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Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Charles Townshend (1725-1767), Whig politician; Chancellor of the Exchequer

Second son of Charles, third Viscount Townshend; MP for Yarmouth, 1747-61; lord of the admiralty, 1754, resigned, 1755; privy councillor, 1757; secretary-at-war, 1761; elected for Harwich, 1761; refused to join Grenville's administration and went into opposition; spoke against general warrants, 1764; became paymaster, 1765; chancellor of exchequer in Chatham's ministry, 1766; opposed Chatham's India policy and 'pledged himself to find a revenue in America', 1767; made his famous 'champagne speech', 1767; suspended legislative functions of New York assembly, 1767; established commissioners of customs in America and port duties, but did not live to see results; married Caroline, eldest daughter and coheir of John Campbell, 2nd Duke of Argyll, and widow of Francis Scott, Earl of Dalkeith.

'His countenance was handsome and expressive; his figure commanding and admirably well proportioned.’ [1]

'His figure was tall and advantageous, his action vehement, his voice loud, his laugh louder.' [2]

Footnotesback to top

1) J. H. Jesse, Memoirs of the Reign of George III, 1867, I, p 399.
2) Horace Walpole, Memoirs of the Reign of George II, ed. Holland, 1847, I, pp 340-41.

Referencesback to top

Jesse 1867
J. H. Jesse, Memoirs of the Reign of George III, 1867.

Walpole 1847
Horace Walpole, Memoirs of the Reign of George II, ed. Holland, 1847.


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.