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Later Stuart Portraits Catalogue

George Savile, 1st Marquess of Halifax (1633-1695), Political philosopher

Statesman and pamphleteer; son of Sir William Savile, 3rd Bt., whom he succeeded 1644; travelled in Europe c.1647-52; MP 1660; commissioner for public accounts 1667-70 and for trade 1669-74; created Viscount 1668; ambassador extraordinary France and United Provinces 1672; FRS 1675; created Earl 1679; lord privy seal 1682-85 and 1689-90; created Marquess 1682; an instinctive antagonist of James II; in the Character of a Trimmer 1684 he wrote ‘in all constitutions that are bounded there will ever be some matter of strife and contention’, and in his famous Letter to a Dissenter 1687 he urged Protestants and Dissenters to remain united and temperate against the Roman church: ‘fair weather will succeed, as lowering as the sky now looketh’.


This extended catalogue entry is from the National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Ingamells, National Portrait Gallery: Later Stuart Portraits 1685-1714, National Portrait Gallery, 2009, 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.