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Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue

John Hervey, Baron Hervey of Ickworth (1696-1743), Pamphlet and memoir writer

The majority of portraits, with others of the family, are still at Ickworth, built for the sitter's third son, the 4th Earl of Bristol. These include an anonymous head as a child (Ickworth, 91) inscribed; Mr John Hervey; a miniature as a youth, 1723 (?), (Ickworth, 92) [1]; a signed agate medallion on a gold and enamel box (Ickworth, 269) by J. L. Natter; a similar head engraved three-quarter face by Cook, 1778, and a three-quarter length (Ickworth, 89) with the key of the vice-chamberlain of the household, an office he held 1730-40, by 'Fairam ye Painter' (John Fayram) to whom there is a payment in the sitter's account book for 1728. [2]
Two youthful portraits in the collection at Melbury are the standing whole length by Enoch Seeman and a bust by Edme Bouchardon showing the sitter with a toga over his left shoulder. The former was brought from Redlynch in 1872; the latter, mentioned by Walpole [3] and done in Rome, is dated 1729 and incised with the artist's name.
In the group of c.1738-39 [4] by Hogarth (Ickworth, 115) sometimes called 'The Holland House Group', Hervey is the central figure wearing the key and pointing to a map held by Henry Fox, afterwards 1st Lord Holland. Others portrayed are said to be the Rev P. L. Wilman, Stephen Fox, afterwards Earl of Ilchester, T. Winnington and the Duke of Marlborough. A good copy by Ranelagh Barret at Melbury (1883 catalogue, 40, and addenda, 1939) is mentioned by Walpole [5] who identified the clergyman, given elsewhere as P. L. Wilman or Villemain, [6] as J. T. Desaguliers (1683-1744). An anonymous engraving (J. Chaloner Smith, British Mezzotinto Portraits, 1878-83, 86) shows Lord Hervey and William Pulteney fighting the duel of 1731. [7]

1) E. Farrer, Portraits in Suffolk Houses (West), 1908, p 217.
2) The Diary of John Lord Hervey, 1st Earl of Bristol, Suffolk Record Society, 1894, p 163.
3) 'Horace Walpole's Journals of Visits to Country Seats & etc', edited P. Toynbee, Walpole Society, XVI, 1928, p 44.
4) R. B. Beckett, Hogarth, 1949, p 44.
5) 'Horace Walpole's Journals of Visits to Country Seats & etc', edited P. Toynbee, Walpole Society, XVI, 1928, p 44.
6) R. Paulson, Hogarth, his Life, Art and Times, 1971, I, p 458.
7) J. Chaloner Smith, British Mezzotinto Portraits, 1878-83, p 1702. For the duel, see Dictionary of National Biography, IX, p 735.


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.