Constable, John

Constable, John

Constable, John, 1776-1837, English painter, b. Suffolk. Constable and Turner were the leading figures in English landscape painting of the 19th cent. Constable became famous for his landscapes of Suffolk, Hampstead, Salisbury, and Brighton. The son of a prosperous miller, he showed artistic talent while very young but did not devote himself to art until he was 23, when he went to London to study at the Royal Academy. Influenced by the 17th-century landscape painters Ruisdael and Claude Lorrain, his poetic approach to nature paralleled in spirit that of his contemporary, the poet Wordsworth. Constable's direct observations of nature and his free use of broken color were extraordinary in his day. He received but modest recognition in England, being tardily admitted to the Royal Academy in 1829. His work was more popular in France. In 1824, his View on the Stour (1819) and The Hay Wain (1821; National Gall., London) were exhibited at the Salon in Paris, winning gold medals. His work made a profound impression on the French romantics including the young Delacroix and Bonington. Later his painting influenced the Barbizon school and, more indirectly, the general course of French 19th-century landscape art. In the United States he is represented in the Metropolitan Museum and the Frick Collection, New York City, in the Mellon Center for British Art, New Haven, Conn., and in the galleries of Philadelphia, Toledo, and Chicago. Splendid examples of his work are contained in the National Gallery, London and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

See catalog of the latter collection by G. Reynolds (1960); C. R. Leslie, Memoirs of the Life of John Constable (enl. ed. 1937); collections of his letters by P. Holmes (1931) and R. B. Beckett (1962); biography by B. Taylor (1973); studies by C. Peacock (rev. ed. 1972) and R. Gadney (1976).

John Arthur Stevens, Baron Stevens of Kirkwhelpington KStJ QPM DL FRSA (born 21 October 1942) was Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis (head of the Metropolitan Police Service) from 2000 until 2005. From 1991 to 1996, he was Chief Constable of Northumbria Police before being appointed one of HM Inspectors of Constabulary in September 1996. He was then appointed Deputy Commissioner of the Met in 1998 until his promotion to Commissioner in 2000.

He is now International Security Advisor to the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, alongside former First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff, Lord West, who is National Security Advisor.

Police career

Stevens was educated at St. Lawrence College, Ramsgate, the University of Leicester where he took an LL.B and the University of Southampton, where he did his MPhil. Before becoming Chief Constable of Northumbria, he served as Assistant Chief Constable of the Hampshire Constabulary (1986-88) and Deputy Chief Constable of the Cambridgeshire Constabulary (1988-91).

He was knighted in the New Year Honours of 2000 and made Deputy Lieutenant of London in 2001. In 2002 he was made a Knight of Saint John and given Freedom of the City of London.

He presided over an external police inquiry into allegations in Northern Ireland of collusion between the British Army, the Royal Ulster Constabulary and loyalist terrorists in the murders of Irish nationalists. Stevens's third report, published on 17 April 2003, upheld the claim and explicitly said that collusion leading to the murder of nationalists (and some unionists wrongly thought to be Catholic or nationalist) had taken place. In the aftermath of his shock report, David Trimble, the leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, called for a parliamentary inquiry into the collusion, while the leaders of the Social Democratic and Labour Party and Sinn Féin called for a full public inquiry.

After the Police

After his retirement as Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, on 6 April 2005 he was created a life peer as Baron Stevens of Kirkwhelpington, of Kirkwhelpington in the County of Northumberland.

Lord Stevens is the Executive Chairman of Quest Ltd, a London based Corporate Intelligence, Investigations and Risk Mitigation Company. Among at least four remunerated company directorships held by him are non-executive directorships of the financial services company Invicta Capital and of Mercer Street Consulting. Stevens also writes for the News of the World newspaper. On 28 November 2005 he was appointed Chancellor of Northumbria University.

He headed a Metropolitan Police inquiry, Operation Paget, into the deaths of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Fayed, which reported its findings on 14 December 2006.

As a result of the 2006 allegations of corruption in English football by various media sources, Lord Stevens was asked by the Football Association to head up the inquiry in liaison with Quest Ltd On 2 October 2006, it was announced by the Football Association that Lord Stevens' inquiry had been extended by two months to investigate 39 transfers involving eight clubs. On 20 December 2006, Stevens presented his preliminary report, which found that the level of corruption within English football was not a high as had been anticipated, there were several causes for concern. 17 transfer deals were still subject to further scrutiny.

On 15 June 2007, Lord Stevens' inquiry issued its final report which raised concerns over issues involving 17 player transfers, involving five clubs, three managers and numerous agents and other third parties. In summary, the report stated: “there is no evidence of any irregular payments to club officials or players, and they are identified only as a consequence of the outstanding issues the inquiry has with the agents involved”.. For further details of the inquiry findings see Stevens report.

Lord Stevens was asked by the Conservatives, under David Cameron, to be their candidate for the London Mayoral elections. He declined this offer.

On 29 June 2007, in-coming Prime Minister Gordon Brown appointed Lord Stevens as his Senior Advisor on International Security Issues.

Lord Stevens holds a Commercial Pilot's Licence and part owns a Cessna light aircraft.

Styles and honours

  • Mr John Stevens (1942-1963)
  • PC John Stevens (1963-through ranks, including Detective Chief Superintendent-1986)
  • Assistant Chief Constable John Stevens (1986-1989)
  • Deputy Chief Constable John Stevens (1989-1991)
  • Chief Constable John Stevens (1991-1991)
  • Chief Constable John Stevens QPM (1991-1998)
  • Deputy Commissioner John Stevens QPM (1998-2000)
  • Commissioner John Stevens QPM (2000-2000)
  • Commissioner Sir John Stevens QPM (2000-2001)
  • Commissioner Sir John Stevens QPM DL (2001-2002)
  • Commissioner Sir John Stevens KStJ QPM DL (2002-2005)
  • The Rt. Hon. The Lord Stevens of Kirkwhelpington KStJ QPM DL FRSA (2005-)


External links

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