Ritratti (Portraits), a series of literary portrayals she composed of men she knew and who frequented her salon, expressing the cosmopolitan ideals of sociability. She died in Venice on 27 September 1836 and her death plunged the intellectual world of Italy into mourning. [www.capodistriasmuseum.gr/persons/isavella-theotoki-albritzi/]. The Guildford Archive for the Ionian Academy in the British Library, London, holds a letter from her to Guildford (Add MS 88900/1/13).
Count Ioannis Kapodistrias (Corfu, 1776- Nafplio, 1831) was a Greek diplomat and politician. He was born into an aristocratic family with a political tradition, which is why he was involved in politics from 1803, when he was appointed secretary of the Septinsular Republic. With the occupation of the Ionian Islands by the French he withdrew and joined the Russian diplomatic service. There, he took important positions managing to be distinguished as minister of foreign affairs of the Russian Empire from 1815 to 1822, at which time he was forced to resign owing to the Greek Revolution of 1821. On 14 April 1827 the Third National Assembly of Troezen selected him first Governor of Greece, a position from which he came into friction with local chieftains resulting in his murder on 9 October 1831, in Nafplio, by the brother and son of Petrobey Mavromichalis, in retaliation for the imprisonment of the latter. As Governor of Greece he promoted significant reforms for the restoration of the state machinery, as well as for the establishment of the legal framework of the state, necessary for the establishment of law and order. He also reorganised its armed forces under a unified command. § Petros Pavlidis-Minotos (1800-1862) was a professor of oil painting at the National Technical University of Athens between 1854-1862. His art represents a painting of fine design and is characterised by the sweetness of and specialisation on figuration. With painting studies in Italy and knowledge of the painting trends of Paris and Munich, he was clearly influenced by the Ionian School. His half-length figure of Count Ioannis Kapodistrias (1776-1831), seated in an armchair dominates the picture’s centre against a dark background. He has a slight inclination to the right, the gaze turns towards the viewer, his style is serene and his lips are sealed. He wears an official dress, a rich cape, a European suit, a shirt with high neck. His decoration distinctly adorns the lapel of his coat. His left hand rests on the chair’s arm, while the right remains below. This portrait reveals the hallmark of Ionian portraiture. The size of the figure, the position of the body, the expression of the character and its declared identity are elements of Ionian portraiture, as it developed during the period of its prominence during Nikolaos Koutouzis and Nikolaos Kantounis, and was preserved by their descendants, to whom Pavlidis-Minotos belongs. However, the new trends of the time and his encounter with artistic circles abroad and Athens are evident in his work. Distinguished in printmaking he made two lithographs on the subject of Kapodistrias (Corfu Reading Society and Municipal Historical Library of Zante) loosely based on this painting. § With the Treaty of Paris (1815) the Ionian Islands became a protectorate of Great Britain and in the same year Guilford started discussions with Kapodistrias about a possible Ionian University. Kapodistrias called Guilford in his letters “our great Greek” (British Library, Add. Ms 41535).
George IV (1762-1830) was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and King of Hanover from the death of his father, King George III, in 1820, until his own death ten years later. At the time of his accession to the throne, he was acting as Prince Regent, having done so since 1811, during his father’s final mental illness. George was described as the “First Gentleman of England” on account of his style and manners. He was bright, clever and knowledgeable, but his self-indulgence led him to squander much of his talent. The Regency period saw a shift in fashion that was largely determined by George. He was the greatest royal supporter of art, architecture, music and science. His many legacies include Regent’s Park and the National Portrait Gallery. The Duke of Wellington’s eulogy delivered in the House of Lords praised George’s knowledge and talent and called him “the most accomplished man of his age”. During his reign a large number of statues of George were erected, which include a bronze equestrian one by Sir Francis Chantrey in Trafalgar Square. Chantrey carved the first version of fifteen similar marble busts in plaster in 1821, the year of his coronation (now in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford). With Sir Thomas Lawrence’s full-length portraits in oils it established the King’s official likeness throughout his ten-year reign. It epitomises the sculptor’s ability to idealise without losing a resemblance. The King appears both lofty and amiable, cloaked as an ancient field-marshal but wearing one of his own curled brown wigs. George knew that the British considered Guilford a personality presented as an authority on Greek education at the time (Nikolaos K. Kourkoumelis. Education in Corfu during the British Protection (1816-1864). Athens, GR: Association for the Dissemination of Greek Letters, 2002:155). Beyond his personal esteem and the value of his friendship, George supported him with invisible actions. He seems to have given him the assurance of the commission of the founding of the Ionian University before May 1819. This explains the bestowing upon Guildford of the degree of doctor of law by the University of Oxford on 25 October 1819. After his accession to the throne, January 1820, George awarded Guilford the title of “Archon” (ibid. 2002:158-159).
Sir Thomas Maitland (1760-1824) was a Governor of Malta and served as Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands during 1815-1824, with a seat of administration at Corfu. Popularly known as “King Tom”, he was a sound administrator. He established government banks, built roads and lighthouses. Mindful of the importance that the Ionians attached to titled people, he instituted the Order of St Michael and St George, whose honours were to be bestowed on suitable recipients in the Ionian Islands and Malta. To equip the new Order with headquarters as well as to house the Senate and provide a home for the Lord High Commissioner, he commissioned the Palace that still graces the lower Esplanade in Corfu Town. When he died and was buried in Malta in 1824, he was mourned in Corfu with special requiem ceremonies. His bust, made by Prosalentis, is the first in modern Greece to be cast in bronze. Interestingly, an 1817 plaster study of this bust, housed in The Thorvaldsen Museum, Copenhagen, suggests that Prosalentis had sought the advice of his fellow sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen (1797-1838) for the casting. § Soon after George IV’s award of the title “Archōn” (Chancellor) to Guilford, on 24 February 1820 Maitland requested the Ionian Parliament to make the Senate recognise him, as per his wish, as the unpaid coordinator of all education in the Ionian State. In keeping with this, on 25 March 1820 the Senate appointed Guilford “Archōn” and on 28 March he took office (Nikolaos K. Kourkoumelis. Education in Corfu during the British Protection 1816-1864. Athens, GR: Association for the Dissemination of Greek Letters, 2002:160). On 17 May 1821, Maitland decided to endorse Guilford’s original desire to found the Academy in Ithaca, as the birthplace of Odysseus. However, the outbreak of the Greek Revolution upset the island societies and troubled the British authorities. On 4 March 1823, Maitland brought the matter back to the Ionian Parliament, presenting his fears and solutions to the problem. In the arguments he used, he stated that the institution originally envisaged in Ithaca, near the rebel sites, would create increased operational and other problems. For this reason, he proposed Corfu as more appropriate, where the Government was able to cede the Headquarters of the Venetian Proveditor (Superintendent) in the Old Fortress (ibid. 2002:180). After the convening of Guilford with the views of Maitland, at the suggestion of the Commissioner, it was decided on 29 May to open the Academy within the next year, in 1824, in Corfu (ibid. 2002:181).
General Sir Frederick Adam (1784-1853) was a Scottish major-general at the Battle of Waterloo. Between 1824 and 1832 he became the second Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands. He married the Corfiot Diamantina Palatianou and for her sake built the Palace of Mon Repos. In the Bust of Adam Prosalentis emphasises the purely idealistic elements, the heroic expression and the imperial style in a faithful rendition of the classicist ideals. On the bust’s pedestal, he presents four reliefs in an order: on the front side Ares, on the right side Agraios Nómios (Protector of the Fields), on the left side Athena and on the back the personification of Corfu. These are symbolic figures, in order to highlight the virtues of the subject, his military status, his contribution to the island’s agriculture, his wisdom and his love of the island.
III. PORTRAITS OF ASSOCIATES OF THE IONIAN ACADEMY
1. Andreas Idromenos (1764-1843), Archimandrite of the Ionian Academy.
2. Athanasios Psalidas (1767-1829), Honorary Doctor of Philosophy of the Ionian Academy.
3. Theoklitos Farmakidis (1784-1860), Professor of Theology at the Ionian Academy.
4. Konstantinos Asopios (1785-1872), Professor of Greek Letters at the Ionian Academy.
5. Christoforos Filitas (1787-1867), Professor of Philology at the Ionian Academy.
6. Athanasios Politis (1790-1864), Professor of Chemistry of the Ionian Academy.
7. Andreas Kalvos (1792-1869), Professor of Philosophy of the Ionian Academy.
8. Nikolaos Piccolos (1792-1865), Professor of Philosophy at the Ionian Academy.
9. Andreas Papadopoulos-Vretos (1800-1876), Librarian of the Ionian Academy.
Andreas Idromenos (1764-1843) was born in Parga and studied alongside Akakios Desyllas, who was his uncle, and Agapios Leonardos, a learned monk. In 1791 he was ordained a priest and subsequently studied texts by ancient Greek authors, succeeding in cultivating his philological education. He was appointed archivist and then director of the community school in Parga. His personal assistant was Christoforos Perraivos, through whom he was introduced to the revolutionary plans of Rigas Velestinlis. After all this, Idromenos emerged as the main political advisor of the residents of Parga and Souli in their fight against Ali Pasha. Ali Pasha unsuccessfully invited him to Ioannina, with the ulterior motive of murdering him. When, in 1797, Corfu was captured by the French, Andreas Idromenos pleaded Napoleon to include the area of Parga under his protection. The events that followed, such as the Fall of Preveza by Ali Pasha in 1798 and the submission of Souli in 1803, disappointed Idromenos, who was forced to move to Corfu in 1804, at the invitation of Ioannis Kapodistrias. There he was director of the Hellenic School, while from 1808 he was a member of the Académie Ionienne. In 1824 he was elected honorary professor of Theology at the Ionian Academy, while at the same time he wrote morality treatises, speeches, letters, religious services and odes using archaic meter. Guilford awarded the degree of Doctor of Theology to Idromenos at the opening ceremony of the Ionian Academy on 24 May 1824 (Helen Angelomatis-Tsougarakis, The Ionian Academy: The Chronicle of the Founding of the First Greek University (1811-1824), Athens, GR: Little Romios, 1997:207).
Athanasios Psalidas (1767-1829) was a Greek author, scholar and one of the most renowned figures of the modern Greek Enlightenment. He was born in 1767 in Ioannina, where he completed ground level education. He continued his studies in the Russian Empire (1785-1787) and in Austria (1787-1795). In 1791 he published his first work, Real Bliss, with which he re-established fundamental theoretical positions on the existence of God, immortality, afterlife, freedom of man and the concept of the limits of freedom. During his studies in Vienna, he worked in several Greek editorial companies and printing houses. In 1792, together with the Cypriot Ioannis Karatzas (1767-1798), he published Love’s Results (1792), consisting of three romantic stories. In refutation of conservative circles, who distrusted his ideas and novelties, he published the work Moves towards Progress (1795), where he denounces the entire official spiritual leadership of the Greeks, who, according to his opinion, kept the subjugated Greek people in ignorance and barbarism. In 1796 he returned to Ioannina, where he became the director of the city’s most renowned school, the Kaplaneios, and remained at this post for 25 years. During this time he enhanced the school’s curriculum by introducing lessons in history, geography, natural sciences, economics and foreign languages. Psalidas also brought with him educational equipment and special instruments in order to teach astronomy and perform a number of chemical and physical experiments. His lessons were not only watched by his students, but also by locals that admired his work. He also equipped the school’s library and hired qualified teaching personnel. Moreover, he offered scholarships to the best of his students. He had become one of the most distinguished personalities of city of Ioannina, participating in local courts and councils and being also adviser to Ali Pasha. When armed conflict between Ali Pasha and the Ottoman Empire broke out (1820-1822) he found refuge in nearby Zagori. Thereafter he lived in Corfu, where he became doctor of the Ionian Academy, but he was denied the opportunity to teach because of his progressive ideas. Later he became director of the school of Lefkada, where he died, in 1829.
