Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue: Hoadly

The following text is from the National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Kerslake, Early Georgian Portraits, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1977 (now out of print). For the most up to date research on the Collection, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text. This can be accessed by following the link with each portrait’s title.

In consulting the following, please note that apart from the reformatting which allows the printed catalogue to be made available on-line the text is as published in 1977. Footnotes in the original edition are given within square brackets.

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Benjamin Hoadly (1676-1761) [1]
Bishop and pamphleteer; son of Samuel Hoadly, headmaster of Norwich school; appointed chaplain to George I, 1715, and successively Bishop of Bangor, Hereford, 1721, Salisbury, 1723 and Winchester, 1734; controversial and prolific preacher and writer both on politics and religion; crippled in youth, he preached from his knees.

31 By Sarah Hoadly
Oil on canvas, 49 x 39 in. (1245 x 991 mm); plump face, brownish-grey eyes, greyish-white wig curled and centre-parted; rochet and chimere, plain white bands, the badge of the chancellor of the order of the Garter (a Rose Gold within a Garter) on a blue ribbon round his neck; his right hand rests on a crutched stick, in his left he holds a black hat; in the background, a curtain draped across the base of a pillar, and to the right, land­scape with steeple (Salisbury Cathedral?) beyond; lit from the left.

The traditional attribution derives from J. Tayleure from whom the portrait was bought, and is probably correct. Mrs Sarah Hoadly, née Curtis, the sitter's wife, was, he claims, [2] a pupil of Hogarth, but his further comment that the portrait was 'likely to have been touched upon by Hogarth' is highly improbable. The artist's hand is nowhere recognizable. The flesh paint is heavily laboured and the background only sketchily indicated. After her marriage, according to Vertue, Mrs Hoadly painted 'the pictures only of Intimates & friends’ [3] (see Piper, p.374: NPG 243, William Whiston). Dr Hoadly was transferred to Salis­bury in 1723 and to Winchester in 1734. He apparently became chancellor of the order of the Garter as early as 1726 [4] and was admitted as prelate early in 1738.

Condition: varnish discoloured; retouchings in the area of his right elbow; cleaned, varnished and restored 1885 and 1895.

Collections: bought, 1858, from the collection of J. Tayleure who bought it (before 1832) 'from Mr Rodd', probably H. Rodd, a dealer specialising in portraits.

Exhibited: Suffolk Street, 1832 (lent by Tayleure); ‘NPE', 1867 (220).

Literature: The Life, Birth and Education of the Rev. M. Benjamin Hoadly, 1710 (by a student of the University of Cambridge); N.H. Nicolas, History of the Orders of the Knighthood of the British Empire . . ., 1842; R.B. Beckett, Hogarth, 1949; J.H. Hutton, Pictures in the Possession of St. Catharine's College, 1950.

Iconography
Early portraits painted perhaps by his wife when he was rector of St Peter-le-Poor, Broad Street, to which he was appointed in 1704, were at Lambeth Palace [5] and St Catharine's College, Cambridge. [6] An engraving, in black gown, somewhat similar was produced by J. Simon and another, in black gown (first state) by Vertue (O'D 7). The portrait by Hogarth of 1741 in the robes of the prelate of the order, is in the Tate Gallery (2736) [7] and another attributed to him, with Windsor Castle in the background, is now in the Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery, California. [8] It is probably a copy. A portrait in the same robes ascribed to Hudson was with David Minlore, 1938. A profile by Gossett of 1756, when the sitter was eighty, presum­ably one of 'a pair of medallions, in wax' at the Strawberry Hill sale, 19 May 1842, 22nd day, lot 96, was engraved by J. Basire, 1772. [9] An engraving of a youthful cleric by Van der Gucht is lettered The Right Revnd Father in God Benjamin Ld. Bishop of Bangor. Hoadly, who was crippled and always walked with sticks, appears in the engraving 'The Festival of the Golden Rump' reproduced in The Garden and the City [10] and again in a crude woodcut, three-quarter length, in the biography Life, Birth and Education of . . . Hoadly, published anonymously, 1710.

The portrait at St Catherine's College, Cambridge, catalogued by Hutton as Hoadly by Jones [11] , has been shown by Mr Selby Whittingham to represent Thomas Sherlock, a former master. [12] Another version of the type which is by Vanloo is in the Cathedral School, Salisbury. It depicts Sherlock as chancellor of the Garter, which doubtless accounts for the confusion.

Notes
1. See above, Maurice Greene (with the Rev. John Hoadly) NPG 2106.
2. Letter, 23 February 1858, NPG picture dossier.
3. Vertue, III, p.113. Vertue calls her Mary, Hoadly's second wife, but mentions her death in 1743; he must, therefore, mean Sarah.
4. Nicolas, II, pl.xxxiv.
5. SSB, 69, p.72; 70, pp.65, 69.
6. Exh. ‘NPE', 1867 (244), Hutton, pl.x.
7. Beckett, p.52 (134); Exh. 'Hogarth', Tate Gallery, 1971 (118). Cleaning revealed signature and date.
8. Beckett, p.53.
9. The Works of Benjamin Hoadly, ed. J. Hoadly, 1773, frontispiece.
10. By Maynard Mack, 1969, p.143, pl.37.
11. Hutton, p.8 and note 1.
12. Kindly communicated by Dr J.H. Baker, December 1973.