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William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland

4 of 27 portraits by Christian Friedrich Zincke

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland

attributed to Christian Friedrich Zincke
enamel on copper, circa 1743-1745
1 1/2 in. x 1 1/4 in. (38 mm x 32 mm) oval
Transferred from National Gallery, 1994
Primary Collection
NPG 6285

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This portraitback to top

The third son of George II, the Duke of Cumberland served with distinction at Dettingen in 1743 and then defeated Prince Charles, the 'Young Pretender', at Culloden in 1746. He became known as 'The Butcher' for his subsequent treatment of the Highlanders. In this miniature he wears a scarlet coat embellished with gold-braid oak leaves, emblems of the Hanoverian victory at the Battle of Dettingen.

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 158
  • Walker, Richard, Miniatures: 300 Years of the English Miniature, 1998, p. 61 Read entry

    The Duke of Cumberland defeated the Young Pretender's army, at Culloden in 1746 and became known as the 'Butcher' because of his subsequent treatment of the Highlanders. The meticulous enamel portraits painted by Zincke were much admired at Court where, we are told by Vertue, he was expressly commanded by their majesties 'to make the King's picture young, not above 25 - and the Queen's not above 28 ... a mistery to posterity' (George Vertue's Notebooks, Walpole Society Journal XVIII-XXX, III, p 58). The two Zincke portraits here show Cumberland and Rochford both wearing scarlet coats embellished with gold-braid oak leaves, emblems of Hanoverian victory after the Battle of Dettingen in 1743.

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Events of 1743back to top

Current affairs

Henry Pelham becomes Prime Minister, following the death of Spencer Compton, Earl of Wilmington.
Last wolf in the British Isles is reputedly killed in Scotland.
Second Gin Act further attempts to deal with the widespread abuse of gin.

Art and science

Portrait-painter Michael Dahl dies.
Physician and cartographer Christopher Packe produces the first geological map of south-east England.
Final edition of Alexander Pope's literary satire The Dunciad is published.


War of the Austrian Succession: Battle of Dettingen is fought in Bavaria. King George II leads the troops to victory over the French; the last time a British monarch participates in a battle. George Frideric Handel writes the oratorio Dettingen Te Deum in celebration. Treaty of Worms signed between Great Britain, Austria and Sardinia. France and Spain form the Alliance of Fontainebleau with the aim of recapturing Gibraltar from Britain.

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