Search the Collection

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.

List Thumbnail

745

The House of Commons 1793-94

by Karl Anton Hickel
oil on canvas, 1793-1795
NPG 745

999

The Trial of Queen Caroline 1820

by Sir George Hayter
oil on canvas, 1820-1823
On display in Room 17 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 999

960

Thomas Erskine, 1st Baron Erskine

by Sir William Charles Ross
oil on canvas, 1823
NPG 960

D15331

Thomas Erskine, 1st Baron Erskine

by and published by William Sharp, after Richard Cosway
line engraving, published 2 May 1791
NPG D15331

D12510

'Bar eloquence'

by James Gillray, published by Hannah Humphrey
hand-coloured etching, published 6 January 1795
NPG D12510

D12519

'Patriotic regeneration, - viz. - Parliament reform'd, a la françois, - that is - honest men (ie - Opposition) in the seat of justice'

by James Gillray, published by Hannah Humphrey
hand-coloured etching, engraving and aquatint, published 2 March 1795
NPG D12519

D12550

'The Crown and Anchor libel, burnt by the public hangman'

by James Gillray, published by Hannah Humphrey
hand-coloured etching, published 28 November 1795
NPG D12550

D13083

'Light expelling darkness, - evaporation of stygian exhalations, - or - the sun of the constitution, rising superior to the clouds of opposition'

by James Gillray, published by Hannah Humphrey
hand-coloured etching, soft-ground etching and engraving, published 30 April 1795
NPG D13083

D12579

'Promis'd horrors of the French invasion, - or - forcible reasons for negotiating a regicide peace'

by James Gillray, published by Hannah Humphrey
hand-coloured etching and aquatint, published 20 October 1796
NPG D12579

D12553

'The presentation - or - the wise men's offering'

by James Gillray, published by Hannah Humphrey
hand-coloured etching, published 9 January 1796
NPG D12553

D12593

'The giant factotem amusing himself'

by James Gillray, published by Hannah Humphrey
hand-coloured etching, published 21 January 1797
NPG D12593

D12592

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

by James Gillray, published by Hannah Humphrey
hand-coloured etching and aquatint, published 20 January 1797
NPG D12592

D12598

'The tree of liberty must be planted immediately!'

by James Gillray, published by Hannah Humphrey
hand-coloured etching, published 16 February 1797
NPG D12598

D12603

'Midas, transmuting all, into paper'

by James Gillray, published by Hannah Humphrey
hand-coloured etching, published 9 March 1797
NPG D12603

D12614

'Parliamentary-reform, - or - opposition-rats, leaving the house they had undermined'

by James Gillray, published by Hannah Humphrey
hand-coloured etching, published 28 May 1797
NPG D12614

D12642

Thomas Erskine, 1st Baron Erskine ('L'Avocat de la Republique')

by James Gillray, published by Hannah Humphrey
hand-coloured aquatint, published 21 May 1798
NPG D12642

D12654

'Pigs meat; - or - the swine flogg'd out of the farm yard'

by James Gillray, published by Hannah Humphrey
hand-coloured etching, published 22 June 1798
NPG D12654

D12659

'Nelson's Victory; - or - good-news operating upon loyal-feelings'

by James Gillray, published by Hannah Humphrey
hand-coloured etching, published 3 October 1798
NPG D12659

D12665

'Stealing off; - or - prudent secession'

by James Gillray, published by Hannah Humphrey
hand-coloured etching and aquatint, published 6 November 1798
NPG D12665