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Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue: Boulter

The following text is from the National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Kerslake, Early Georgian Portraits, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1977 (now out of print). For the most up to date research on the Collection, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text. This can be accessed by following the link with each portrait’s title.

In consulting the following, please note that apart from the reformatting which allows the printed catalogue to be made available on-line the text is as published in 1977. Footnotes in the original edition are given within square brackets.

Contents Foreword Introduction Catalogue scope Abbreviations Arrangement of entries

Hugh Boulter (1672-1742)

Archbishop of Armagh; chaplain to George III in Hanover; dean of Christ Church, Oxford, 1719, and Bishop of Bristol, 1719; Archbishop of Armagh, 1724; frequently served, during the absence of the viceroy, as lord justice of Ireland.

502 After a portrait by Francis Bindon of 1742(?)
Oil on canvas, 48 7/8 x 39 ½ in. (1422 x 1003 mm); brown eyes and eyebrows, broad face, double chin, long grey wig; white bands, rochet and chimere, a black cap in his right hand ; high-backed chair covered in green leather(?); plain dark brown background; lit from the right.

Crudely painted, NPG 502 is conceivably an early copy of Francis Bindon's portrait at Trinity College, Dublin, painted in 1742 as a 'memorial of the Archbishop's charitable efforts during the famine of 1740-41’. [1] Although the sitter is shown much younger in Thomas Beard's mezzotint, 1728, after Matthew Ashton, the design is similar to NPG 502 and the face mask close to Bindon's.

Condition: dirty; possible damage extends approximately three inches downwards from the bottom right hand corner of the bands; surface cleaned, polished, restored and varnished 1878 and 1895.

Collections: bought, 1878, from R. Gibbings of Trinity College, Dublin, by whom stated to have been in the Castle Caldwell collection, County Fermanagh; on loan to the National Gallery of Ireland, 1899-1969.


All known types represent the sitter after his elevation to the episcopacy in 1719, the earliest extant and dated likeness being the mezzotint by Thomas Beard. A portrait at Christ Church, Oxford, since 1740 [2] appears close in age to NPG 502. The engraving by John Brooks after Bindon was published in 1742. Mr Gibbings, former owner of NPG 502, claimed that another portrait of the sitter was known at 'the priest's house, Armagh', prior to 1878. [3] A marble bust, sculptor unknown, also at Christ Church, Oxford, was presented 1769. [4] A monument of 1742 by Sir Henry Cheere is in Westminster Abbey. [5]


1. W.G. Strickland, A Descriptive Catalogue of the Pictures . . . in Trinity College, Dublin, and in the Provost's House, Dublin, 1916, pp.10-11; DNB, II, p.915.
2. Poole, III, p.59 (149).
3. Letter, NPG archives.
4. Poole, III, p.59 (150).
5. Gunnis, p.98.