William Lenthall

William Lenthall, by Unknown artist, after 1643 - NPG 12 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

  • Larger Image
  • Image zoom
  • Buy a print
  • Use this image
  • ShareShare this

William Lenthall

by Unknown artist
oil on canvas, after 1643
56 1/2 in. x 45 in. (1435 mm x 1143 mm)
Purchased, 1857
Primary Collection
NPG 12

Sitterback to top

  • William Lenthall (1591-1662), Speaker of the House of Commons. Sitter in 9 portraits.

Artistback to top

This portraitback to top

William Lenthall was a successful lawyer when he was appointed recorder of Woodstock, the district which he represented in the last parliament of James I. At the opening of the Long Parliament on 3 November 1640 Lenthall was unanimously elected Speaker of the House of Commons. When Charles I entered the House in 1642 to arrest the five members, he asked Lenthall to identify whether they were present, to which he answered that he was unable to respond as he was a servant of the House. Appointed Master of the Rolls in 1643 and as one of the two commissioners of the Great Seal (1646-8), in 1647 he abandoned the post of Speaker and, fearing mob violence, left London. He is seen in this portrait painted in the 1640s in his robes as the Speaker of the House of Commons, a position which he resumed for the restored Long Parliament of 1659.

Linked publicationsback to top

Events of 1643back to top

Current affairs

Signing of the Solemn League and Covenant. The treaty forms an alliance between the English Parliament and Scottish Covenanters. Sir Henry Vane emerges as the leading spokesman of the English delegation.
The Westminster Assembly, comprising of clergymen and politicians, is appointed by the Long Parliament to restructure the Anglican Church.

Art and science

The authorised version of Religio Medici (A Doctor's Religion), by Norwich physician Sir Thomas Browne, is published. A type of personal memoir, the work gained Browne a European reputation.
Parliament issues a licensing order stipulating that all books are examined prior to publication, inciting John Milton to write Areopagitica, 1644.

International

Aged four, Louis XIV inherits the French throne. He would become the longest reigning monarch in European history.
Charles I orders James Butler, Duke of Ormonde, to arrange a ceasefire with the Catholics Confederates in Ireland, allowing Ormonde's Irish troops to fight against the Parliamentarians in England.

Tell us more back to top

Can you tell us more about this portrait? Spotted an error, information that is missing (a sitter’s life dates, occupation or family relationships, or a date of portrait for example) or do you know anything that we don't know? If you have information to share please complete the form below.

If you require information from us, please use our Archive enquiry service. If you wish to license this image, please use our Rights and Images service.

Please note that we cannot provide valuations.

We digitise over 8,000 portraits a year and we cannot guarantee being able to digitise images that are not already scheduled.

What can you tell us?close

There are occasions when we are unsure of the identity of a sitter or artist, their life dates, occupation or have not recorded their family relationships. Sometimes we have not recorded the date of a portrait. Do you have specialist knowledge or a particular interest about any aspect of the portrait or sitter or artist that you can share with us? We would welcome any information that adds to and enhances our information and understanding about a particular portrait, sitter or artist.

Citationclose

How do you know this? Please could you let us know your source of information.

* Permission to publish (Privacy information)
Privacy Informationclose

The National Portrait Gallery will NOT use your information to contact you or store for any other purpose than to investigate or display your contribution. By ticking permission to publish you are indicating your agreement for your contribution to be shown on this collection item page. Please note your email address will not be displayed on the page nor will it be used for any marketing material or promotion of any kind.

Please ensure your comments are relevant and appropriate. Your contributions must be polite and with no intention of causing trouble. All contributions are moderated.

Your Emailclose

Contributions are moderated. We'll need your email address so that we can follow up on the information provided and contact you to let you know when your contribution has been published.