Sir Francis Burdett, 5th Bt

1 portrait

Sir Francis Burdett, 5th Bt, by Sir William Charles Ross, circa 1840 - NPG 2056 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Sir Francis Burdett, 5th Bt

by Sir William Charles Ross
watercolour on ivory, circa 1840
15 1/2 in. x 13 1/2 in. (394 mm x 343 mm)
Transferred from Tate Gallery, 1957
Primary Collection
NPG 2056


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Sir Francis Burdett was one of the most radical and outspoken politicians of his time. A fearless advocate of free speech and of the reform of the House of Commons, he was a constant thorn in the side of the government and was twice imprisoned. Pursuing his humanitarian interests, Burdett was one of the sponsors of the Martin Act of 1822, the first piece of legislation for protecting animals. In this miniature he is shown in riding dress with a dog, notably provided with a water bowl, at his feet. By the time this portrait was painted Burdett had more or less retired from active politics. His support for animal rights did not extend to fox-hunting, a pastime to which he devoted much of his retirement.

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  • NPG 2057: Angela Georgina Burdett-Coutts, Baroness Burdett-Coutts (companion portrait)

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