Theoklitos Farmakidis (1784-1860) was a Greek scholar and journalist. He was a notable figure of the Modern Greek Enlightenment. He was born in 1784 in Nibegler near Larissa, in the Thessaly region of northern Greece. He studied at the Great School of the Nation of Constantinople (1804-1806). After Anthimos Gazis he continued the publishing of “Hermes o Logios” (Hermes the Scholar) with his partner Konstantinos Kokkinakis. He joined the Philiki Etaireia and became an admirer of Adamantios Korais, supporter of Greek independence and critic of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. After the outbreak of the Greek War of Independence, he befriended Dimitrios Ypsilantis. In August 1821, in Kalamata he started publishing the Greek newspaper “Salpinx Elliniki” (Hellenic Trumpet). He took part at the National Assemblies of Epidaurus and Astros and later taught in the Ionian Academy (1823-1825). He was a supporter of the English party and Alexandros Mavrokordatos. During the reign of Otto, he was advisor on ecclesiastical matters and supporter of the establishment of the Church of Greece. He was liberal and tolerant to the different dogmas and became friend with Jonas King (1792-1869), the controversial Protestant missionary in Greece. A strongly pro-West supporter, he was against the Greek involvement in the Crimean War.
Konstantinos Asopios (1785-1872) was a 19th century Greek scholar and university professor from Epirus. He was born into a poor family in Grammeno, Ioannina, and bore the surname Rados. After his father’s death, he followed his mother to Ioannina when she found work in the Melas family home. Thanks to his achievements in the letters, he became a scholar of Zois Kaplanis, while later he received from his headmaster, Athanasios Psalidas, the surname “Asopios”, which he adopted. Along with his studies, he worked as a private teacher and with the amount of money he collected, he went with Christoforos Filitas to Naples to study medicine, but a health problem forced him to go to Corfu in 1813 for treatment. After his recovery, he returned to Italy, specifically to Venice, where he worked as a translator and later settled in Trieste where, at the urging of the vice-president of the parish, Iakovos Rotas, he worked for five years as a teacher at the Greek school in the city. Thanks to his meeting with Guilford, whom he knew from Ioannina, he studied at his expense at the universities of Göttingen, Berlin and Paris in order to become a professor at the Ionian Academy, which the English nobleman intended to found. Guilford offered Asopiοs the office of orator and rector for the Academy’s first year in 1824. After the death of Guilford in 1827 and the decline of the Ionian Academy that followed, Asopios accepted the proposals of the Greek state and took a position at the University of Athens, serving three times as rector (1843-1844, 1856-1857, 1861-1862). He retired in 1866 due to the serious health problem he had been facing for some time and died in 1872. In addition to The Soutseia (1854), his works include a syntax and a grammar as well as an introduction to Pindar.
Christoforos Filitas studied medicine at the University of Naples in the period 1812-1817. Guilford nominated Filitas for the office of Rector and Dean for the Academy’s second year of operation, in 1825. He was appointed Rector of the Ionian Academy in the period 1853-1854 and Director of the Mansion of Education in the period 1862-1865. Unfortunately, his physical appearance is not preserved. The engraving depicting him places his face through its absence in the shadow of history.
Dr Athanasios Politis from Lefkada was Professor of Chemistry at the Ionian Academy. Being a student of the School of Tenedos, he studied medicine at the University of Pavia in Italy. Continuing his studies in Paris, he met Guilford and Kapodistrias. Both of them helped him to complete his studies and to procure the necessary equipment for the establishment of a Chemical Laboratory in Corfu. At the same time he studied the method of mutual instruction (allilodidaktikí méthodos), which he was the first to introduce in Greece and started teaching it in 1819, when he returned to Corfu, where he founded his own school. The positive results of this method convinced those responsible for education in the Ionian Islands to implement it in all the schools of the Ionian Islands. For many years, a professor at the Ionian Academy, he taught chemistry, offering a lot to Greek science. He translated into Greek the novel The Last Letters of Jacopo Ortis (1802) by Ugo Foscolo.
Andreas Kalvos (Zakynthos, 1792- Louth, 1869) was one of the most important Greek poets. He was born in Zakynthos and matured linguistically in Italy (1802-1816). Until 1820 he traveled and lived in Switzerland, England and France. His education and poetic culture were sealed by the personality of the greatest Italian Romantic poet of the 19th century, Ugo Foscolo, who originated in Zakynthos in whose service he worked as a secretary from 1812-1816. Guilford invited Kalvos to teach general philology at the Ionian Academy. In addition to this, he appointed him to organise, record and publish his collection of manuscripts (Nikolaos K. Kourkoumelis. Education in Corfu during the British Protection (1816-1864). Athens, GR: Association for the Dissemination of Greek Letters, 2002:205). He was irritable, depressed and misanthrope. He lived alone by choice, always dressed in black and always painted the furniture black. Despite the importance of his work, no portrait of his is preserved and the artists represent him in accordance with descriptions taken from his students. It is known that he was of medium height with a heavy gait, a large head, lively and penetrating eyes, a dark complexion with a strict and idiosyncratic set. It is interesting to see his inner world, which is governed by honesty, philanthropic perseverance, abrupt transitions of style as well as nuggets of touchiness. His education was classicising and an archaic tendency is reflected in his poetry. His whole poetry is influenced and inspired by the national struggle but also in some poems there is the atmosphere of romance – melancholy, cloudy skies and ruins. He remained deeply committed to virtue, which he praised. His is a special personality without precursors in his passage and without imitators in his course.
Dr Nikola Piccolo (1792-1865) was a Greek physician, philologist and writer. He belongs to the leading representatives of modern Greek letters of the first half of the 19th century because of his original studies of ancient authors. He was born in 1792 in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria, and at the beginning of the 19th century settled in Bucharest where he studied at the Academia Domneasca (Princely Academy), under professors Lambros Fotiadis and Konstantinos Vardalachos. At the Academia Domneasca he himself taught the French language, from 1810 for five years, and at the same time he participated in the Philological Society of Bucharest. In 1815 he followed Vardalachos who went to teach together with Neophytos Vambas at the Greek School of Chios. He taught at this school during the two years 1815-1816. In 1818 he followed Vardalachos to Odessa, where he presented his play The Death of Demosthenes (1818) and a translation of Sophocles’ Philoctetes and then went to Paris where he studied medicine and was initiated into the Filiki Eteria (Society of Friends). There he became friendly with Adamantios Korais and met the philhellene Claude Fauriel with whom he collaborated on the collection of Greek folk songs. At the start of the Greek revolution he was in Paris and worked to support the revolutionaries in Greece with money and supplies. But his actions disturbed the Sublime Porte and so, after pressure from it, he and other scholars were excommunicated from the Patriarchate. In the summer of 1822 he returned to Greece and settled in Hydra where he developed close relations with the elite of the island and especially with the Kountouriotis brothers. Although he was appointed a member of the delegation for the conference of the Holy Alliance in Verona in the fall of the same year, he ultimately did not participate due to his rift with the elders of Hydra. From 1823 and for two years he was the first professor of philosophy at the Ionian Academy of Corfu. In 1824 he published in Corfu the Greek translation of René Descartes’ Discourse on Method and the translation of part of The Logic (1662) by Antoine Arnault and Pierre Nicole with his own comments. In addition, the same year he published the translation of Paul et Virginie (1788) by Bernardin de Saint-Pierre. In 1825 he continued his medical studies in Bologna and Pisa, where he became a doctor in 1829. In 1838 he published Philomuse Pastimes, a collection of poems by ancient Greek and earlier Western European poets and editions of ancient Greek texts. Until 1840 he practiced medicine in Bucharest and then lived in Paris. Shortly before his death, in 1863, he published Aristotle’s History of Animals. He died in Paris in 1865.
Andreas Papadopoulos-Vretos (1800-1876) was a Greek scholar and bibliographer of the 19th century. He was born in Ithaki in 1800. His father’s origin was from Lefkada and he served as the secretary of the administration of the island during the time of the French republicans. He studied at the school of Lefkada, and from 1811 his father sent him with his mother to Naples to attend the high school there. He enrolled at the University of Naples, where he graduated with a doctorate in medicine. He was studious and learned Latin, French and Italian. In 1822 he returned with his mother to the Ionian State under British protection. There he had the opportunity to meet the British philhellenes, Count Guilford and poet Lord Byron. Finally he settled in Corfu where he assumed the position of the first Director of the Library of the Ionian Academy. Guilford’s death in 1827 had a dramatic impact on Papadopoulos-Vretos’ life. The Academy’s famous Library, estimated to have housed some 6,000 volumes, was moved to London in the late 1830s, when it was sold at auction by the legal heir, son of Guildford’s sister, Lord Sheffield. The inability of the Ionian State to purchase the exceptional collection of books resulted in the end of the term of office of the Librarian, who after his resignation, decided to seek his fortune in liberated Greece from 1832. He published in Nafplion, together with Georgios Rallis, the Greek-French newspaper “Ellinikos Kathreptis – Miroir Grec” (1832-1833), which openly supported the Kapodistrians. He edited a series of documents that prove the correctness of the political choices of Kapodistrias and composed a biography of him. His political choices brought him into conflict with Kapodistrias’ political rivals who had prevailed and made him eventually flee to hospitable Russia. In 1844 he married the daughter of the Russian colonel Aleksandr Faydrov and had a son, the well-known journalist Marinos. With the help of Alexandros Sturtzas, he managed to work as a translator at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Empire, in Saint Petersburg. However, life in Russia did not please him and he soon left for Europe. He moved to Paris for two years trying to popularise a bulletproof chest of his own patent. In 1849 he was appointed to the Greek Consulate in Varna, which belonged to the Ottoman Empire, engaged in archaeological excavations and channelled all his energy into writing a study on the history of Bulgaria. A little later he went to Italy where he worked intermittently for the Greek Consulate in Venice until 1855, when he returned for a while to the Ionian Islands. In 1857 he published the volume Modern Greek Literature. The loss of his only son, in 1871, shook him and hastened his own death in 1876. He was buried in the native land of his father, Lefkada.
1. John Flaxman RA (England, 1755-1826). Monument to Frederick North, 1792, Oxford.
2. Antonios Villas (Corfu). Ionic Academy 1808-1814, c. 1860.
3. Anonymous (Greece). Monastery of the Virgin of Tenedos, 1678-1688.
4. Marios Pierris (Corfu, 1906-1990). Panagia Spilaiotissa and the Forestis Mansion, c. 1960.
5. Gazzetta (Corfu). The procession of the inauguration of the Ionian Academy, May 17, 1824.
6. Gazzetta (Corfu). Opening of Ionian Academy and speech of Ch. Filitas, 24.5-5.6.1824.
7. Anonymous (Greece). The building of the Ionian Academy in the Old Fortress, b. 1890.
8. Marios Pierris (Corfu, 1906-1990). The Ionian Academy at the Old Fortress, 1979.
9. Nakis Pieris (Corfu, 1890-1964). The Ionian Academy and the Kapodistrias Statue, b. 1960.
10. Anonymous (Greece). The Rectorate of the Ionian University, 1985-2024.
1. John Flaxman RA (England, 1755-1826). Monument to Lord Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford, with Britannia and Lion, 1792. Marble. Courtesy of All Saints Church, Wroxton, Oxfordshire. | The monument to Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford KG, PC (1732-1792), Prime Minister to George lll during the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783), is typically Neoclassical. The new craze for all things ‘classical’ flourished during the reign of George III (1760-1820), inspired by art from antiquity and recent finds at Pompeii and Herculaneum.
