Search the Collections

George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham (1592-1628), Courtier; favourite of James I

Sitter associated with 49 portraits
Handsome and ambitious, but unscrupulous, Villiers became the most notorious of James I's favourites. From humble beginnings as cupbearer in the royal household, he rose with astonishing speed through the ranks of the aristocracy, becoming Duke of Buckingham in 1623. As one of the king's leading ministers, some of his administration was effective, but he was widely regarded as corrupt and extravagant. Villiers exercised great influence over both James I and his son Charles I, though was generally regarded with suspicion and dislike by the rest of the court, and as Lord High Admiral was blamed for a number of military failures. He was murdered by John Felton, a discharged officer of the navy in 1628.

List Thumbnail

D5190

George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham Tomb in Westminster Abbey

by Black & Hopwood, published by Rudolph Ackermann, after Mackenzie
aquatint, published 1 August 1812
NPG D5190

D26519

George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham

by Charles Picart, after Cornelius Johnson (Jonson or Jonson van Ceulen)
stipple engraving, published 1815
NPG D26519

D32283

George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham

by Charles Picart, after Cornelius Johnson (Jonson or Jonson van Ceulen)
stipple engraving, published 1815
NPG D32283

D26130

The Villiers Family

by William Greatbach, after George Perfect Harding
line engraving, probably mid 19th century
NPG D26130

D41910

George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham

after Unknown artist
photogravure, published 1902
NPG D41910

D18724

George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham

after Michiel Jansz. van Mierevelt
line engraving, (circa 1625)
NPG D18724

D20421

George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham

by William Marshall, after Unknown artist
line engraving, mid 17th century
NPG D20421

D42871

George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham

by Jacobus Houbraken, after Cornelius Johnson (Jonson or Jonson van Ceulen)
engraving, 1730s
NPG D42871