The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Advanced Collection search

Later Stuart Portraits Catalogue

Spencer Compton, Earl of Wilmington (1673-1743), Prime Minister; Speaker of the House of Commons

Statesman, member of the Kit-Cat Club; 2nd surviving son of 3rd Earl of Northampton; Middle Temple 1687; Trinity College, Oxford, 1690; DCL 1730; MP 1698-1710, 1713-15, 1715-28; treasurer to Prince George 1707-08 and to the Prince of Wales 1715-27; speaker of the House of Commons 1715-27; paymaster general 1722-30; KB 1725; created Baron Wilmington 1728; lord privy seal 1730; created Earl of Wilmington 1730; lord president of the council 1730-42; KG 1733; first commissioner of the treasury 1742-d.

‘About 65 years old, strong made, but of late much troubled with the stone. His stature is something more than of the middle sort and he is not corpulent though full fleshed’ (1st Earl of Egmont).

‘a plodding, heavy fellow with a great application, but no talents … his only pleasures were money and eating; his only knowledge of forms and precedents; and his only insinuation bows and smiles’ (Lord John Hervey).


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.