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Later Stuart Portraits Catalogue

Thomas Wharton, 1st Marquess of Wharton (1648-1716), Nobleman and politician

Statesman, member of the Kit-Cat Club; MP between 1673 and 1696, and zealous promoter of the Protestant succession; comptroller of the Household 1689-1702; succeeded as 5th Baron Wharton 1696; created Earl of Wharton 1706; lord lieutenant of Ireland 1708-10; lord privy seal 1714-d.; created Marquess of Catherlough (I) and Marquess of Wharton 1715; wrote the Lilliburlero, a satire of James II’s foreign policy, of which (as set to music by Purcell) Burnet commented ‘perhaps never had so slight a thing so great an effect’.

‘… certainly one of the compleatest Gentlemen in England, hath a very clear Understanding, and manly Expressions, with abundance of Wit. He is brave in his Person, much of a Libertine, of a middle Stature, fair Complexion, and fifty Years old’ (J. Macky, Characters of the Court of Great Britain, 1733).

‘He has three predominant Passions, which you will seldom observe united in the same Man … these are the love of Power, love of Money, and love of Pleasure’ (Swift).


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.