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Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Henrietta Howard (née Hobart), Countess of Suffolk (circa 1688-1767), Mistress of George II and architectural patron

‘Mrs Howard’. Daughter of Sir Henry Hobart, Bart, of Blickling, Norfolk; married (1) 1706 Charles Howard (afterwards 9th Earl of Suffolk), with whom she lived at Hanover; followed George I to England and became bedchamber woman to Princess of Wales; her house at Marble Hill, Twickenham, the resort of Pope, Arbuthnot, and Swift; admired by Lord Peterborough; much courted as mistress of George II; became Countess, 1731; retired from court, 1734; married (2) 1735 Hon. George Berkeley.

‘... of a just higth, well made, extremely fair, with the finest light brown hair; was remarkably genteel, & always well drest with taste & simplicity. Those were her personal charms, for her face was regular & agreable rather than beautifull; and those charms She retained with little diminution to her death at the age of 79 ... her eyes & countenance showed her character, which was grave & mild.' [1]

Footnotesback to top

1) H. Walpole, Reminiscences, ed. P. Toynbee, 1924, pp 65-66.

Referencesback to top

A description of the Villa of Mr. Horace Walpole ... at Strawberry Hill ..., 1784.

The Works of Horatio Walpole, Earl of Orford, 1798.

Walpole 1924
H. Walpole, Reminiscences, ed. P. Toynbee, 1924.


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.