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The Seven Bishops committed to the Tower in 1688

2 of 5 portraits on display in the Smoking Room at Beningbrough Hall

The Seven Bishops committed to the Tower in 1688, by Unknown artist, circa 1688 - NPG 79 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

The Seven Bishops committed to the Tower in 1688

by Unknown artist
oil on canvas, circa 1688
38 in. x 33 in. (965 mm x 838 mm)
Purchased, 1859
Primary Collection
NPG 79


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Artistback to top

Sittersback to top

  • Thomas Ken (1637-1711), Bishop of Bath and Wells. Sitter in 20 portraits.
  • John Lake (1624-1689), Bishop of Chichester. Sitter in 13 portraits.
  • William Lloyd (1627-1717), Bishop of Worcester. Sitter in 19 portraits.
  • William Sancroft (1617-1693), Archbishop of Canterbury. Sitter in 29 portraits.
  • Sir Jonathan Trelawny, 3rd Bt (1650-1721), Bishop of Winchester. Sitter associated with 15 portraits.
  • Francis Turner (1638?-1700), Bishop of Ely. Sitter in 14 portraits.
  • Thomas White (1628-1698), Bishop of Peterborough. Sitter in 13 portraits.

This portraitback to top

When James II began to infringe the religious monopoly of the Church of England he lost the support of many Anglican clergy. After the second Declaration of Indulgence (1688) which suspended the Test Act, William Sancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury, and six other bishops petitioned the king against it. Sent to the Tower and tried and acquitted for seditious libel, the bishops became popular heroes and the episode undermined James's authority.

Related worksback to top

  • NPG D9284: The Seven Bishops Committed to the Tower in 1688 (source portrait)
  • NPG D9285: The Seven Bishops Committed to the Tower in 1688 (source portrait)
  • NPG D9286: The Seven Bishops Committed to the Tower in 1688 (source portrait)
  • NPG D9287: The Bishops' Council (source portrait)
  • NPG D29879: The Bishops' Council (source portrait)
  • NPG D30927: The Bishops' Council (source portrait)
  • NPG D30928: The Bishops' Council (source portrait)
  • NPG D30898: The Seven Bishops Committed to the Tower in 1688 (source portrait)
  • NPG D30897: The Seven Bishops Committed to the Tower in 1688 (source portrait)
  • NPG D19922: The Seven Bishops Committed to the Tower in 1688 (source portrait)
  • NPG D11942: The Seven Bishops Committed to the Tower in 1688 (source portrait)
  • NPG D30899: The Seven Bishops Committed to the Tower in 1688 (source portrait)

Linked publicationsback to top