Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Richard Grenville-Temple, 2nd Earl Temple (1711-1779), Statesman

Statesman; travelled in Europe 1729-33; MP 1741-52; sty. Lord Cobham 1749 (his mother had inherited Lord Cobham’s estate); succeeded. as 2nd Earl 1752, when he assumed the added name of Temple and inherited the estates of Wotton and Stowe; devoted to his brother-in-law, William Pitt, he was lord privy seal 1757-61 and twice declined the position of prime minister in 1765; KG 1760; much of his later life was spent embellishing Stowe.

'In his person he was tall and large, though not inclined to corpulency. A disorder, the seat of which lay in his ribs, bending him almost double, compelled him in walking to use a sort of crutch; but his mind seemed exempt from decay. His conversation was animated, brilliant, and full of entertainment’ (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.