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Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford

(1593-1641), Statesman

Sitter associated with 109 portraits
A powerful statesman, Strafford initially supported Parliament but was won over by Charles I. As President of the Council of the North (1628), and Lord-Deputy of Ireland (1632), he established a reputation for vigorous and efficient administration. As chief adviser to the King, 1639-41, he urged strong measures to control Parliament and obtain funds for a war against the Scots. Seen as a threat to Parliament, a bill of attainder was passed against him and the King reluctantly agreed to his execution. It was a political and moral blunder for which Charles never forgave himself.

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Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford going to execution, by George Sanders, printed by  S.H. Hawkins, after  Paul Delaroche - NPG D42072

Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford going to execution

by George Sanders, printed by S.H. Hawkins, after Paul Delaroche
mezzotint, mid 19th century
NPG D42072

Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford, by Unknown artist - NPG 6271

Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford

by Unknown artist
watercolour on vellum
On display in the Room 5: miniature case at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 6271

Web image not currently available

Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford

by Balthasar Moncornet, after Sir Anthony van Dyck
line engraving, 1656 (circa 1636)
NPG D19053

Web image not currently available

King Charles I and his supporters

by Unknown artist
line engraving, early 18th century
NPG D19078

Web image not currently available

Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford; Sir Philip Mainwaring

by George Vertue, after Sir Anthony van Dyck
line engraving, 1739 (circa 1636)
NPG D20052

Web image not currently available

Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford

by Jacobus Houbraken, published by John & Paul Knapton, after Sir Anthony van Dyck
line engraving, published 1740 (1740)
NPG D42917

Web image not currently available

Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford

by Jacobus Houbraken, published by John & Paul Knapton, after Sir Anthony van Dyck
line engraving, published 1740 (1632-1633)
NPG D19691

Web image not currently available

Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford

by Jacobus Houbraken, published by John & Paul Knapton, after Sir Anthony van Dyck
line engraving, published 1740 (1632-1633)
NPG D20162

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Laurie Pettitt

28 February 2017, 20:12

Wentworth used to order Portraits in Quantity. It must have been like the hole in the board in which you put your face at the seaside. He was certain of whom he wanted them sent to and even more certain to let the Artist know not to charge too much.
You need to read his Letters, in the Wentworth Papers to see the man behind the scowl. He Kept a full table in Ireland and at Home. The other papers to read vare those of George Radcliffe. The most touching was Strafford begging Gentle George NOT to visit him in the Tower because it woulld break Strafford's heart to see his old friend walk away. Wentworth also put a different 'spin' on the Killing of the Duke of Buckingham. Wentwort says that the Duke was approached the day before his death by a Sailor asking for his pay from one of Buckingham's fiascos. Buchingham kicked the man to the ground and killed him. The following day, Fenton approached Buckingham telling him that they had not been paid for their trip. Buckingham then tried the same tactics with Fenton and Fenton put Britain out of Buckingham's mysery. As a famous Corporal once said "They don't like it up them, Mr Mannering!"
Lord Capel deeply regretted allowing himself to be bullied in the Attainder of Strafford and King Charles learnt nothing from Strafford in Honesty or Honour. Charles was a King who deserved NONE of the sacrifices made for him.

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