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Later Stuart Portraits Catalogue

Charles Seymour, 6th Duke of Somerset (1662-1748), Politician, Lord President of the Council and Master of the Horse

Politician, courtier, member of the Kit-Cat Club; son of 2nd Baron Seymour of Trowbridge; sty. Lord Charles Seymour 1675-78; succeeded his brother as 6th Duke of Somerset 1678; married 1) 1682 Elizabeth Thynne, née Percy, the greatest heiress in England; KG 1684; chancellor, University of Cambridge 1689-1748; master of Horse 1702-12, 1714-15; withdrew from public life after 1715; married 2) 1726 Charlotte Finch (daughter of the 2nd Earl of Nottingham) who tended his fragile later years.

‘of a middle Stature, well Shaped, a very Black Complexion, a lover of Musick and Poetry; of good Judgment, but by Reason of a great Hesitation in his Speech, wants Expression. He is about Forty-two Years old’ (J. Macky, Characters of the Court of Great Britain, 1733).

‘a man of vast pride, and having had a very low education, shewed it in a very indecent manner’ (1st Earl Cowper).

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.