Thomas Osborne, 1st Duke of Leeds ('Lord Danby')(1631-1712), Statesman
Sitter associated with 12 portraits
Chief minister to King Charles II, created Earl of Danby 1674. As Lord High Treasurer 1673-9, he used his political cunning and financial skills to strengthen the monarch's power and balance the royal finances: 'every man who had a vote might sell himself to Danby'. He was impeached and imprisoned 1679-84 following the discovery that his anti-French policy in Parliament was belied by secret pro-French treaties. He opposed the policies of James II but his career revived under King William III and Queen Mary, whose marriage he had arranged. He was appointed Lord President of the Council 1689-99, but faced another attempted impeachment in 1695 for receiving bribes.
published by John Harris, after Unknown artist
etching, published 1790