Search the Collection

William Paley

(1743-1805), Theological writer

Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue Entry

Sitter in 4 portraits
William Paley graduated from Christ's Church, Cambridge, in 1763. He was ordained into the Church of England in 1765 and following year was appointed as a Fellow and Tutor of his college. In 1782, he was made Archdeacon of Carlisle and later became a Canon of St. Paul's. Paley is remembered as a theologian and moralist. His most important works were The Principles of Moral and Political Philosophy (1785), A View of the Evidence of Christianity(1794), which was required reading for entrance to Cambridge until the twentieth century, and Natural Theology (1802). In Natural Theology, he famously used the analogy of a watchmaker to argue for the existence of God.

Watch a film clip on the sitter from the BBC Archive in the Media section below

Tell us More

List Thumbnail

William Paley, after George Romney - NPG 145

William Paley

after George Romney
oil on canvas, based on a work of 1789-1791
NPG 145

William Paley, by John Jones, after  George Romney - NPG D9534

William Paley

by John Jones, after George Romney
mezzotint, published 1792
NPG D9534

Web image not currently available

William Paley

by R. Cooper
line and stipple engraving, circa 1825
NPG D16026

Place

Media

Tell us more back to top

Can you tell us more about this person? Spotted an error, information that is missing (a sitter’s life dates, occupation or family relationships, or a date of portrait for example) or do you know anything that we don't know? If you have information to share please complete the form below.

If you require information from us, please use our Archive enquiry service. If you wish to license an image, please use our Rights and Images service.

Please note that we cannot provide valuations.

We digitise over 8,000 portraits a year and we cannot guarantee being able to digitise images that are not already scheduled.

What can you tell us?close

There are occasions when we are unsure of the identity of a sitter or artist, their life dates, occupation or have not recorded their family relationships. Sometimes we have not recorded the date of a portrait. Do you have specialist knowledge or a particular interest about any aspect of the portrait or sitter or artist that you can share with us? We would welcome any information that adds to and enhances our information and understanding about a particular portrait, sitter or artist.

Citationclose

How do you know this? Please could you let us know your source of information.

* Permission to publish (Privacy information)
Privacy Informationclose

The National Portrait Gallery will NOT use your information to contact you or store for any other purpose than to investigate or display your contribution. By ticking permission to publish you are indicating your agreement for your contribution to be shown on this collection item page. Please note your email address will not be displayed on the page nor will it be used for any marketing material or promotion of any kind.

Please ensure your comments are relevant and appropriate. Your contributions must be polite and with no intention of causing trouble. All contributions are moderated.

Your Emailclose

Contributions are moderated. We'll need your email address so that we can follow up on the information provided and contact you to let you know when your contribution has been published.