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Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield (1694-1773), Statesman

Politician and author; ambassador to the Hague, 1728-32 and 1745; KG, 1730; married the Countess of Walsingham, illegitimate daughter of George I, and dismissed from court, 1733; lord lieutenant of Ireland, 1746; opponent of Walpole; introduced the calendar reform of 1751; his collection of literary portraits from Chesterfield House, South Audley Street (rebuilt for him by Isaac Ware, 1748-9) is now in the University of London library; the well-known letters to his natural son published, 1774, by the latter's widow.
'He was very short, disproportioned, thick, and clumsily made; had a broad, rough-featured, ugly face, with black teeth, and a head big enough for a Polyphemus,’ according to Hervey who relates that one Ben Ashurst told Chesterfield he looked, 'like a stunted giant'. [1]

Footnotesback to top

1) Some Materials Towards Memoirs of the Reign of King George II by John, Lord Hervey, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1931, I, p 72.

Referencesback to top

Dobrée (ed.) 1932
The Letters of Philip Dormer Stanhope 4th Earl of Chesterfield, ed. B. Dobrée, 1932.

Sedgwick (ed.) 1931
Some Materials Towards Memoirs of the Reign of King George II by John, Lord Hervey, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1931.

Tipping 1928
H. A. Tipping, English Homes Period IV, II, 1928.


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.