2. Antonios Villas (Corfu). Ionic Academy 1808-1814, c. 1860. Watercolour on paper (?). Courtesy of the Corfu Reading Society, Corfu. | Imaginary depiction of the Ionic Academy in the Palace of the Latin Archbishop in Corfu during the period of its operation, 1808-1814.
3. Anonymous (Greece). Monastery of the Virgin of Tenedos, 1678-1688. Courtesy of the Municipality of Corfu, Corfu. | The public library of Corfu (1800-1807), the first Greek school of public education (1805) with Ioannis Kapodistrias as inspector and the first Greek printing house, in which Thourios (1797) by Rigas Velestinlis was printed, were installed in the Monastery of the Virgin of Tenedos, Corfu, for the first time.
4. Marios Pierris (Corfu, 1906-1990). Panagia Spilaiotissa and the Forestis Mansion, c. 1960. Watercolour on paper (?). Courtesy of the Corfu Reading Society, Corfu. | This is an imaginary picture based on fact of Panagia Spilaiotissa (f. 1577) and the Forestis Mansion (c. 18th), at the vicinity of the Old Port of Corfu. George Forestis granted his friend Guilford a personal residence in his mansion. Nowadays, a marble plaque on the mansion’s façade commemorates, “This building was the residence of the Philhellene English Lord Frederick North Guilford, and in its halls the classes of the Ionian Academy began in the fall of 1823”.
5. Anonymous (Greece). The procession of the inauguration of the Ionian Academy, 17 May 1824, “Gazzetta” #335. Courtesy of the Corfu Reading Society, Corfu. | This particular image presents the procession of the inauguration of the Ionian Academy on 17 May 1824. The composition shows the faculty of the Academy framed by the public of the time in the Upper Esplanade of Corfu Old Town, overlooking the Old Fortress. The antique-style costumes, designed by Prosalentis based on instructions by Guilford, may have provoked unfavourable public comment, but they lent prestige to the Ionian Academy.
6. Description of the opening ceremony of the Ionian Academy and the speech of Christoforos Filitas, 24 May – 5 June 1824, “Gazzetta” #336. Courtesy of the General State Archive, Corfu.
7. Anonymous (Greece). The building of the Ionian Academy in the Old Fortress, c. 1890. Courtesy of the “Corfiot News” no. 1588 / November 1984, p. 16.
8. Marios Pierris (Corfu, 1906-1990). The original building of the Ionian Academy in the Old Fortress, 1979. Watercolour on paper (?). Courtesy of the Corfu Reading Society, Corfu.
9. Nakis Pieris (Corfu, 1890-1964). The Ionian Academy and the Kapodistrias Statue in Corfu, c. 1960. Gouache and ink on paper, 20 x 25 cm. Courtesy of the Corfu Reading Society, Corfu. | Nakis Pieris presents the building complex of the barracks of Porta Remounda, where in 1838 the Ionian Academy was relocated, and the Statue of Kapodistrias (1887), which is the work of Leonidas Drossis.
10. Anonymous (Greece). The Rectorate of the Ionian University, 1985-2024.
1. Anonymous (Greece). Coat of arms of the United State of the Ionian Islands, c. 1815.
2. Anonymous (Greece). Coat of arms of the Ionian Academy (1824-1864), 1824.
3. Election Diploma of Guilford as President of the Philomuse Society of Athens, 27 May 1814.
4. Diploma from the University of Oxford to Guilford, 30 October 1819.
5. Two publications in The Gentleman’s Magazine, 1819, London.
6. Anonymous (Britain). Bookplate of the Honourable Frederick North, c. 1790.
7. Anonymous (Britain). Bookplate of Frederick North, 5th Earl of Guilford, c. 1820.
8. Two letters from Papadopoulos-Vretos to Guilford with offerings from the Ithacans, c. 1820.
9. Topographic plan of the area of the Ionian Academy in Ithaca, c. 1820.
10. Gerasimos Pitsamanos (1787-1825). Plan of the Ionian Academy in Ithaca, c. 1820.
11. John Hume (England). Architectural plan of the Ionian Academy in Ithaca, c. 1820.
12. John Hume (England). Façade plan of the Ionian Academy in Ithaca, c. 1820.
13. Map of the Old Fortress during the 18th century, showing the Venetian Proveditor’s Palace, 1976.
14. Venetian Land Registry: Venetian Proveditor’s Palace, c. 1790.
15. Sketch of the Venetian Proveditor’s Palace. 1942.
16. Pasqualigo Barracks (π. 1600), Ionian Academy since 1838. Ground plan and façade, 1976.
17. Prospectus of the Schools of the Ionian Academy, c. 1824.
18. Christoforos Filitas epigram dedicated to Guilford for the founding of the Ionian Academy, 1824.
19. Decision of the Parliament for the operation of the Ionian Academy, 24 May 1824.
20. Announcement of the Ionian Academy about the courses of the 2nd academic year, 18 October 1825.
21. Catalogue of Courses of the Ionian Academy, 1 November 1825, Corfu.
22. Anonymous Greek Engraver. Bookplate of Guildford as Rector of the Ionian Academy, c. 1824.
23. Portrait and Letter of Guilford to Papadopoulos-Vretos, 1824.
24. Athanasios Politis. Handbook of the Peer Teaching Method, 1829 Corfu.
25. Christoforos Filitas. Lecture about Kartanos, Damaskinos and Pachomius, 1847 Corfu.
26. Daphne I. D. Kyriaki. Extraordinary Bulletin: Corfu Guildford Archive, 1984.
1. Coat of arms of the British protectorate of the United States of the Ionian Islands (1815-1864), surrounded by the emblems of the islands, clockwise from top: Corfu, Zakynthos, Ithaca, Paxoi, Kythira, Lefkada and Kefalonia.
2. Coat of arms of the Ionian Academy, founded in Corfu in 1824. Courtesy of the book of Nikolaos K. Kourkoumelis, The Education in Corfu during the British Protectorate (1816-1864), Athens: Association for the Dissemination of Greek Letters, 2002, p. 151.
3. Election Diploma of Guilford as President of the Board of Directors of the Philomuse Society of Athens, in Greek, 27 May 1814. Ink on paper, 22 x 33 cm. Courtesy of the Corfu Reading Society, Corfu Old Town. | The Philomuse Society of Athens was founded by the city’s elite and scholars on 1 September 1813. The purpose of the founders was “to see the sciences return to the Lyceum and their ancient Academy”. All the financial contributions of its members were given secretly for the liberation struggle of the Greeks. With Guilford as President from 1814, it came under the support of the English who were interested in expanding their influence in the Mediterranean.
4. The Honorary Certificate in Latin awarded to Guilford by the University of Oxford, 30 October 1819. Overall length:73 cm; vellum:55 x 40 cm; and silver box: 9 x 7 cm. Courtesy of the Rothschild Foundation, Waddesdon, and the Corfu Heritage Foundation, Corfu. | Manuscript on vellum with tasselled ribbon supporting the wax seal of Oxford University within a George III silver-gilt oval box by William Bateman, London. The cover is finely engraved with the coat of arms of the University of Oxford, flanked by a doctoral cap. This important artefact was donated to the Ionian University in 2021 with the joint sponsorship of Lord Jacob Rothschild and Count Spiro Flamburiari.
5. Two cuttings in The Gentleman’s Magazine, London, July to December 1819, Volume LXXXIX, pp. 443-445.
6. Anonymous (Britain). Bookplate of the Honourable Frederick North, Later 5th Earl of Guilford, c. 1790
Etching on paper, 11 x 9 cm (?). Courtesy of The British Library, London.
7. Anonymous (Britain). Bookplate of Frederick North, 5th Earl of Guilford, c. 1820. Etching on paper, 11 x 9 cm (?). Courtesy of Houghton Library, Harvard University, MA. | This heraldic design consists of a shield supported by two dragons rampant, wings elevated, ducally gorged and chained, topped by an earl’s crown. The arms present a lion passant between three fleurs-de-lis. The motto reads “La vertu est la seule noblesse” (virtue is the only nobility). The shield is encircled by the ribbon supporting the badge of the Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George, awarder to Guilford.
8. Two letters of Nikolaos Vretos to Guilford with the offers of the Ithacans for the establishment of the Ionian Academy in Ithaca, c. 1820. Corfu Guilford Archive, Φ Χ 2α-β, pp. 1-2. Courtesy of the Corfu Reading Society, Corfu.
9. Topographic plan of the area where the Ionian Academy would be built in Ithaca, c. 1821. Ink and watercolour on paper, 25 x 40 cm. On the left the names of the owners of the plots; on the right topographic notes on the nature of the soil in relation to the architectural plans. Courtesy of the University of Oxford – Bodleian Library, Oxford.
10. Gerasimos Pitsamanos (Kefalonia, 1787-1825). Plan for the building of the Ionian Academy in Ithaca, c. 1820. Pitsamanos Album, no. inv. 1483/2. Courtesy of the National Historical Museum, Athens.
11. John Hulme (England). Architectural plan for the Ionian Academy building in Ithaca, July 1821. Ink on paper, 50 x 40cm. Courtesy of the University of Oxford – Bodleian Library, Oxford. | Work by the engineer John Hulme in collaboration with Guilford based on a rough drawing by Charles Robert Cockerell RA (1788-1863).
12. John Hulme (England). Drawing of the facade of the building of the Ionian Academy in Ithaca, 1821. Archive of Dimitrios Kollas. Courtesy of the General State Archives – Archives of the Prefecture of Corfu.
13. Map of the Old Fortress during the 18th century. On number 10 is the Venetian Proveditor’s Palace. From the dissertation of Aphrodite Agoropoulou-Birbili, The Architecture of the Town of Corfu, 1976.
14. Venetian Land Registry: Venetian Proveditor’s Palace, c. 1790. Courtesy of the General State Archives – Corfu.
15. Sketch of the Venetian Proveditor’s Palace. From the article Guglielmo De Angelis d’Ossat, “Il volto veneziano di Corfù” in Le vie d’Italia, May 1942, pp. 473-481.
16. Pasqualigo Barracks (π. 1600), Ionian Academy since 1838. Ground plan and façade. From the dissertation of Aphrodite Agoropoulou-Birbili, The Architecture of the Town of Corfu, 1976.
17. Curriculum of the Schools of the Ionian Academy, c. 1824, Corfu (in Italian). Ink and watercolour on paper, 20 x 25 cm. Courtesy of the General State Archives – Archives of the Prefecture of Corfu – Α.Ι.Γ. ΒΟΥΛΗ Φ303-097.
