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William Petty, 1st Marquess of Lansdowne

(1737-1805), Prime Minister and patron of the arts

Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue Entry

Sitter associated with 67 portraits
Petty, who was styled Viscount Fitzmaurice, entered the Army after university and served in the Seven Years' War. In 1760, he was promoted colonel and appointed aide-de-camp to King George III. That year he was elected to Parliament for the borough of Chipping Wycombe. Before he could take his seat, his father died and he entered the House of Lords. He served in senior offices including First Lord of Trade and Home Secretary. In 1782 he was appointed Prime Minister on the death of Lord Rockingham. The Whigs refused to serve under him and combined with Lord North to defeat him the following year. In 1784, he was created Marquess of Lansdowne, after which he retired from politics.

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