Search the Collection

Arthur Capel, 1st Earl of Essex (1631-1683), Soldier

Sitter in 12 portraits
Essex was one of the ablest statesmen under Charles II, serving as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, 1672-77, and First Lord of the Treasury, 1679. Fearing the prospect of a Catholic monarch, he became involved with attempts to exclude James, Duke of York from the succession and, more dangerously, with the schemes of the Duke of Monmouth. Betrayed and imprisoned in the Tower, he was found with his throat cut. Although his death was recorded as suicide, he was probably murdered.