18. Page #372 of the manuscript notebook of Christoforos Filitas with an epigram dedicated to Guilford for the founding of the Ionian Academy and with reference to the names of the professors of the year 1824. Courtesy of the Library of Parliament, Athens
19. The decision of the Parliament for the operation of the Ionian Academy. “Gazzetta”, no. 335, 24 May 1824.
20. Announcement of the Ionian Academy about the beginning of the courses of the 2nd academic year (1825-1826), 18 October 1825, Corfu. Courtesy of the Corfu Reading Society, Corfu.
21. Catalogue of the Courses of the Ionian Academy, 1 November 1825, Corfu. Courtesy of the General State Archives – Archives of the Prefecture of Corfu – ANK / IK / 19/146/1.
22. Anonymous (Greece). Bookplate in Greek of Frederick North, 5th Earl of Guildford, c. 1824. Etching on paper, 3 x 6 cm. Courtesy of St John’s College Cambridge, United Kingdom. | Bookplate in Greek of Guildford, from a 17th century work on Swedish church history by Johannes Baazius (1581-1649). The text reads: “O Archon tes Ionikes Akademias Komes Guilford” (The Chancellor of the Ionic Academy, Earl of Guilford), referring to the Ionian Academy that he was instrumental in founding, owing to his lifelong philhellenism.
23. Portrait and Letter of Guilford to Andreas Papadopoulos-Vretos (1800-1876), Librarian of the Ionian Academy, 20 February 1824, Corfu. Courtesy of the Corfu Reading Society, Corfu. | Guilford, 34 years old, greets his subordinate Papadopoulos-Vretos as a “friend and servant”.
24. Athanasios Politis, Handbook of the Peer Teaching Method, published at the expense of the Government for the use of the Teachers of the Ionian State, 1829 Corfu. Courtesy of the Parliament Library, Athens.
25. Christoforos Filitas. Lecture about Kartanos, Damaskinos and Pachomius. Corfu, GR: From the Government Printers, 1847.
26. Daphne I. D. Kyriaki. Εxtraordinary Bulletin: Corfu Guilford Archive, 1984. Courtesy of the Corfu Reading Society, Corfu. | The “Corfu Guilford Archive” comprises 644 documents that the Corfu Reading Society purchased from the Phillips auction house in London on 2 July 1981. This Archive, whose content relates to the foundation of the Ionian Academy, was compiled by Daphne I. D. Kyriaki in 1984.
SELECTION OF 26 ARTEFACTS FROM THE CORFU GUILFORD ARCHIVE
Φ III 46.- 25.10.1819 | Printed announcement of the book offering from the University of Cambridge to the Ionian Academy, in English.
Φ IV 4.- 5.4.1820 | Printed presentation of the founding of the Ionian Academy in Ithaca, in Italian.
Φ IV 5.- 7.3.1820 | Letter from K. Logothetis to Guilford, in Greek, praising and thanking the English.
Φ IV 11.- 25.3.1820 | Document of the senate of the Ionian State, in Italian, which appoints Guilford lord of the university.
Φ IV 25.- 31.1.1820 | Printed notification in Latin of the book offering from the University of Cambridge to the Ionian Academy.
Φ V 5.- 17.5.1824 | Plan for the founding of the Ionian Academy, in English.
Φ V 14.- 11.11.1824 | Announcement of the Archon of the Academy, in Italian, announcing uniforms, appearance and conduct.
Φ V 17.- 27.12.1824 | Letter from Guilford to D. Schinas (Librarian 1819-1824), in Italian, containing the sender’s coat of arms.
Φ V 20.- 14.2.1825 | Letter from Guilford to A. Batherst, in English, referring to the operation of the Academy.
Φ V 28.- 22.4.1825 | Letter from Guilford to A. Batherst, in English, referring to the secularism of the Academy.
Φ VIII 46.- 30.11.1827 | Letter from F. Adam to anonymous, in English, mentioning Guilford’s death.
Φ VIII 47.- 24.12.1827 | Letter from I. Chronis to anonymous, in Italian, mourning Guilford’s death.
Φ VIII 48.- 27.12.1827 | Letter from Guilford to Sheffield, in French, informing him of Guilford’s instructions for the operation of the library after his death.
Φ VIII 64.- 15.8.1829 | Report by A. Papadopoulos-Vretos, in Italian, on the library.
Φ VIII 66.- 10.1830 | Catalogue of books from the library, in Italian.
Φ IX 6.- after 1819 | Document with text praising Guilford, in Latin.
Φ IX 10.- about 1820 | Document with four verses by hieromonk Daniel Varizios praising Guilford, in Greek and calligraphic.
Φ IX 18.- about 1820 | Document with praise of the hieromonk Manuel Petalas Ioannis for the Kingdom of England, for Great Britain and Guilford, in Greek.
Φ IX 35.- circa 1820 | Hymn, with elements from classical literature, by an anonymous author for Guilford, in Greek.
Φ IX 36.- circa 1820 | A hymn, with 39 verses, for the Greek education of Guilford, by Bernardo Zamania, in Latin.
Δ 1.- 27.5.1814 | Diploma of the election of Guilford as President of the Board of Directors of the Philomuse Society, in Greek.
Δ 2.- 4.3.1817 | Guilford’s certificate from the Italian Academy, in Italian.
Δ 3.- 10.4.1820 | Guilford’s certificate from the Etruscan Academy, in Italian.
Δ 4.- 8.8.1820 | Letter from the University of Cambridge to Guilford, as Chancellor of the Academy, in Latin.
Δ 5.- 19.4.1822 | Guilford’s certificate from the Royal Academy of Lucca, in Italian.
Τ 1.- 13.10.1827 | Guilford’s will, which among other things defines his donations to the Ionian Academy, in English.
• Daphne I. D. Kyriaki. Corfu Guildford Archive. Corfu, GR: Corfu Reading Society, 1984.
Guilford papers about the Ionian Academy in the British Library
Western Manuscripts 1815-1827
Ref: Add MS 88900/1/13-68
Extent: 56 volumes in English, Italian, Modern Greek, French, Latin and Spanish
Creators: North, Frederick, 5th Earl of Guilford, 1766-1827; Lusignan, James, fl 1815-1830, Professor of English in the Ionian Academy.
Contents: By the Treaty of Paris (1815), the Ionian Islands became a protectorate of Great Britain, and in the same year Guilford began discussions about a possible Ionian University with Ioannis Kapodistrias, the Greek diplomat and eventual first head of state of independent Greece. This part of the collection includes many letters relating to the Ionian Academy, from both before and after its foundation in 1824. Guilford’s correspondents on the subject include academics, scientists, the nobility, diplomats, government officials and clergy, mostly Italian but also from throughout Europe. Copies of his own letters and replies are frequently present. There are letters from the following Professors of the Academy: Ioannis Aristeidis, Francis Belfour, Giovanni Carandino, Georgios Falireus, Theoklitos Farmakidis, Christoforos Filitas, Gaetano Grassetti, Leopoldos Joss, Nikolaos Maniakis, Nikolao Piccolo, Athanasios Politis, Stamatello Pylarinos, Konstantinos Sakellaropoulos, Georgio Teriano and Giovanni Turlinos. There are lists of books and scientific equipment purchased for the Academy. There are also numerous Greek and Italian petitions addressed to Guilford (some from refugees), and many letters dealing with administrative matters addressed to Guilford’s assistant, and Professor of English in the Academy, James Lusignan. As part of the valuation of the papers at Christie’s, Guilford’s Greek correspondents were identified and the contents of their letters briefly summarised in English. The slips of paper on which this was done have been retained with the letters; each has been placed immediately after the letter to which it refers.
• 1 letter from Isabella Teotochi Albrizzi (Add MS 88900/1/13) salonnière and intellectual.
• 1 letter from Conte Dionisi de Roma (Add MS 88900/1/49) rector of Corfu and senator in the Ionian Islands.
• 6 letters from Dionysios Salomon (Add MS 88900/1/52) poet and lyricist of the Greek anthem.
• 1 letter from Baron Emmanuel Theotokis (Add MS 88900/1/58) president of the Ionian Senate.
• 45 letters from Spyridon Trikoupis (Add MS 88900/1/61) first Prime Minister of Greece.
Guilford and the Ionian Academy
By Nikolaos K. Kourkoumelis
The issue of education in the Ionian Islands at the beginning of the British Protection faltered due to the inability of the authorities to intervene effectively, the indifference of the upper classes to solve the problem and the inability of the lower classes to intervene actively and in an organised manner (Kourkoumelis 2002:151).
The intellect of the islands was formed by people who belonged to the Church or came from higher social spaces and were in possession of some education. It was understood by them that the existence of a high education was necessary in order to become a refuge of Greek letters and arts for the whole region (ibid. 2002:151).
The reversal of the situation required the will of a personality, Frederick North, 5th Earl of Guilford (1766-1827). His involvement in the education of the area began very early, in his first tour of the area (1791-1792), with the vision of creating a higher school in the Ionian area, which would recall the classical studies in the homeland (ibid. 2002:153). A reply letter from Georgios Prosalentis to Guilford, dated 18 March 1792, testifies to the latter’s intentions to establish the Academy. He was consistent in this vision in his subsequent tours (1810-1813). His efforts were focused on strengthening education in Greece, increasing the number of staff who might be interested in this school and attracting personalities who would create the conditions for the support of such an institution. From 11 January 1817, when he inherited his paternal title and property and became a member of the Upper House, he changed his plans, offering scholarships to distinguished Greeks studying in European universities (Konstantinos Asopios, Ioannis Chroni, Theoklitos Farmakidis, Stylianos Spathis, Christoforos Filitas, Giovani Kavvadia, Nikolaos Maniakis, Rocco Pilarino and Dimitrios Schinas), or by attracting personalities who have already completed their studies and were involved in education (Th. Achilleas, Athanasios Psalidas, Andreas Kalvos and Athanasios Politis) (ibid. 2002:154).
Guilford’s involvement in Greek education is an exemplary case of the results of the fascination with classical studies. A graduate of Eaton and Christ Church College, Oxford, he embarked on a romantic wandering in the sites of classical antiquity that he loved. There, meeting the contemporary Greeks, he fused to them all his need to love people, beyond ideas and ruins, which is why he studied the modern Greek language, embraced Orthodoxy and envisioned the revival of ancient Greek education. Testimonies of his contemporaries show him to have an exaggerated philhellenism, which urged him to state sometimes that he is Greek and not philhellenic and other times that he is not like any of his compatriots and that in England itself he is half Greek, to sign as an Athenian citizen and never to part from the ring with the Athenian owl that the Philomuse Society of Athens donated to him. Thus he won the love and trust of the Greeks (ibid. 2002:154-155).
Guilford held the raw materials needed to undertake such a serious undertaking: administrative and organisational skills, ethics and kindness. For their part, the British considered him a prominent figure as an authority for the Greek education of the time (ibid. 2002:155). Of course, in addition to his personal pressures, he had the support of the invisible actions of the Viceroy Prince of Wales George, who appreciated and honoured him with his friendship, and the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Lord Bathurst, who was his cousin (ibid. 2002:154-156). Guilford seems to have obtained the assurance that he would be entrusted with the establishment of the University from Prince George and Butherst, before May 1819. As early as January of the previous year, he had proceeded with the establishment procedures, gathering information from other Orthodox schools, such as the University of Bucharest, founded by Ignatius of Hungary (ibid. 2002:157).
