The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Advanced Collection search

Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue: Queensberry

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

Catherine Hyde, Duchess of Queensberry (1700-77)

Eccentric, wit and beauty; second daughter of Henry, 4th Earl of Clarendon; married, 1720, Charles Douglas, 3rd Duke of Queensberry; patron of Gay, correspondent of Swift; friend of Congreve, Thomson, Pope and Prior

238 Attributed to Charles Jervas
Oil on canvas, 50 x 39 ¾ in. (1270 x 1010 mm); dark brown eyes and eyebrows, pink cheeks, pink flush on chest, dark brown hair; white cap, light yellow silk dress with white apron; a stick in her left hand, the right resting on a milk pail; behind her right shoulder a tree trunk and rocks above brown foliage, to the right, a distant view of a milkmaid tending cows.

A comparison with such typical portraits as that of the Countess of Suffolk (NPG 3891; Editor's note, 2014: formerly on loan to NPG, now English Heritage, Marble Hill House) and

supports the attribution to Jervas given by Scharf, 1888. [1] Four similar portraits are recorded; in all these the stick in the sitter's left hand is replaced by a round black hat and the background shows a landscape without cows or milkmaid. The first, formerly ascribed to Kneller but now attributed to Jervas, [2] is at Petworth; the second, at Penicuick, is attributed to Aikman while the third and fourth, both approximately half the size of life, are respectively in the collection of W.H. Robertson-Aikman, Scotland, attributed to Anne Forbes, and in a private collection, unattributed. None of the versions with hat seems to be by the same hand. The best stylistically and probably the first, though not necessarily earlier than NPG 238, is the portrait at Petworth. [3]

The Queensberry title, on the death of the 4th Duke in 1810, passed to the Dukes of Buccleuch but no oil by Jervas is known in their collection.

Condition: face rubbed, the impasto of the skirt flattened, presumably in an old relining; extensive retouching in the background, right; relined, 1895; surface cleaned, revarnished and restored, 1952; discoloured retouchings in the craquelure, especially in the chest, replaced, 1972.

Collections: bought, 1867, from W.W. Pearce of New Bond Street; previous history unknown.

Literature: Lady Theresa Lewis, Lives of the Friends and Contemporaries of Lord Chancellor Clarendon: illustrative of Portraits in his Gallery,1852; The Autobiography and Correspondence of Mary Granville, Mrs Delany, ed. Lady Llanover, 1st and 2nd series, 1861-62; The Collection of Miniatures at Montagu House, 1896; R.W. Goulding,Welbeck Abbey Miniatures,1916; C.H. Collins Baker, Catalogue of the Petworth Collection of Pictures in the Possession of Lord Leconfield,1920.


From Prior's early verses of c.1717'Thus Kitty, beautiful and young', [4] the sitter's beauty was frequently extolled. Walpole in 1773 slyly observed: ‘I saw the Duchess of Queensberry last night; she was in a new pink lutestring, and looked more blooming than the Maccaronesses. One should sooner take her for a young beauty of an old-fashioned century, than for an antiquated goddess of this age—I mean by twilight.' [5]


The best likeness of the Duchess in her youth is the miniature by Zincke, collection Dukeof Buccleuch, engraved by H. Meyer, 1826. [6] Walpole, 14 July 1779, wrote to Lady Upper Ossory that 'Lady Jane Scott . . . has found in a cabinet at Ham a most enchanting picture in enamel by Zincke of the Duchess of Queensberry, which the Duke always carried in his pocket . . . in white with the hair all flowing, and beautiful as the Hours in Guido's "Aurora", and very like her to the last moment'. [7] The portrait was found in the house at Petersham, within the manor of Ham, which Lady Jane inherited from the, Duke of Queensberry. [8] A copy by Margaret (Smith), Countess of Lucan (d.1814), is in the Portland collection. [9] A portrait of the Duchess as a shepherdess by Kneller, lent to the ‘NPE', 1867 (156) by the Earl of Essex, has sometimes been questioned. Her eldest sister Jane, however, married, 1718, the 3rd Earl of Essex and portraits of both were in the sale of Kneller's remaining works, sold by Cock, 18 April 1726, lot 74, Lady Catherine Hyde, and lot 248, The Countess of Essex. [10]

A half length by Mrs Delany, formerly in the collection of her sister Ann Granville, later owned by the latter's descendant Lady Llanover, is now known only from a 19th century engraving by J. Brown. [11] Zincke's miniature after 'a portrait by Mrs Delany formerly in her possession' was in the collection of Sir Arthur Harford, Bart. [12] The portrait of the Duchess with her husband and children in the Buccleuch collection, although lately attributed to Hudson, seems on stylistic grounds to be from the studio of Vanloo. A single portrait with head inclined against her left hand, is in the same collection with versions at Scone, Earl of Mansfield, attributed to. Vanloo, and in the Clarendon collection; the latter is inscribed 1748, [13] probably the date of the type. The portrait was first engraved, unattributed, by J. Ogborne from a. drawing by S. Harding, 1810, and in 1857 by W. Greatbach, wrongly as after Jervas. A pastel and oil replica of a portrait showing the sitter in old age, artist unknown, are at Drumlanrig, the former attributed to Catherine Read and apparently painted for Lord Thurlow c.1775. Versions of the type are the longer half length from the collection of the Duke of Sutherland and an oval head and shoulders belonging to Earl Cathcart, both in the 'NPE' of 1867 (296 and 278).


1. Scharf, p.369
2. C.H. Collins Baker, p.63 (374)
3. This has the same design as the whole length portrait of Mary Warde by A. Devis at Squerryes Court but neither NPG 238 nor any of the related portraits appear to be by this hand.
4. Lady Lewis, III, p.419
5. Lewis, 32 (Countess of Upper Ossory), I, pp.132-33
6. Sir R.C. Hoare, History of Modern Wiltshire, III, 1826, p.79
7. Lewis, 33 (Countess of Upper Ossory), II, p.110
8. Ibid, nn 18, 22
9. Goulding, p. 159 (233)
10. Lugt (394)
11. The Autobiography . . ., 1st series, I, opposite p.4; Burke, Peerage, 1862, p.666
12. Steegman, II, p.29 (22)
13. Information kindly supplied by R. Gibson, 1973, who points out that as with other copies in the Clarendon collection the dates inscribed are of the originals, not the copies.


Tudor and Elizabethan matching pairs

Test your memory by playing our matching pairs game. Three levels of difficulty make it fun for the whole family.

Test your skill

Regency familiar faces

Rearrange tiles to uncover sitters from the Gallery's Collection by playing our puzzle game.

Play today

Who do you think you were?

Answer a few lifestyle questions about the Elizabethan period and discover your inner Elizabethan!

Start now