Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue: Hawksmoor

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

Nicholas Hawksmoor (1661-1736) [1]

Architect; son of a Nottinghamshire farmer; when about eighteen taken into service by Wren, employed as supervisor at Winchester Palace and Chelsea Hospital; appointed clerk of the works, Kensington Palace, 1689, and Greenwich Hospital, 1698; made many designs for St Paul's, 1691-1712; by 1702 at Castle Howard with Vanbrugh and later at Blenheim where he superseded him; at Oxford designs included Queen's College, not executed in entirety, Worcester College and parts of All Souls, including Codrington Library; as joint surveyor of Queen Anne's new churches, 1716, designed numerous London churches; surveyor general, Westminster Abbey, 1723.

4261 Modern cast after a bust attributed to Sir Henry Cheere, 1736
Bronze, 21 ½ in. (546 mm) high; pupils incised, mouth drawn down, protruding lower lip, short wavy hair, re­ceding; toga over open shirt. Hollow cast; a strengthening bar stamped CAST BY/ MORRIS SINGER CO/ LONDON S. W.8.

NPG 4261 was cast in 1962 from the plaster at All Souls, attributed to Cheere.

Condition: good.

Collections: given 1962, by the Warden and Fellows of All Souls, Oxford.

Literature: M.S. Webb, 'Henry Cheere, Sculptor', Burlington Magazine, C, 1958.


The only known portrait is the original inscribed Nich Hawksmoor/ Architect at All Souls where there is another of Bennett inscribed Colin Bennett/ Manciple 1736, also in plaster and painted black, and evidently by the same hand. Mrs Webb suggests that both date from 1736 and are almost certainly by Henry Cheere, who was paid for work at All Souls about then. [2]


1. Or Hawkesmore, Colvin, p.272.
2. Webb, p.236.