From the autumn of 1819 he began to appear officially as the holder of the title of Archōn (Chancellor) of the Ionian Academy. On 16 October 1819, with the help of Lord Grenville, he met with the Rector of Oxford University and requested a donation to the Ionian Academy library of all books published by the university press. On 25 October, the donation was decided by the Senate, as well as the award to Guilford with the title of Doctor of Laws (CLD). With this meeting, the contacts of the new Academy with the great British universities were inaugurated and it was the first step for its recognition by the other European ones. On 26 October, the Prince Regent honoured him with the grand cross of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George. After his accession to the throne in January 1820, George IV awarded Guilford the title “Archon” (ibid. 2002:158-159). On 24 February 1820, Maitland sought the approval of the Ionian Parliament to propose to the Senate the award to Guilford of the title that he essentially recognised, as per his wish, as the unpaid coordinator of all education in the Ionian State. On 20 March, Guilford arrived in Corfu. On 25 March, the Senate appointed him “Archon” and on 28 March he took office (ibid. 2002:160).
On 12 April, Guilford submitted a memorandum to the Senate, formally setting out his agenda for the first time. Education had to be divided into three levels. The first belonged to the elementary schools of the cities and the countryside, where religion, reading, writing and arithmetic would be taught. Into the next were the secondary schools of the cities, where Greek, Latin, fine arts, arithmetic, geometry and English would be taught. The Academy, based in Ithaca (ibid. 2002:161), belonged to the third level. In fact, in Corfu, Father Andreas Idromenos stood out, teaching ancient Greek in a secondary school (ibid. 2002:169).
And while in 1821 everything went well with the coveted establishment of the Academy, the outbreak of the Greek Revolution upset the island societies and troubled the British authorities. Following the Conservative government’s policy of neutrality, the Senate passed two extremely strict laws, on 9 April and 7 June 1821, banning all involvement of the Ionians and endorsing imprisonments, exiles and confiscations. These disrupted relations with the residents, who nevertheless refused to comply. The negative climate created by the relentless pursuit of any patriotic movement, suffocating policing, martial law and the execution of patriots now weighed on British-Ionian relations with the Union, even during periods of liberal rule (ibid. 2002). The fact is that Maitland decided not to execute his previous decision, of 17 May 1821, and to freeze the procedures for the establishment of the Academy (ibid. 2002:179). The negative decision forced Guilford to resort to Bathurst. At the suggestion of the latter, on 4 March 1823, Maitland brought the matter back to the Ionian Parliament, presenting his fears and solutions to the problem. In the arguments he used, he stated that the institution originally envisaged in Ithaca, near the rebel sites, would create increased operational and other problems. For this reason, he proposed Corfu as more appropriate, where the Government was able to cede the Headquarters of the Venetian Proveditor in the Old Fortress (ibid. 2002:180). After the convening of Guilford with the views of Maitland, at the suggestion of the Commissioner, it was decided on 29 May to open the Academy within the next year, in 1824, in Corfu (ibid. 2002:181). Despite the solemn announcement of its opening, the public administration did not take care to repair the intended building in the Old Fortress in time, as promised. For this reason, Guilford granted premises of his residence, in the Forestis building, opposite the church of Panagia Spilaiotissa, so that a committee of professors could examine the prospective students there (ibid. 2002:182).
Despite the negative factor of the authorities’ obstructiveness, the issue proceeded thanks to Guilford’s sobriety in dealing with the difficulties, the effectiveness of his decisions and the enthusiasm of those involved in this effort (ibid. 2002:184). In the building of the Academy, in the Old Fortress, the Successive King George, during the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Union, on 21 May 1914, unveiled a commemorative plaque with the following text: The Ionian Academy was founded in this house by the great philhellene Frederick North, Earl of Guilford, on 17 May 1824. Unfortunately, the whole was set on fire by Nazi incendiary bombs in 1943 (ibid. 2002:189).
On 12 May 1824, the Ionian Senate passed the first statutory law of the Academy. On 17 May with a modular ceremony at the Academy, at the church of Panagia Spilaiotissa and again at the Academy, Guilford made the official opening of the former (ibid. 2002:190-191). The ceremony, as described in the Government Gazette and as stated by the Church-Academy dipole, using the Greek language, the orthodox standard, the eastern calendar and the ancient Greek costumes of teachers and teachers designed by Pavlos Prosalentis, presented a strongly Greek Orthodox character (see Add MS 88900/1/47). [The academic attire, as described in detail in the Government Gazette, was common to teachers and students, with differences in colours, headgear and footwear. The philologists wore a tunic made of dark purple and blue cloak, a white wide-brimmed hat, an imitation of the ancient petasos and specially designed sandals. For the Cadets the mantle was white. The teachers wore red sandals with leggings, a ribbon to hold the hair, a tunic and a cloak in different colours by school. Yellow and crimson respectively for Medicine, green and light blue for Philosophy, light blue and violet for Law (these colours were also present in Guilford’s dress as a Doctor of Law, with the distinctive distinction of a narrow black velvet ribbon embroidered on the forehead with gold laurel leaves and bore the owl in the centre. Of course, the clergy maintained their priestly order (ibid. 2002:219).] The official speaker of the ceremony, Christoforos Filitas, connected the new institution with the Greek past and presented the emblem – the Athenian owl on an olive branch to accompany the name “Ionian Academy” (ibid. 2002:192). The celebration ended with a glorious dinner, given by Guilford for all the officials, in the large hall of the academy, which was intended for a library (ibid. 2002:193).
The syllabus included teachers with a great spiritual scope: father Theoklitos Farmakidis to teach the sacred theology from his own manuscripts, father Neofytos Vamvas to teach moral philosophy, Konstantinos Asopios and Christoforos Filitas to teach philology, Hierodeacon Constantinos Typaldos to teach dogmatic theology, ecclesiastical history and sacred catechism, Andreas Kalvos in general philology, Georgios Tourlinos in agronomy and Pavlos Prosalentis to teach sculpture, painting and drawing. Guilford encouraged everyone – philologists, educators and teenagers – to attend secular music lessons by deacon professor Ioannis Aristides, who delivered, according to the programme, church music lessons (ibid. 2002:222). In addition, he defended more so than the members of the Senate the predominance in the Academy of the modern Greek language (ibid. 2002:229).
Along with the Academy, Guilford organised the Library, the Botanical Garden, the Public School of Fine Arts, the School of Architecture and Calligraphy, the Main Hall, the Restaurant and the Foreign Language Schools. (ibid. 2002:204). Kalvos undertook to organise, record and publish Guilford’s manuscript collection. In the codicle of his will of 13 October 1827, Guilford stipulated that he bequeathed to the Academy all books, manuscripts, scientific utensils and the collection of 20,000 copies of ancient coins (ibid. 2002:205). However, after his death and the Ionian State’s refusal to accept the terms of the codicle, Lord Sheffield’s hereditary nephew demanded the return of those belonging to his uncle, even books from the university library that had not been personally donated to him. The inaction of the Ionian authorities in this case has not been adequately explained. The British authorities had every reason not to want to burden the state budget with the implementation of such an ambitious Greek programme, which would further lead to the creation of a large group of educated Greeks, who later would not be easy to control politically. However, the great responsibilities for the mismanagement of Guilford’s legacy belong primarily to the Ionian Parliament and the Senate (ibid. 2002:206). In addition, the rapid integration of the Botanical Garden in the walled area of the old monastery of Saint Justina in Kastrades (present-day Garitsa) into everyday Corfiot life and its preference for a promenade did not prevent the deterioration of its educational value immediately after Guilford’s death and its gradual neglect (ibid. 2002:208). The same happened at the Public School of Fine Arts after the untimely death of Prosalentis. And the School of Architecture and Calligraphy, headed by Antonios Villas, did not receive any privilege from the administration and therefore withered.
It should be noted that the founding of the Academy was hailed by the Greek revolutionaries as a parallel effort to their own for the reconstruction of the Nation (ibid. 2002:217). However, as a Torry, Guilford was concerned about the spread of the ideas of the French Revolution and feared the possibility of their prevalence in Greece, in which case the policies of Greece would shift. Guilford’s political views are useful in interpreting the Academy’s ideological orientation and the education it offers (ibid. 2002:218-219).
Guilford’s personal radiance, the reputation of the professors’ wisdom, codes of conduct and the academic attire eventually, despite the British comments, gave the Academy prestige and organised the foundations of an academic community that, while its beginning in the European space was completely different, with Guilford’s manipulations, its Greek Orthodox characteristics approached the established European university practices, foreshadowing a harmonious coexistence (ibid. 2002:231).
The Ionian Academy, according to Guilford, did not belong to the Ionian State but to the Panhellenic one and its purpose was not only the education of the inhabitants of the Ionian, but the preparation of the necessary, for the reconstruction of the Greek nation, scientific staff, until the founding of the new Greek state and the organisation of its schools. On the contrary, Commissioner Adam was of the opinion that the aim was the education of the Ionian youth and that the state was not obliged, nor authorised, to establish an institution beyond its needs and capabilities (ibid. 2002:254-255).
Adam’s refusal to comply with the terms of the Guilford’s will and the reversal of all the concessions he had made to him a few months earlier, with the freezing of education costs and the non-ratification of the new seats of the Academy, reveal his intentions to the rehabilitation of Ionian State professors and their alignment with the interests of British foreign policy (ibid. 2002:260).
The formal independence of the Ionian Islands from the British protection regime and their integration into the Greek State, with the union of the two states, deprived the Ionian area of the highest and higher schools, offering the possibility of restoring the national dignity of the inhabitants. 2002:434). The cachexias of the national educational system were strongly presented in the Ionian Islands as well. This is not only due to the misfortune of Greek public education, but also to the lack of ideological framework and the absence, especially by the rural population and the working class, of faith in the value of education. This is primarily the responsibility of the English authorities, who did not want, for political and class reasons, to intensify their efforts to create parameters that would cultivate another mentality, which would favour the development of education and greater participation in it. Of course, the “Liberal Ionian Parliaments” also have responsibilities to some extent, which, considering the noble goals and visions for national restoration, national unity and the Great Idea, put education at the centre of their criticism and included higher education in their playing field, especially the Academy (ibid. 2002:435).
Nikolaos K. Kourkoumelis. Education in Corfu during the British Protection (1816-1864). Athens, GR: Association for the Dissemination of Greek Letters, 2002.
Frederick North – Praise of a Great Philhellene
By Dr. Nikolaos K. Kourkoumelis, Lieutenant General
Two hundred years have passed since the second tour in the area, of the multilingual traveller and collector of antiquities and manuscripts British philhellene, who remained in the national memory as “Lord Guilford”. This is Frederick North, 5th Earl of Guilford (7 February 1766 – 14 October 1827), known until 1817, who inherited the title “Earl” as “Honourable Frederick North”, the youngest son of Prime Minister Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford (1732-1792, during whose prime ministership, 1770-1782, was the War of American Independence).
