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Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue

William Warburton (1698-1779), Bishop of Gloucester, critic and writer

A profile medallion by H. Gravelot was engraved by this artist and by others (F. O'Donoghue and Sir Henry M. Hake, Catalogue of Engraved British Portraits ... in the British Museum, 1908-25, 1-3). A portrait engraved by J. Hall in 1784, [1] head and shoulders only, after an original in the episcopal palace at Gloucester is by William Hoare. According to Musgrave's notes, [2] it was painted for Ralph Allen and depicts Warburton as Dean of Bristol, i.e., c.1757. [3] Another profile drawing and a painting signed and dated 1765 are also by Hoare. They remain at Hartlebury in the library of Warburton's chaplain and friend, Richard Hurd, afterwards Bishop of Worcester. Both portraits were gifts from the sitter, who wrote to Hurd on 6 October 1765, 'Your picture is finished. Hoare says it is much the best he has ever drawn of me. I have ordered it to be sent to London for a frame, by Gosset'; and, three days later, 'I believe you will like the picture, it is really a good one.' [4] Nankivell connects this remark with the drawing, [5] but 'drawn' was not then restricted to its present meaning; unless there is something specific to the contrary in his sources, the remarks probably refer to the oil, which is exceptional in Hoare's oeuvre. The ceiling of the library at Hartlebury also contains a plaster medallion by Joseph Bromfield of Shrewsbury. [6] An engraving by Houbracken (F. O'Donoghue and Sir Henry M. Hake, Catalogue of Engraved British Portraits ... in the British Museum, 1908-25, 4) appears to be an independent type rather than a free version of any of the above. Scharf described at Wimpole, the Hardwicke seat, an unattributed and undated portrait: 'To waist and in blue gown and grey wig. face ¾ to r. Eyes dark & bright looking at spectator. Short nose. fair complexion. Rather affected and self-satisfied expression.' [7] The description is not incompatible with the Philips type, but it seems significant that Scharf, who must have known this, does not mention Philips' name. A caricature engraved by J. Lodge after T. Worlidge also represents Warburton, according to a fairly old inscription on the back of an impression in the NPG. [8] A relief attributed to T. King of Bath is in Gloucester cathedral. [9]

1) Impression in the NPG.
2) Add. MS 6391, ff.60-61.
3) Exhibited 'A Candidate for Praise, William Mason 1725-97 Precentor of York', York, 1973 (13).
4) J. Nankivell, The Collection of Portraits in Oils of Bishop Richard Hurd at Hartlebury Castle, 1953, p 24.
5) Ibid.
6) Ibid.
7) Sir George Scharf's Trustees' Sketchbooks, XXVI, p 77.
8) Diaries of Fanny Burney (extra-illustrated edition, bequeathed by Leverton Harris to the NPG), 1926, I, part 3, p 296.
9) Photograph in R. Gunnis collection, NPG.


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.