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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.

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Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford

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

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Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford

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

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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

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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

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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

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House of Commons, 1730

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

Web image not currently available

House of Commons, 1730

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

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