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Thomas Hollis (1720-1774), Libertarian, writer, bibliophile and patron of the arts

Sitter in 1 portrait
The writer, free-thinker and philanthropist Thomas Hollis promoted civil rights in Britain and America. He lobbied for parliamentary reform and created an identity for the London Opposition, the most significant political force outside parliament from the 1750s to the 1770s. Hollis encouraged political activism by publishing books and pamphlets that promoted liberty. A key supporter of the American colonists, he corresponded with several of the 'Founding Fathers'. He represented their grievances to the British government and promoted their cause in the British press. Hollis also supported the freedom of the press in Britain and opposed the Government's suppression of John Wilkes.

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Thomas Hollis

by Joseph Wilton
marble bust, circa 1762
On display in Room 14 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 6946