Sir Samuel Romilly
12 of 33 portraits on display in Room 20 at the National Portrait Gallery
Sir Samuel Romilly
by Sir Thomas Lawrence
oil on canvas, circa 1806-1810
29 1/2 in. x 24 1/2 in. (749 mm x 622 mm)
Lent by Tate Gallery: London: UK, 1954
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Sitterback to top
- Sir Samuel Romilly (1757-1818), Solicitor-General and law reformer. Sitter in 8 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830), Portrait painter, collector and President of the Royal Academy. Artist associated with 684 portraits, Sitter in 25 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Lawrence's portrait probably dates to 1806 when Romilly was appointed Solicitor General in Grenville's coalition 'Ministry of All the Talents'. He set about reforming Britain's cruel and illogical punishment system and was instrumental in abolishing the death penalty for trivial criminal offences.
Related worksback to top
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Events of 1806back to top
Current affairsWilliam Pitt dies in January and his lifelong opponent Charles James Fox dies in September. Pitt is succeeded by William Wyndham, Baron Grenville, who forms the 'Ministry of all the Talents' coalition .Prince of Wales instigates the 'Delicate Investigation'; a Parliamentary enquiry into claims that his wife Caroline had an illegitimate child.
Art and scienceJohn Constable embarks on a formative tour of the Lakes and makes landscape studies of the Langdale Pikes and Helvellyn.Turner exhibits his Thames views to acclaim at his own London gallery.Humphrey Davy discovers the elements potassium and sodium by passing an electrical current through molten compounds.
InternationalSoprano Angelica Catalani arrives from Italy to make her London debut, amazing audiences with her showpiece arias.Napoleon turns his forces east against Austria, Russia and Prussia and enjoys a wave of French victories.British attack on Buenos Aires under General William Beresford fails.
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On display in Room 20 at the National Portrait Gallery
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