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Thomas Erskine, 1st Baron Erskine (1750-1823), Lord Chancellor

Sitter associated with 67 portraits
Erskine was a lawyer and Whig politician who rose to prominence defending political radicals during the 1790s. He was Lord Chancellor in Grenville's coalition 'Ministry of All the Talents'. Erskine stood for free speech and a free press and is remembered primarily as one of the great advocates in English legal history. He rose to prominence defending political radicals in the 1790s, winning a notable victory against the State during the infamous Treason Trials of 1794. His best known client was Thomas Paine whom he defended unsuccessfully against a charge of seditious libel after the publication of his Rights of Man (1791). Erskine's last notable case was his defence of Queen Caroline at her divorce 'trial' in 1820.

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D12922

'An old English-gentleman pester'd by servants wanting places'

by James Gillray, published by Hannah Humphrey
hand-coloured etching, published 16 May 1809
NPG D12922

D13118

'Tentanda via est qua me quoque possim tollere humo'

by James Gillray, published by Hannah Humphrey
hand-coloured etching, engraving and aquatint, published 8 August 1810
NPG D13118

D36200

Thomas Erskine, 1st Baron Erskine

by and published by John Jones, after Sir Joshua Reynolds
mezzotint, published 1786
NPG D36200

D15492

Thomas Erskine, 1st Baron Erskine

by G. Murray, published by Benjamin Crosby, after Isaac Cruikshank
line engraving, published 12 January 1795
NPG D15492

D15304

'End of the Irish invasion; - or - the destruction of the French armada'

by James Gillray, published by Hannah Humphrey
etching and aquatint, published 20 January 1797
NPG D15304

D36198

Thomas Erskine, 1st Baron Erskine

by George Clint, published by John Peter Thompson, after Sir Thomas Lawrence
mezzotint, published 4 June 1804
NPG D36198

D36199

Thomas Erskine, 1st Baron Erskine

after Sir Joshua Reynolds
photogravure, 1905 (1786)
NPG D36199