The Seven Bishops Committed to the Tower in 1688

1 portrait of William Lloyd

The Seven Bishops Committed to the Tower in 1688, by Robert White, 1689 - NPG D1333 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

The Seven Bishops Committed to the Tower in 1688

by Robert White
line engraving, 1689
14 1/4 in. x 10 3/8 in. (362 mm x 262 mm) paper size
Reference Collection
NPG D1333


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Artistback to top

  • Robert White (1645-1703), Engraver. Artist associated with 607 portraits, Sitter in 1 portrait.

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) whcih suspended the Test Act, William Sancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury, and six other bishops petitioned the the King against it; they were sent to the Tower and tried for seditious libel but were acquitted; the bishops became popular heroes and the episode was a blow to James's authority.

Related worksback to top

  • NPG D18862: The Seven Bishops committed to the Tower in 1688 (from same plate)

Linked publicationsback to top

Events of 1689back to top

Current affairs

William III is crowned jointly with his wife Mary II in Westminster Abbey in an unprecedented coronation of two monarchs. The Bill of Rights is passed establishing the supremacy of Parliament, while limiting the power of the Crown. Scottish Jacobites defeat Williamite troops at the Battle of Killiiecrankie.

Art and science

Thomas Shadwell, appointed poet laureate and historiographer royal, replaces John Dryden, his literary adversary. John Riley and Godfrey Kneller are jointly appointed principal painter to the king. Composer Henry Purcell presents his opera, Dido and Aeneas, at Josias Priest's girls' school.

International

Supported by Irish Catholics, deposed James II lands in Ireland with French troops commanded by Duc de Lauzun. Within months, James and Jacobite, Richard Talbot, Earl of Tyrconnel convene the 'Patriot Parliament' which re-establishes Catholics into government and repeals the Act of Settlement (1652), restoring confiscated lands to Catholic owners.

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