With Zakynthos, apart from the social relations created by his periodic stay, he is also connected by relations of friendship, protection and collaboration with the intellectual community. He was the patron of Andreas Kalvos, Stylianos Spathis, Georgios Therianos, Nikogiorgos Kokkinis (later metropolitan of Zakynthos Nikolaos), Nikolaos Madrikardis, Spyridon Rosolymos, Spyridon Garzonis, Spyridon Mondinos, Dimitrios Makris, Georgios Tsoukalas, Spyridon Skourtas, Dimitrios Konitopoulos, Panagiotis Fourtounis, Dionysios Varotsis, Spyridon Sidirokastritis, Georgios Varvias, Nikolaos Kourtis, Konstantinos Spathis, Nikolaos Goustis, but also a friend and correspondent of Dionysios Solomos, the abbot of Skopiotissa Konstantinos Logothetis, Dionysios Voultzos and Pavlos Merkatis. Abusively to the Zakynthians who benefited from Guilford must be added Gaetano Grassetti, the second husband of Adelaide Carvella, the supposed “Donna Velata”, who took the position of professor at the Ionian Academy thanks to the brokerage of Dionysios Solomos, who was the bridesmaid at their wedding.
After his studies, Guilford represented Banbury in the House of Commons from 1792 to 1794 and then held the positions of secretary to the Regent of Corsica, Sir Gilbert Elliot (1795-1796) and first Governor of Ceylon (1798-1805). He toured Europe and the Middle East, staying for long periods in Italy and Greece. He particularly studied the Greek Orthodox world and in 1791 in Corfu, embraced Orthodoxy and was named Dimitrios. He also became a member of various European academies and President of the “Philomuse Society of Athens” (1814).
Perhaps during his first tour of the area (1791-1792), that is long before the relevant experiments of the French Republicans, or during subsequent tours (1810-1813), he envisioned the establishment of a higher school in the Ionian Islands with which the classical studies would be revived in the homeland and Greece would regain its ancient splendour. This vision defined his whole life. So when, after the death of his second-born brother, he inherited his paternal title and property (approximately 11,000 British pounds per annum), increasing his political and economic potential, he focused his efforts on strengthening education in Greece, on the financial support of those who wished to complete their studies and to attract personalities who, either individually or through scientific associations (such as the Philomuse Society of Athens and the British Academy of Zakynthos) would create the conditions for support of such an institution.
After the settlement of the British in the region, the establishment of the British protectorate “United States of the Ionian Islands” (1815) and the granting of the Constitution of 1817, he changed tactics and now offered scholarships to distinguished Greeks studying in European universities (K. Asopios , Th. Farmakidis, Chr. Filitas, N. Maniakis, I. Chronis, D. Schoinas, Sp. Trikoupis etc.), or attracted personalities who had already completed their studies and were engaged in education (A. Kalvos, St. Spathis, T. Achilleas, A. Psalidas, A. Politis etc.).
Prior to May 1819, he received from George, Prince of Wales and regent, and the Secretary of War and Colonies Lord Bathurst the assurance that he would be entrusted with the establishment of the University in Corfu, provided for in article 23 of the 1817 Constitution, a fact that was confirmed in January / February 1820 with the award of the title “Archon, Chancellor of the project University” and the Grand Cross of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George. Following this, on 25 March 1820, the Ionian Senate, at the suggestion of the High Commissioner, Lieutenant General Sir Thomas Maitland, appointed Guildford “Lord” of education, a virtually unpaid coordinator of all public education and not just the university.
Guilford’s involvement in Greek education is an exemplary case of the results of the fascination with classical studies. A graduate of Eaton and Oxford, he had become a man in the climate of the so-called “British Enlightenment”. With his tours, however, he had created his own theories. In addition to his warm philhellenism, which urged him to declare that he was “Greek and not Philhellenic” and made him enthusiastically accepted by the Greeks, Guilford had the raw material to undertake such a serious undertaking: political access, huge fortune, administrative and organisational skills, ethos and noble character.
After much adversity, raised by the protectorate and Maitland himself, Guilford organised public education in the Ionian State, creating three cycles of education: Lower, Middle and Higher. In the lower one, attended by boys and girls in all the big villages and cities, he introduced the peer teaching system of Bell and Lancaster, as harmonised with the Greek needs by his collaborator Athanasios Politis. In the Middle he created eight “secondary” schools in the capitals of the islands and Lixouri. In the Higher he operated a university, the “Ionian Academy” (the first of the European type in the Near and Middle East) with four faculties: Theology, Law, Medicine and Philosophy, inviting his old fellows to teach: I. Karantinos, N. Pikkolos, K. Asopios, Th. Farmakidis, Chr. Filitas, G. Therianos, N. Maniakis, G. Ioannidis, I. Louzinian, A. Politis, A. Kalvos, St. Spathis, K. Typaldos-Iakovatos, P. Karousos, St. Maratos, I. Aristidis, G. Tourlinos, St. Pylarinos, G. Sordinas. At the same time he organised institutions supervised by the university: the University Library (under the direction of Andreas Papadopoulos-Vretos), the Botanical Garden (under the direction of Stylianos Spathis), the Public School of Fine Arts (under the direction of Pavlos Prosalentis) and the School of Arcjitecture and Calligraphy (under the direction of Antonios Villas). At the same time, the Student Restaurant and the Foreign Language Tutoring Centres operated.
Guilford had acquired a large personal collection of books, publications, and manuscripts. He submitted these to the Academy so that with donations from Greeks and philhellenes and the existing in Corfu from the period of the Ionian State “Library of the Nation” to create a large University Library. He appointed Andreas Kalvos responsible for the cataloguing and publishing of the manuscripts. After his death, the library was handed over to the representatives of the “Archon”’s heir (his nephew by his sister) Earl of Sheffield, thanks to the commissioner Sir Frederick Adam, who did not comply with the provisions of Guildford’s will, who sold it in London in seven auctions between 1828 and 1835. Many of them, fortunately, were bought by the British Museum and are now available to researchers.
Guilford’s personal radiance, the reputation of the professors’ wisdom, the staff’s codes of conduct, the teaching of the modern Greek language (which he warmly endorsed in his addresses to the Ionian Senate consisting of Greeks) and the archaic university attire, despite the British comments that circles of the protectorate provoked, gave prestige to the Ionian University and organised the foundations of a special university community in the European region. Thanks to Guilford’s manipulations, its strong Greek Orthodox characteristics resembled the established European practices, foreshadowing a harmonious coexistence and a brilliant development. The historical approach of these two factors at the University of Corfu, is directly related to its founder, whose presence extended beyond the teachers and at social and political levels, produced models of behaviour with Hellenism and Orthodoxy as its main elements and built the mentality of a large social group. This group very soon redefined the spiritual, social and political parameters of the island societies in highly national and patriotic directions.
The complete changes, which had as their first goal the Greek character of the institution and the regression, which followed Guilford’s death, but also the possibilities given to the Protection to reformulate its original question whether the Greek Ionian University is useful to it, are the strongest evidence of the value of Guilford’s presence at the Archonship of the Ionian Academy and the Greekness of his intentions. The Protectorate’s objections to the operation of a higher education institution as Guilford intended it are summed up in the views of Commissioner Adam “…all his aspirations are Greek and there is nothing in the whole institution that can strengthen, to a minimum, or improve, the relations between the protected and the protective force…”
Today the memory of this great man is honoured in Corfu with a main road, the marble statue that has been erected in the municipal thicket and his portrait in the new “Ionian University” (The two busts and the portrait that existed in the old Ionian Academy were destroyed by the arson of 14 September 1943, caused by the Luftwaffe air raid). In “blissful Zakynthos”, where the monuments are systematically desecrated and the names of the streets are abused, fortunately there is neither a road nor a monument in his honour.
This article was published in the hyperlink www.ermisnews.gr.
The Ionian Academy:
The Chronicle of the Founding of the First Greek University (1811-1824).
By Helen Angelomatis-Tsougarakis
The Ionian Academy was a real Greek university, because that is how its founder, Frederick North, 5th Earl of Guildford, envisioned it. It was an institution that addressed all Greeks and aspired to be the centre of the rebirth of Letters and Sciences in Greece. It was manned with teaching staff, the majority of whom were Greeks, and its main language was Greek (Angelomatis-Tsougarakis 1997:1).
The anecdotal material comes from Guilford’s personal archive, which is scattered in libraries and archives in England and Greece (British Library, Bodleian Library, Centre for Kentish Studies, Corfu Guildford Archive), but also from the correspondence of other persons, as well as from official reports, references and documents in the Public Record Office of London and the Archive of the Ionian Senate in the Archives of the Prefecture of Corfu and in the National Library of Greece (ibid. 1997:2).
Guilford’s interest in establishing schools in Greece had been manifested in actual fact since 1791. On his first voyage to the Ionian Islands and the west coast of Epirus he had founded one school in Preveza and one in Mani. It also seems that he had expressed interest in establishing a school in Corfu, judging by a point in the letter of 18 March 1792 sent to him by Georgios Prosalentis. […] The first seed of the idea of founding a Higher School in the Ionian Islands seems to have been implanted in his mind in 1811, when he visited Ithaca again almost 20 years after his first voyage. […] In a letter from Constantinople dated 30 May 1811 to his son-in-law Lord Sheffield, he writes that the people of Ithaca were eager for the establishment of a High School on their island. The intense desire of the Ithacans obviously started the British philhellene, who was an ardent supporter of any form of education, as evidenced by the earlier establishment of schools in Greece and Ceylon (ibid.1997:3).
Guilford’s first securely dated actions for founding of a university took place almost simultaneously. On 8 April 1813, while waiting for his departure from Zakynthos for England after the end of his long voyage to the Eastern Mediterranean, he wrote to his son-in-law Lord Sheffield asking him to prepare the ground for a proposal he intended to make to Lord Bathurst. and former British Foreign Secretary, and Lt. Castlereagh, his successor in the same ministry. He wanted to suggest to the British government to allow the most educated Greeks to settle in Ithaca to set up an Academy there. This would be done without state burden. And he added to his letter: “It is sin and shame that no protection has been afforded by us to Greek Literature since we have had the Islands” (ibid. 1997:4).
Guilford should have considered that he would easily secure the approval of his government for the establishment of a Higher School, because before leaving Greece he was already busy finding suitable teachers for its manning (ibid. 1997:6).
[In 1811] Gregorios Konstantas praised Guilford’s “most beneficial and thiophilic” work, stating that anyone who collaborated on it would have the blessing of all Greeks and “other philanthropic nations” (ibid. 1997:8).
Guilford was first informed of the names of Konstantinos Asopios and Christoforos Filitas, who later became his fellow scholars and later professors of the academy, by the recommendations of Nikolaos Zografos in a letter dated 22 November 1815 from Trieste (ibid. 1997:14).
Guilford sent a letter to Maitland from Rome on 6 February 1816 (Centre for Kentish Studies, Guilford’s Papers, U471 C116/5), expressing clearly and honestly his feelings for Greece, his plans for the establishment of the university in Ithaca and his views on issues of British educational policy in Zakynthos (ibid. 1997:18). He also referred to the ancient plan to gather in Ithaca scholars Greeks who were scattered all over the world – “to contribute their talents and their labour to the formation of a national University, within the magic circle of their country, and under the protection of a powerful and enlightened Government” (ibid. 1997:20).
In his dissertation, The Political Situation of the Ionian Islands, which he wrote in London in 1817, Ugo Foscolo mentions Ithaca as the most suitable place to host the university, because it was the least crowded of the islands and less influenced by foreign customs and traditions. (ibid. 1997:23).
An undated and unsigned document, written in Italian, entitled “Alcune idee sulle Scuole Elementari e su di un Collegio negli Stati Uniti delle Isole Ionie” (Some ideas on Elementary Schools and a College in the United States of the Ionian Islands) (Corfu Guildford Archive, FIX 12), is the first plan for public education and undoubtedly authored by Guilford (ibid. 1997:25).
