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Augustus John Hervey, 3rd Earl of Bristol

18 of 1413 portraits by Sir Joshua Reynolds

Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Augustus John Hervey, 3rd Earl of Bristol

by William Silas Spanton, after Sir Joshua Reynolds
circa 1900, based on a work of 1762-1763
49 in. x 39 1/2 in. (1245 mm x 1003 mm)
NPG 1835


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This portraitback to top

A copy of the Reynolds portrait of 1762-63, now in the Manor House Museum, Bury St Edmunds, [1] which was engraved by Edward Fisher as ‘The Honble Augustus Hervey Captn in His Majestys Navy/Colonel of Marines and Commander in Chief of/His Majesty’s Ships in the Mediterranean 1763’.
Despite the lined canvas and the craquelure, NPG 1835 was painted c.1900 by the professional copyist Spanton who, in March 1922, wrote how pleased he was that the NPG had ‘one of my copies ... namely that of [the 3rd Earl of Bristol] from the picture in the Guildhall, Bury St Edmunds’. [2] Spanton had made two copies of the Reynolds in 1896-99, [3] one for the Marquess of Bristol (which remains at Ickworth), [4] the other for George Hervey.
A bust-length oval version, painted by Reynolds in 1763-64, is at Wilton. [5]

Footnotesback to top

1) D. Mannings, Sir Joshua Reynolds, I, 2000, no.894; also engraved S. W. Reynolds and other weak, bust-length, plates by Harding, A. Walker, and anon. for the London Mag. 1775.
2) To J. D. Milner, 31 March 1922 (NPG archive).
3) C. S. Willis, letters of 23 February and 10 March 1937 (NPG archive).
4) Also a lined canvas.
5) D. Mannings, Sir Joshua Reynolds, I, 2000, no.895.

Referenceback to top

Mannings 2000
D. Mannings, Sir Joshua Reynolds, 2 vols., 2000, no.894a.

Physical descriptionback to top

Blue-grey eyes, powdered hair with black ribbon; wearing the uniform of a captain with above three years service; over the canon a battle plan inscribed Marlborough Dragon Cambridge - referring to the attack on 1 July 1762 on Moro Castle, Havana,1 the action described in the distance.

1 Gentleman's Magazine, XXXII, 1762, p 410; [1 July 1762] ‘the Cambridge of 80 guns, the Dragon of 74 guns, and the Marlborough of 66, went in and lay against the fort ... They continued firing for above three hours, which the fort received and returned with great steadiness. At length the ships were ordered off. The Cambridge and Dragon suffered much ...’. Hervey’s boat was the Dragon.

Provenanceback to top

Purchased from Leggatt1 1919.

1 Leggatt first wrote to to J. D. Milner in November 1918 (NPG archive): ‘Mon Cher Ami, I have lately bought a finely painted copy of Sir Joshua’s portrait of Augustus John Hervey 3d Earl of Bristol (Admiral) the original of which hangs in the Guildhall Ipswich [sic]. Is he suitable for your gallery? The portrait cost me 37£ size 50 x 40 v fine frame.'


This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Ingamells, National Portrait Gallery: Mid-Georgian Portraits 1760-1790, National Portrait Gallery, 2004, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.

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