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George Savile, 1st Marquess of Halifax

(1633-1695), Political philosopher

Later Stuart Portraits Catalogue Entry

Sitter associated with 13 portraits
A statesman and writer, Halifax was a favourite of Charles II; his best-known political tract, 'Character of a Trimmer', urged Charles to shake off the influence of his brother James. As a Privy Councillor he attempted to steer a moderate course between extreme Protestants, High Church Tories and Roman Catholics, but he was dismissed at the accession of James in 1685. Halifax was closely involved in the revolution of 1688, and presided over the council of lords which arranged the succession of William and Mary. It was said that the revolution bore 'the character of the large but cautious mind of Halifax'. Dryden described him as 'Of piercing wit and pregnant thought'.

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