According to Guilford, public education should embrace all Greek youth of every class (ibid. 1997:27). In addition, he considered it appropriate to organise a girls’ school under the guidance of women, where the appropriate arts and the principles of religion and ethics would be taught (ibid. 1997:28).
Guilford acknowledged that the most important thing for public education was to create a library with the necessary books for students (ibid. 1997:31).
The section of proposals of the plan for public education in the Ionian Islands closed with the assurance that any disadvantages would be forgivable due to his immense love for the Greek nation (ibid. 1997:33).
Guilford aspired to organise the university in the best possible way, so he collected information about the existing regulations of other universities, such as the School of Bucharest and Chios (ibid. 1997:35).
Kapodistrias called Guilford in his letters (British Library, Add. Ms 41535) “our great Greek” (ibid. 1997:40).
In a letter to Sheffield’s son-in-law dated 19 May 1819 (British Library, Add. Ms 61983), Guilford referred to the university as “my University”, indicating how he perceived it; it was for him a creation. his work (ibid. 1997:41).
In 1819 Guilford was appointed Chancellor of the University of the Ionian Islands by the Viceroy of Britain. On this occasion it was proposed to the Assembly of the University of Oxford, of which he was a graduate, to be awarded the title of Doctor of Civil Law with a diploma (CLD), and to donate to the library of the Ionian Academy all the books printed by the university press and fell into its interests (ibid. 1997:42). This information was published in journals – The Gentleman’s Magazine, from July to December, 1819, vol. LXXXIX (being the 12th of a new Series), London 1819, pp. 443-445 and Révue Encyclopédique de Paris, vol. III, August 1819, p. 372.
A. Papadopoulos-Vretos writes that, as Athanasios Politis himself told him, the amount he received from Kapodistrias was 5,000 francs [to buy the equipment of a Chemistry laboratory] (Mémoires biographiques, Paris 1837-1838, vol. I, d. 136).
In a letter from Venice on 25 January 1819, Guilford advised Asopios to study in Gottingen the “analytical method of Europe” in the teaching of ancient classical writers, with a view to enabling the future introduction of Greek space (ibid. 1997:46).
In 1819, Guilford, through Asopios, secured the collaboration of Theoklitos Farmakidis [as a theological teacher at the Academy], with whom he had met in Vienna (ibid. 1997:46).
Farmakidis introduced Stylianos Spathis [as a medical teacher at the Academy] to Guilford (ibid. 1997:49, 56).
According to Georgios Typaldos-Iakovatos, Asopios and Filitas undermined the recruitment of Athanasios Psalidas, their old teacher, as they viewed with suspicion the recruitment of Konstantinos Oikonomos and Benjamin of Lesbos. Their attitude probably reflected a perception similar to that expressed by Nikolaos Zografos’ letter to Guilford on 22 November 1815 from Trieste (Centre for Kentish Studies, Guilford’s Papers, U471 C10/2 and C115/62), which radically separated the new generation of scholars educated in Europe from the teachers of the older generation (ibid. 1997:54). Asopios may have reacted to the hiring of certain scholars but at the same time mediated for the selection of others from his own environment, well-educated as well, such as Filitas and Konstantinos-Kyrillos Liverios (ibid. 1997:55).
Georgios Ioannidis, who had been introduced to Guilford by letter from Paris in 1820, was included as a mathematics teacher at the Academy (ibid. 1997:57).
In 1820, Guilford undertook the expenses of studies in Paris of Ioannis Karantinos, who at the end of his studies collaborated with the Academy (ibid. 1997:58).
The choice of the British government as early as 1813, which Maitland had adopted, but not the desired solution for Guilford, was that the University would be based in Kefalonia (ibid. 1997:66).
On 7 March 1820, Konstantinos Logothetis, abbot of the monastery of Skopos in Zakynthos, wrote to Guilford offering his monastery, which had many buildings, to become “a common lyceum” (ibid. 1997:68).
On 12 February 1820, Guilford toured the islands to inspect the schools and to finally decide on the seat of the academy. He himself described his journey and the academy in a letter to his son-in-law, Lord Sheffield, written in Ithaca on 22 March (British Library, Add. MS 61983, p. 73). The earl wrote that Agios Georgios of Kefalonia was a place completely unsuitable for the seat of the academy. He still considered Ithaca as the appropriate place for this purpose (ibid. 1997:69). Immediately after his return to Corfu, on 12 April 1829, Guilford submitted an extensive memorandum to the Secretary of the Senate, Sidney G. Osborn (G.S.A. Corfu Department, Ionian Senate Archive, Guilford – Educational, file 1. no. 6), in which he set out the results of his tour and his plans for the academy. Corfu, as the capital, had advantages, but was unsuitable as a source of temptations that distract students from strict ethics and intensive study and the harsh economy (ibid. 1997:71). Kythira was remote and Paxoi were small. Ithaca presented all the advantages of the other islands without the disadvantages (ibid. 1997:73). Although Ithaca was not chosen in the end, it was a fact that the whole of Europe, and especially England, had a great interest in it (ibid. 1997:74).
Although, as he stated, Guilford did not intend to make the ancient Greek language the colloquial of the country, nevertheless, he always considered as the main goal of the institution the progress and the dissemination of its knowledge (ibid. 1997:76).
Guilford attached great importance to the issue of discipline and wanted to secure in time the legislation that would give senior academic teachers investigative jurisdiction to immediately stifle any indiscipline and any phenomenon of anomaly and irregularity (ibid. 1997:78)
Maitland’s approach to the academy under establishment was malicious in order to undermine Guilford (ibid. 1997:85).
Maitland’s letter to Bathurst from 20 October 1820 (G.S.A. – Ionian Senate Archive, Guilford – Educational, vol. 1, no. 9) contains the first clear hint of the reaction of a portion of the noble Ionians to the plan of founding the academy, a reaction that continued in the following years in a much more intense and obvious way (ibid. 1997:86).
Guilford was not optimistic about the fate of his proposals; he knew there were reactions, but that did not deter him. In a letter of 27 December 1821 to D. G. Schoinas (Corfu Guildford Archive, Φ V 17) he expressed doubt whether the government would adopt his proposals because of “the Erinyes, the Demons and the Satyrs who found the time to pour out against the poor institution and its commander” (ibid. 1997:91).
For the construction of the academy in Ithaca, Guilford had seen, as he writes in a letter of 27 March 1821 to his sister (British Library, Add. MS 61983, pp. 112-123), a plan he had made for this purpose. Pitsamanos, but did not intend to follow it. He preferred to build his own with the help of the English engineer John Hulme, using as a basis a rough drawing by the famous architect and traveller Charles Robert Cockrell (1788-1863) (ibid. 1997:92).
The building was of Doric style, with a portico in front of the main entrance. The layout of the 11 classrooms was around 18 columns. At the back of the building there was a meeting room and a library. The amphitheatre is not depicted, since it had not been designed yet (ibid. 1997:93).
From the topographic diagram it appears that the intended area for the University was enclosed to the east by the road leading to Vathy and to the west by the road to Perachori (ibid. 1997:94).
Next were the events in revolutionary Greece to have a negative effect on the progress of the plans for the academy. The possibility of riots in the Ionian Islands alone presented an excellent pretext for the suspension of work for the academy (ibid. 1997:94).
On 14 May 1822, by order of Maitland and under the pretext of the events in Greece, the decision to purchase land for the establishment of the Academy in Ithaca was revoked (ibid. 1997:96).
It is said that Guilford did not see the outbreak of the Greek Revolution with pleasure, because, if nothing else, it caused all his plans for the Academy to be overturned. Moreover, an extremely conservative himself, he could not see with a good eye an uprising, much more so since he believed that the road to the rebirth of Greece had to first pass through education and the previous rebirth of letters and arts. Despite these claims, archival information provides a different picture and proves that his attitudes towards the Revolution were completely different (ibid. 1997:98).
One of the sources states that Guilford was one of the persons that Petros Ipitis met in London to ask for his assistance in the Struggle, which he promised him (ibid. 1997:99).
Guilford’s writings show his dislike of the Filiki Eteria, as well as that of most of his contemporaries in Britain for all sorts of secret societies (ibid. 1997:101).
In collaboration with Spyridon Trikoupis, Guilford was one of the pioneers of the formation of the English party in 1824-1825 and supported the candidacy of Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, or Duke of Sussex, for the throne of Greece (ibid. 1997:101).
In 1826-1827 Guilford is said to be involved first in the issue of the election of Kapodistrias as Governor and then in the attempt to financially support the body of Church during the siege of the Acropolis and then after it (ibid. 1997:10).
In a letter of his to Alexandros Mavrokordatos written in Zakynthos on 1 March 1823 in Greek, Guilford writes: “I believe, and I am probably sure, that the homeland wants and from now on is guided by the same spirit of wisdom and stability, which attracted all the philhellenes with the most useful and safe hopes. The bravery of Greece destroyed the bad preventions of those who thought that it had fallen from its old heroism. Now it is up to her to refute and the prevailing idea in many, that the struggle she underwent is based on dangerous and turbulent bases, bases very subversive for her true happiness.” (ibid. 1997:102).
Guilford’s attitudes towards the Struggle are presented positively, albeit diplomatically. The tone of the instructions regarding the ideological identity of the Revolution is clear (ibid. 1997:102).
On 6 March 1823, Maitland officially proposed the revocation of the decision for the establishment of the Academy in Ithaca, indirectly expressing his preference for Corfu as a suitable place for its establishment (Papadopoulos-Vretos 1846:67). Forced by the circumstances, Guilford had to adapt to the new facts (ibid. 1997:111).
The reaction especially of the nobles of Corfu to the choice of an Ionian Island, as the seat of the Academy, became the reason for the abandonment of the original plans for Ithaca and determined the decision of Maitland for Corfu. And when the Academy started operating in Corfu, the nobles did not send their children to study there. (ibid. 1997:112). The Ionian aristocracy sabotaged Guilford to condemn the future Academy to decay (ibid. 1997:113).
The Legislative Corps took a decision on 29 May 1823 authorising the government to open the Academy in Corfu (Gazzetta, no. 284, 26 May / 7 June 1823 / Angelomatis-Tsougarakis 1997:126).
Classes were still held in the old private dining room of the Commissioner. […] The establishment of the Academy in the Old Fortress took place in January 1824, after Maitland’s death and with the approval of the new Commissioner Sir Frederick Adam. In a letter to his sister dated 18 December 1823, Guilford stated that he was going to move the next one to his new apartment in the Old Fortress together with Trikoupis and Lusignan. In his old apartment, in Forestis’ house next to the church of Spilaiotissa, lessons were already taking place and it is not known when they stopped (Papadopoulos-Vretos 1846:74-78 / Angelomatis-Tsougarakis 1997:136).
Although Guilford liked the idea of free education, he understood Maitland’s view that students should pay a fixed tuition fee to each teacher because that would stimulate his efforts (ibid. 1997:141).
In the Ionian Islands, the old view prevailed that Greek was the language of the uneducated people and Venetian was the language of the aristocracy (ibid. 1997:154).
Guilford believed that in no other part of Europe could one learn the Greek language so correctly and quickly. […] Such an institution was undoubtedly necessary (ibid. 1997:155).
