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James Fitzjames, Duke of Berwick upon Tweed

(1670-1734), Army officer in the French service

Sitter in 1 portrait

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James Fitzjames, Duke of Berwick upon Tweed and Maurice de Saxe, by Nicolas Ponce, after  Clément Pierre Marillier - NPG D30847

James Fitzjames, Duke of Berwick upon Tweed and Maurice de Saxe

by Nicolas Ponce, after Clément Pierre Marillier
line engraving, early 19th century
NPG D30847

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Kenneth Clark

09 October 2019, 16:28

A number of portraits and etches exist of this famous English General who became a French Marshal and won the battle of Almansa during the Spanish Succession War. There he was an Englishman leading a French and Spanish army against a British, Dutch and Portuguese army led by a Frenchman, the protestant Marquis de Ruvigny. He was an natural son of JamesII and Arabella Churchill, the sister of the Duke of Marlborough, who thus was his uncle and with whom he corresponded throughout the above war and after. I'm surprised that there is not a portrait of him in the NPG, only something from a book about a battle (Fontenoy in 1745) which took place long after he had been killed at the siege of Philipsburg in 1734. Just take a look at Google images to see how many portraits etc actually exist. Indeed a contemporary painting sold in Britain to a private buyer not long ago. His most recent biographer (see below) has a reproduction of one in the ownership of the Spanish Duke of Alba in his frontpiece. As one of the few excellent Generals this country ever produced, a son of a Stuart monarch who had a lively career in Ireland, France, Italy and especially Spain and a successful one at that, surely he deserves to appear somewhere on the NPG walls.

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