James Brydges, 1st Duke of Chandos

1 portrait

James Brydges, 1st Duke of Chandos, by Herman van der Myn, before 1726 - NPG 530 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

James Brydges, 1st Duke of Chandos

by Herman van der Myn
oil on canvas, before 1726
68 5/8 in. x 48 3/4 in. (1743 mm x 1238 mm)
Transferred from British Museum, 1879
Primary Collection
NPG 530

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This unusual painting of James Brydges, 1st Duke of Chandos is actually part of a larger picture, which we know about from eighteenth-century descriptions. In 1751 the Dutch artist Johan van Gool recalled seeing a life-sized portrait of the Duke and Duchess of Chandos, with the Duchess painting the portrait of her husband. The picture was cut in half at some point, so only the Duke remains. But at the right hand side the Duchess's foot, and the canvas she was working on, can still be seen. More detailed information on this portrait is available in a National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue, John Kerslake's Early Georgian Portraits (1977, out of print).

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Current affairs

Mary Toft allegedly gives birth to sixteen rabbits in Godalming Surrey and becomes the subject of considerable controversy, involving the King's own physician Nathaniel St Andre. The story is later revealed to be a hoax. The Craftsman, a polemical political periodical, is launched by opposition leaders Henry St John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke and William Pulteney, 1st Earl of Bath.

Art and science

St Martin-in-the-Fields church in London is completed to the design of the architect James Gibbs. Jonathan Swift publishes his bitterly satirical Gulliver's Travels. Poet Alexander Pope produces an English language translation of Homer's Odyssey. Poet Allan Ramsay opens the first circulating library in Edinburgh.


French writer Voltaire begins an exile in England which lasts three years. City of Montevideo is founded by the Spanish in Uruguay.

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