Guilford considered that the future development of the Academy would be positive and hoped that he would convince the new Commissioner that with a little effort and moderate expenditure on the part of the government would ensure the operation of an institution absolutely necessary for the happiness of the people of the Ionian Islands, which would contribute a lot to the progress of knowledge and would honour his administration (ibid. 1997:156).
In a letter to Lord Bathurst dated 25 January 1824 (Corfu Guildford Archive, Φ V 3 / Historical Manuscripts Commission: Report on the Manuscripts of Earl Bathurst, preserved at Cirencester Park, pp. 562-563), Guilford refers to the reluctance of nobles to make education accessible to the middle classes through the national language (learning should be kept out of the reach of the middling classes by means of the national language). In the following letter from 6 February 1824, he corrected that the opinion of the nobles and the powerful of the land was gradually changing and that it was expressed more favourably for the Academy (ibid. 1997:157).
Every day the number of students increased and their progress in all areas was great. All this consoled Guilford, encouraged him and connected him even more with the Academy (ibid. 1997:158).
G. Typaldos-Iakovatos blamed the Academy for the difficulties faced by the government. “And what is this government doing that is not heard, while the Academy opens with such a bang in its territory? It was silently bullying to spoil what zeal and philogeny were building. Every other government did not want to endure the seizure of the glory of letters; but not this one, but it was not ashamed to publish in its newspaper the other language that it expects everything from the generosity of the Earl of Guilford.” And below he accuses the Corfiots. “The people of Corfu viewed with incomparable insensitivity the Academy at their place, while its reputation was contradicted in all the other Hellenism. They did not want to understand that they now had to be completely Hellenic, that they had to wean their children from foreign milk.” (ibid. 1997:159).
On 24 May 1824, the decision of the Legislative Corps for the establishment of the Ionian Academy was taken and it was published on the same day as its official opening ceremony. The first article stipulated that four Faculties would operate in the Academy:1. Theology; 2. Law; 3. Medicine and 4. Philosophy. The second article stated that the government reserved the right to determine the number of seats for each of them. The third article defined the number and names of the authorities and organs of the Academy: Archon, Superintendent, Archimandrite, Lawyer, Doctor, Orator, Chief Secretary, Arch Guardian, Librarian, Archivist and Guardian (ibid. 1997:172).
The Academy was inaugurated on 29 May 1824 (ibid. 1997:173).
In a letter to Sidney J. Osborne on 24 May 1824, Guilford proposed that the office of Curator goes to Karantinos, that of Rector to Filitas and that of General Secretary to Lusignan, as well as approve the construction of the Academy seal and a staff as the emblem of authority, which would be borne by the Archon of the Academy during the exercise of his duties (ibid. 1997:173-174).
In a government decision of 15 November 1824, the University is mentioned as an Academy (ibid. 1997:173-175).
After Guilford’s death, those who reacted to the founding and operation of the Academy found the opportunity to undermine it (ibid. 1997:176).
The students of each Academy will wear a separate academic uniform, the “tribuna”, which will separate them from each other and from the citizens. The professors will also wear a similar academic dress in the traditions and ceremonies, the Academician will be particularly distinguished because he will “bring more insignia” (ibid. 1997:182).
On 17 May 1824, Guilford submitted to the government the draft for the Organisation and Regulations for the Academy (ibid. 1997:183). The Ionian Academy would include four Schools: 1. Theological, 2. Law, 3. Medicine and 4. Philosophy. Each School would give the following degrees: 1. Doctor, 2. Master of Arts and 3. Bachelor. Students would generally be called Philologists, except for those students of Theology who have been ordained and would be called Readers. Those young people who did not have the required level of knowledge of ancient and modern Greek would be called Ephebes and would be under the supervision of the preparatory teacher. The principles of the Academy would be the following: 1. Chief Physician, 2. Superintendent, 3. Archimandrite, 4. Lawyer, 5. Chief Physician, 6. Orator and Dean, 7. Secretary, 8. Arch Guardian and 9. Guardian. The Senate would consist of the Archimandrite, Lawyer, Chief Physician, Orator, Secretary and Arch Guardian with the Curator as President. The Archon would be the head of the administration of the Academy and his position would be unpaid. The Superintendent, who would be one of the teachers, would be appointed each year by the government, before the feast of the Ascension, on the recommendation of the Archon. The Archimandrite would be the head of the ecclesiastical organisation of the Academy and president of the assembly of the Theological School. The Guardian would chair the assembly of the Law School. The Chief Physician would be the chairman of the assembly of the Medical School. The Orator and the Dean would be one of the philologists and his office would be rotated by the professors of Greek Philology. He would give all the speeches on behalf of the foundation. He would introduce those who were going to receive a degree, make the appeals, arrange the ceremonies and take special care of the examinations for obtaining a degree and the observance of the formulas and regulations of the institution. The Secretary would co-sign all the acts of the institution and carry out all his correspondence. The Arch Guardian would be responsible for maintaining order at the institution. (ibid. 1997:184-185). The Guardian would be responsible for the care and guarding of the Academy mansion. The Archivist would keep the minutes of the Commencement, the Curator and the Academy. The Crier would serve the needs of the Academician (sic), the Superintendent and the Arch Guardian. They would wear a classic garment and bear a white staff as a symbol of their place. A candidate student at the Ionian Academy could be any person of any country, or religion, provided that he would prove that: 1. He has reached the age of 14, 2. He has the financial means to maintain her/himself properly in Corfu during of her/his studies, and 3. He is a person of good character and good reputation (ibid. 1997:192). At the appointed day and time of the examinations, the Commencement would be held behind closed doors, possibly in the presence of specific guests – the Commissioner, members of the Senate and the Supreme Court and those who had received a doctorate from the Ionian Academy. The candidate would come and be examined by the members of the School of which he requested to receive the degree. After the examination, all guests, as well as the candidate, would retire and the School would decide. If someone answered extremely well he would be called “Eligible”, if less well, but still above average “Scholar” and if good enough to receive a degree “Scientist”. If he was rejected because he was completely inadequate, he could return next year. The day after the exams, the Academy would meet in the ceremonial hall chaired by the Archon. The Orator and the Dean would introduce in order the candidates, first the Eligible ones, then the Scholars and finally the Scientists, who would receive from the Archon’s hands the chlamys (toga) with the colour of their School to surround it. Then the Archivist would give everyone their degree. Those wishing to receive the title of “Perfect” would have to apply for it after one year and undergo a similar examination, unless the candidate had to demonstrate some proof of exceptional value. The Perfect would receive the tribonion (himation) from the hands of the Archon. The Archon would award the title publicly with a ribbon that would have the colour of the corresponding School (ibid. 1997:194-195).
The acts for which it was necessary to impose punishment with limited time and intellectual work in the Old Fortress were the following: 1. Creating and spreading falsehoods for any member of the Academy; 2. Provoking and conducting a duel; principles of the ruling class, government and ethics, whether disrespectful, immoral, or insurgent debates; 4. Establishment of any secret society; 5. Participation in gambling; 6. Intoxication; disrespect for the superiors of either the Academy or the State, and disobedience to their legal orders; 9. Lack of respect for superiors; 10. Obvious and violent resistance to academic principles; 11. Encouragement of younger students 12. Debt settlement of more than one hundred tallera without the express authorisation of the parents, guardians, or the Archon of the Academy; 13. Breach of peace; 14. Breach of peace of the families with whom they lived by attempting to have illicit relations with the women of the family (ibid. 1997:198-199).
The Academy will have an emblem, something like a coat of arms, to be engraved on its seal and on what belonged to it. For this purpose, a glaukê (owl) would be suitable to hold a laurel branch in the nails of the right foot (ibid. 1997:201).
Guilford instructed Pavlos Prosalentis to design the ancient academic attire with separate colours that each School would wear (ibid. 1997:202).
Guilford’s sudden death resulted in the abandonment of the Organisation that he wanted to apply to the Academy (ibid. 1997:204).
On 29 May 1824, the official opening of the Ionian Academy took place. […] The opening ceremony took place with all formality. […] The ceremony is known from the publication of its description in the Gazette, which is accompanied by the well-known charming copperplate of the procession (ibid. 1997:205).
Guilford recounts the important day for him in a letter to his sister Anne written at Otranto on 1 June 1824 (British Library, Add. MS 61983, p. 129). He wrote that the ceremonies were impressive and described his attire and the events that took place:
“My garment, as I wrote to you in my last letter, was made of purple cloth and was very ancient and was fastened to my right shoulder with a gold button. My undergarment and cloaks were also completely ancient. However, instead of Odysseus’ hat, I wore around my head a narrow black velvet ribbon embroidered on the front with gold laurel leaves and a golden owl. At 8.30 in the morning I went in procession, led by the three criers, the leader of whom was holding the staff with a gilt-silver owl on top, and six professors in their academic clothes but without the ribbons on their heads, except for Politis and Filitas, who wore them since they were already doctors, in the great hall of the Academy, which was packed with all the officials of both genders. After I took my seat on a raised pedestal with the teachers standing to my right and left in threes, standing in front of their seats, the proclamation of the government announcing the establishment of the Academy was read. Then, I asked for the non-doctoral professors to retire, and, after sitting in my throne between Politis and Filitas, I asked them if they approved of the increase in the number of our colleagues, and then if I had their approval to award the doctorate of Theology to father Andreas Idromenos. After giving their consent, I asked Filitas as the public Orator and Dean of the ceremonies to lead him inside, which he did with a short appropriate speech. Then, I got up and put the black ribbon on his head, saying at the same time in ancient Greek that I was doing this for the development and promotion of science and for the greater glory of our Academy. After that he took his place on my left as Archimandrite. § I then repeated the same procedure with father Theoklitos Farmakidis. After awarding the purple wreath of Law to Balfour, and the blue wreath of Philosophy to Karantinos and the other four – Asopios, Piccolo, Lusignan and Ioannidis. Then, Filitas eloquently spoke in modern Greek about the fortunes of Philology in Greece and the benefits it would receive from our Foundation, and when it was over, I got up and said in modern Greek that the day had really arrived that we have all been waiting with impatience and desire for so long, and that, to the extent that our weak spirit could judge, it was truly a happy day. But in order to be truly happy, with the spread of piety, morality and learning, we must pray to the Father of Lights, to whose temple we are headed. § Then we went in procession to the Diocese, where the Metropolitan made an official eulogy, with appropriate prayer and great solemnity, and we returned to the palace of the Academy, where the Assembly made some decisions. At 3 I had lunch with 96 men, the most official of the land. The meal was the best of its kind I have ever seen and cost me 120 pounds. Thus, the whole official celebration ended and I stopped the operation of the Academy until November 1st. Everyone seemed extremely happy and without any mocking disposition. If you come to Corfu, you will see something similar next November, because every year we will start the academic year with an ecclesiastical ceremony, although not as nice as this one, and I will announce one or two doctors with the exact same procedure. § Karantinos was appointed Curator for the next year. He sits next to me and wears for distinction on his head a black velvet ribbon adorned with silk myrtle leaves, but without the owl. It suits him beyond any imagination. Filitas in his brown robe as a doctor of Philosophy was the most well-dressed of all with his neck naked in a truly ancient manner.” (ibid. 1997:206-208).
Angelomatis-Tsougarakis, Helen. The Ionian Academy: The Chronicle of the Founding of the First Greek University (1811-1824). Athens, GR: Little Romios, 1997.