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Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Philip Doddridge (1702-1751), Dissenting minister

Two versions of a portrait at New College, London, [1] ascribed to John Russell, and a third, collection C. H. Dyer, 1932, correspond with the type engraved by W. C. Edwards. This was published by the proprietors of Doddridge's Complete Works, Leeds, 1802-5, 'by permission of the Trustees of the late William Coward, Esq. from the Original picture in Wymondley House, Hants'. Doddridge's connection with the eccentric merchant Coward (d. 1738) began in 1734 and the portrait may date from these years. [2] Russell (1745-1806) can hardly have painted the sitter from life, and even allowing for their condition, it is difficult to understand how his name came to be associated with these works. A comparison with such early paintings as his 'unknown man', Sotheby's, 3 February 1954, lot 59, and the Rev. William Dodd (NPG 251) is further evidence that the New College portraits cannot be by him. A portrait, reputedly by him, was painted posthumously from a miniature by order of the Coward trustees [3] but both the copy and the original are lost. Another was produced by the Florentine artist Andrea Soldi, first mentioned by Vertue as in London c.1738. [4] It is now known only by Vertue's plate of 1751, but the sitter looks younger; the type was used en vignette for A. Walker's frontispiece to Doddridge's Family Expositor, 1739-56.
A portrait by an unknown hand, considered by the family and by Doddridge himself [5] to be the best likeness, was completed 10 August 1750. It was engraved by W. H. Worthington for the 1829 edition of the Correspondence when it belonged to the editor John Doddridge Humphreys, the sitter's great-grandson (d. 1847). Since there is some resemblance between the face masks of the two engravings and assuming Vertue's to have been somewhat free, it is just possible that the Soldi may be the prototype for both. To test such a hypothesis however would require the confrontation of two apparently lost pictures. A portrait from the family home at Tewkesbury was sold 25 November 1847 by Southgate and Barrett, London.
There are several doubtful portraits. One of a divine in Commercial Street Church, Northampton, 1932, was presented by the executors of the Rev. Edmund Thornton Prust (d.1888), the first minister of the church. From the wig it may be dated c.1730 but does not seem rightly named. An etching which, on costume and style, also seems of doubtful authenticity, was published by C. Dyer of Compton Street, London, as after Kneller. A portrait at Castle Hill Chapel, Northampton, shows a man too old and too removed in features from authentic portraits, to represent the sitter.

1) Exhibited Second Exhibition of National Portraits, South Kensington, 1867 (386); 'Manuscripts and Men', NPG, 1969 (133).
2) Correspondence and Diary ... [of Philip Doddridge], ed. J. D. Humphreys, 1829-31, III, pp 146 ff.
3) Ibid.
4) G. Vertue, Vertue Note Books (edited by The Earl of Ilchester), Walpole Society, III, p 84.
5) Correspondence and Diary ... [of Philip Doddridge], ed. J. D. Humphreys, 1829-31, I, p xxx, letter 11 August 1750.


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.