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Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832), Social philosopher

Jurist and philosopher; visited his younger brother Samuel in Russia 1785; published Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation 1789; settled at Forde Abbey, Somerset, 1814; his later writings included the Rationale of Punishments and Rewards (1825) and the Constitutional Code (1827, 1830).

‘He is a small man. He stoops very much (he is eighty-four) and shuffles in his gait ... His eye is restless, and there is a fidgety activity about him ...’ (Henry Crabb Robinson, 1831).

‘Bentham’s dress was peculiar out of doors. He ordinarily wore a narrow-rimmed straw-hat; from under which his long white hair fell on his shoulders, or was blown about by the winds. He had a plain brown coat, cut in quaker style - light brown cassimere breeches, over whose knees outside he usually exhibited a pair of white worsted stockings - list shoes he almost invariably used; and his hands were generally covered with merino-lined leather gloves. His neck was bare: he never went out without his stick ‘dapple’, for a companion’ (Sir John Bowring, 1863).


This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Ingamells, National Portrait Gallery: Mid-Georgian Portraits 1760-1790, National Portrait Gallery, 2004, 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.