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Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham (1730-1782), Prime Minister

Statesman; sty. Lord Higham 1739, Earl of Malton 1746; succeeded as 2nd Marquess 1750; FRS 1751; KG 1760; twice briefly prime minister, July 1765 to July 1766 and March 1782 to his death on 1 July 1782; ‘having been only known to that public by his passion for horse-races’, Walpole commented, ‘men could not be cured of their surprise at seeing him First Minister’.

‘An amiable and a respectable individual rather than a superior man, nature had not designed him to be the First Minister of a great country’ (Sir Nathaniel Wraxall, 1815).

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.