Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue
George Lyttelton, 1st Baron Lyttelton (1709-1773), Scholar and Whig politician; Chancellor of the Exchequer
A conversation by A. Devis, signed and dated 1748, from Mrs Tritton's collection, first seen in the Bourne sale, Sotheby's, 12 December 1934, lot 124, was also at Christie's, 20 November 1964, lot 39. It is said to represent Lyttelton, with his brother and sister-in-law, Lt-Gen. Sir Richard and Lady Rachel Lyttelton. The house in the background, with water, is not the old Hagley house and the present house was not built until 1759-60. A three-quarter length in baron's parliamentary robes but with what appears to be a viscount's coronet and a book Coke on Littleton  on the table, was sold at Christie's, 2 July 1954, lot 122 as Lyttelton. It resembles work by William Hoare and could represent Lyttelton if the coronet is inaccurately depicted.
1) Sir Ellis K. Waterhouse, Reynolds (English Master Painters), 1941, p 41.
2) The English Connoisseur, 1766, I, p 71.
3) British Museum Add. MS 6391, f.19v.
4) Sir George Scharf's Trustees' Sketchbooks, xxvi, f.81v.
5) G. Vertue, Vertue Note Books (edited by The Earl of Ilchester), Walpole Society, 1930-55, III, p 133; Stowe: A Description of the House and Gardens, c.1797, p 34.
6) British Museum Add. MS 6391, f.248v.
7) Mrs Cullen suggests this is Sir Edward Coke's 17th-century commentary on Littleton's treatise on Tenures. Thomas Littleton (1422-81), judge and legal writer, was an ancestor of the sitter, Burke's Peerage, 1860, pp 635-36.
This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Kerslake, Early Georgian Portraits, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1977, 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.