Anne Hyde, Duchess of York; King James II

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Anne Hyde, Duchess of York; King James II

by Sir Peter Lely
oil on canvas, circa 1661-1662
55 in. x 75 1/8 in. (1397 mm x 1920 mm)
Purchased, 1976
Primary Collection
NPG 5077

Sittersback to top

Artistback to top

  • Sir Peter Lely (1618-1680), Portrait painter. Artist or producer associated with 843 portraits, Sitter in 19 portraits.

Linked publicationsback to top

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  • Cannadine, Sir David (Introduction); Cooper, Tarnya; Stewart, Louise; MacGibbon, Rab; Cox, Paul; Peltz, Lucy; Moorhouse, Paul; Broadley, Rosie; Jascot-Gill, Sabina, Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portraits, 2018 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, USA, 7 October 2018 -3 February 2019. Bendigo Art Gallery, Australia, 16 March - 14 July 2019.), pp. 112-113, 134-135 Read entry

    Anne Hyde was the daughter of Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, Charles II's most powerful minister at the time of his restoration to the throne in 1660. She and James, Charles's younger brother, had begun a relationship while the court was still in exile on the Continent; Anne became pregnant and James promised to marry her. After the Restoration, however, James's marriage prospects became much better and a number of attempts were made, first to prevent this marriage to a 'commoner', and then, after it had taken place in secret, to deny that it had happened. Eventually, with the king's support, there was a general reconciliation and the marriage was acknowledged publicly. It was probably around this time or shortly afterwards that this elegant double portrait was painted by Peter Lely. It is a celebration not just of married love but also of the Stuart family's wealth and military might. Anne was to die young, shortly after the birth of her last child. Both James and Anne were Roman Catholic converts and James later married an Italian Catholic princess, Mary of Modena. He inherited the throne from his brother in 1685 but was ousted three years later to live in exile for a second time until his death in 1701. Two of James and Anne's daughters, however, were eventually to become queens of England: Mary II and Queen Anne, both of whom ruled as Protestants.

  • Edited by Rab MacGibbon and Tanya Bentley, Icons and Identities, 2021, p. 73
  • Ingamells, John, Later Stuart Portraits 1685-1714, 2009, p. 121
  • Ollard, Richard, Pepys and his Contemporaries, 2015, pp. 46-7
  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 332
  • Williamson, David, Kings and Queens, 2010, p. 120
  • Williamson, David, The National Portrait Gallery: History of the Kings and Queens of England, 1998, p. 121

Events of 1661back to top

Current affairs

The Cavalier Parliament, with pro-royalist-Anglican majority, begins passing legislation to enforce conformity to the restored Church of England. These statues became known as the 'Clarendon Code', named after, Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, erroneously, since Clarendon favoured a more tolerate approach.
Coronation of Charles II in Westminster Abbey.

Art and science

Prince Rupert, Count Palatine, the earliest practitioner of mezzotint engraving in England, demonstrates the technique to diarist John Evelyn.
The Sceptical Chymist by natural philosopher, Robert Boyle is published; in it Boyle argues for a more philosophical approach to the study of nature by 'chymists'.


The marriage treaty of Charles II and Catherine of Braganza, sister of the Afonso VI, King of Portugal is concluded. Catherine's dowry brings Mumbai and Tangiers into British possession, as well as free trade with Brazil and the East Indies. England, in return, would provide military protection for Portugal.

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