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Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Sir Charles Hanbury Williams (1708-1759), Satirical writer and diplomat

The earliest likeness is a quarter length portrait by James Worsdale (collection J. M. A. Hanbury-Williams) dated 1733 on the back of the canvas. [1] Next is Vanloo's three-quarter length of 1744 (collection Lady Hanbury Williams). A quarter length version of the Vanloo belonged (1934) to Reginald Duke Hill of Holfield Grange, Coggeshall; a studio copy (?) is in Leominster town hall.

A portrait by Mengs, begun at Dresden and finished in Rome, 1753, was destroyed c.1939-45. This painting was given by Williams to his daughter Lady Essex, exhibited in the Second Exhibition of National Portraits, South Kensington, 1867 (288), sold in the 1922 Cassiobury sale, Knight, Frank & Rutley, 15 June, lot 846, and subsequently acquired by the late Sir John Hanbury Williams. It was copied by Reynolds c.1757 [2] and engraved by R. Rhodes.

Two miniatures after the Mengs portrait are recorded. One was executed by Serre [3] in 1755 for Williams' daughter Charlotte; the other, presumably one of the two miniatures of Williams which were in the Cassiobury sale, was in the collection of Lord Malden in 1794 when engraved by W. N. Gardiner for Harding's Biographical Mirror. Another miniature of Williams, from the collection of Lord Beauchamp, was exhibited at the Royal Academy, 'British Portraits', 1956-57 (238).

Neither the ivory relief by Pozzi in the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, [4] nor the so-called portrait of Williams by Reynolds in the Alte Pinakothek, Munich, bears any resemblance to the established likenesses.

1) The Bath star was added later.
2) See A. Graves and W. V. Cronin, A History of the Works of Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1899-1901, p 1055.
3) D. Foskett, A Dictionary of British Miniature Painters, I, 1972, p 500.
4) See Burlington Magazine, LXXI, 1937, p 282.


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.