Search the Collections

Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford (1676-1745), Prime Minister

Sitter in 27 portraits
Walpole was a Whig statesman but in all but name he was Prime Minister, 1721-42. He came to office in the wake of the South Sea Bubble crisis and built up British prosperity in a long period of peace by his economic reforms. He obtained more power than any previous minister and remained in office for over twenty years, resorting to bribery and patronage to overcome unpopularity. His reign came to an end when he was drawn into an unsuccessful war with Spain, which came to be known as the War of Jenkins' Ear. He was, however, made Earl of Orford in 1742 after his defeat in the House of Commons.

List Thumbnail

3220

Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford

by Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt
oil on canvas, circa 1710-1715
On display in Room 9 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 3220

2126

Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford

by John Michael Rysbrack
terracotta bust, 1738
On display in Room 11 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 2126

70

Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford

studio of Jean Baptiste van Loo
oil on canvas, (1740)
On display at Palace of Westminster, London
NPG 70

D3761

Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford

by John Simon, after Charles Jervas
mezzotint, circa 1725
NPG D3761

D5420

Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford

by Gerhard Bockman, after Thomas Gibson
mezzotint, circa 1727-1742
NPG D5420

D5724

Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford

by and published by John Simon, after Hans Hysing
mezzotint, circa 1727-1742
NPG D5724

D5725

Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford

published by John Cooper, after Unknown artist
mezzotint, circa 1727-1729
NPG D5725

D33120

Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford

by John Faber Jr, after Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt
mezzotint, 1733
NPG D33120

D19606

Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford

by John Faber Jr, after Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt
mezzotint, 1733
NPG D19606

D39366

Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford

by Jacobus Houbraken, published by John & Paul Knapton, after Arthur Pond
line engraving, published 1746
NPG D39366

D18696

Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford

by Jacobus Houbraken, published by John & Paul Knapton, after Arthur Pond
line engraving, published 1746
NPG D18696

D16747

Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford

by Jacobus Houbraken, published by John & Paul Knapton, after Arthur Pond
line engraving, published 1746
NPG D16747

D5417

Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford

by George Vertue, after Christian Friedrich Zincke
line engraving, 1748 (1744)
NPG D5417

D5418

Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford

published by Silvester Harding, after Jonathan Richardson
stipple engraving, published 16 August 1800
NPG D5418

D5419

Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford

after Jonathan Richardson
stipple engraving, published 1806
NPG D5419

D17872

Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford; James Wolfe; William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham

by Thomas Abiel Prior, after Unknown artist, and after J.S.C. Schaak, and after Richard Brompton
line engraving, mid 19th century
NPG D17872

D39362

To the Glory of the Rt. Honble. Sr. Robert Walpole (Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford)

by Paul Fourdrinier, after F. Dumouchel, and after J. Faget
line engraving, 1730
NPG D39362

D39365

Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford

by Jacobus Houbraken, published by John & Paul Knapton, after Arthur Pond
line engraving, published 1746
NPG D39365

D16746

Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford

by Jacobus Houbraken, published by John & Paul Knapton, after Arthur Pond
line engraving, published 1746
NPG D16746

D39367

Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford

by James Watson, published by John Boydell, and published by Josiah Boydell, after Jean Baptiste van Loo
mezzotint, published 1 January 1788
NPG D39367

D39372

House of Commons, 1730

by Anthony Fogg, published by Edward Harding, after William Hogarth, and after Sir James Thornhill
stipple engraving, published 1 November 1803
NPG D39372

D14174

House of Commons, 1730

by Anthony Fogg, published by Edward Harding, after William Hogarth, and after Sir James Thornhill
stipple engraving, published 1 November 1803
NPG D14174

D39373

House of Commons, 1730

after William Hogarth, and after Sir James Thornhill
photographic print, early 20th century (1730)
NPG D39373

D40331

House of Commons, 1730

after William Hogarth, and after Sir James Thornhill
photographic print, early 20th century (1730)
NPG D40331