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Regency Portraits Catalogue

William Cobbett (1763-1835), Journalist, agriculturalist and politician; MP for Oldham

This list does not include the many political cartoons from 1802 onwards in which, as Cobbett himself said, 'I have been represented as a bull-dog, as a porcupine, as a wolf, as a sans-culotte, as a bear, as a kite, as a cur …' They are listed in the British Museum Catalogues, among them being a set of 8 etchings by James Gillray entitled The Life of William Cobbett published in 1809.

1784-5
Silhouette by Benjamin Garlike, head and shoulders as a soldier in bearskin and pigtail (reproduced George Spater, William Cobbett: the Poor Man's Friend, 1982, I, p 19).

1801
Chalk drawing by J. R. Smith, head and shoulders in a brown coat, lent to Third Exhibition of National Portraits, South Kensington, 1868 (264) by Miss Cobbett, engraved in stipple by Bartolozzi 1801; another drawing by Smith, whole-length seated with a portrait of Hampden on the wall, engraved in mezzotint by W. Ward 1812 (example in British Museum, reproduced George Spater, William Cobbett: the Poor Man's Friend, 1982, I, p 245).

1805
Watercolour drawing by unknown artist (NPG 2877).

c.1810-16
Etching by Adam Buck, inscribed: Plate 3 Of Friends to a Constitutional Reform of Parliament … Done from the Life and Published by Adam Buck, was part of a series of reformers including Burdett and Hunt; a worked up version of Buck's Cobbett, in grey coat and scarlet waistcoat, possibly that exhibited RA 1817 (729), was at Sotheby's 17 February 1972 (200).

1817
Miniature by G. M. Brighty engraved by Palmer and published 20 July 1817, head and shoulders in an oval decorated with exotic foliage on a rock with trumpet and Register.

Drawing by Edward Smith made on board the Importer on his departure from Liverpool for America 27 March 1817, engraved and published by Smith himself (British Museum example reproduced Lewis Melville, Life and Letters of William Cobbett, 1913, II, p 90).

1825
Medallic portrait by Rouw exhibited RA 1825 (964) engraved by Morton (Lewis Melville, Life and Letters of William Cobbett, 1913, II, p 230).

c.1825
Oil, head and shoulders in dark blue coat inscribed on the back: Wm Cobbett aged 63, offered to the NPG in 1864 (Scharf’s sketch in Sir George Scharf’s Trustes’ Sketchbooks, IX, 5).

c.1830
Oil by unknown artist in private collection, head and shoulders to right (reproduced George Spater, William Cobbett: the Poor Man's Friend, 1982, II, frontispiece).

1831
Drawing by G. Cooke lithographed by N. Maurin.

1833
Oil by Hayter (NPG 54).

c.1833
Oil by unknown artist, possibly Cooke (NPG 1549).

1834
Plaster statuette with O'Connell by J. P. Dantan in Musée Carnavalet, Paris.

c.1835
Drawing by Maclise in V&A Museum, engraved for Fraser's Magazine, October 1835.

Undated
Stipple and line engraving by F. Croall, head and shoulders vignette in Portrait Gallery of Hogg's Weekly Instructor (c.1820).

Lithograph by G. E. Madeley, head and shoulders vignette lettered: WILLIAM COBBETT ESQr M.P. (c.1832).

Miniature by T. H. Carrick, probably after 1840, in private collection Suffolk in 1937.



This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: Richard Walker, Regency Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, 1985, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.