Eleanor James

1 portrait

Eleanor James, by Unknown artist, circa 1700 - NPG 5592 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Eleanor James

by Unknown artist
oil on canvas, circa 1700
49 7/8 in. x 40 3/4 in. (1268 mm x 1035 mm)
Purchased, 1983
Primary Collection
NPG 5592


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  • Eleanor James (active 1685-1715), Printer and political writer. Sitter in 1 portrait.

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The wife of a London printer, Thomas James, 'a man that reads much, knows his business well, and is...something the better known for being husband to that she-state-politician Mrs Eleanor James', she was herself described by a contemporary as 'a mixture of benevolence and madness'. She published pamphlets and broadsheets of advice to the reigning sovereigns from Charles II to George I and this portrait by an unknown artist well conveys the force and idiosyncracy of her character. A religious enthusiast, and instinctively intolerant, she published in 1687 her Vindication of the Church of England, which is included in this portrait. She was much satirised and for a time imprisoned in Newgate.

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