James Stanhope, 1st Earl Stanhope(1673-1721), Soldier and statesman
Sitter in 11 portraits
Stanhope's early career was in the military, where he soon distinguished himself for his bravery and skill as a general. At the young age of thirty-five he was given the post of Commander in Chief of the British Forces in Spain. He was taken prisoner at Brihuega in 1710, and after his release returned to England where he became a prominent Whig politician. His impatience with politics meant he was more successful as a foreign diplomat, his charm and learning winning him many admirers. A hard drinker and a great scholar, Stahope died suddenly of a stroke following an emotional speech in the House of Lords.