Hannah More

Hannah More, by Henry William Pickersgill, 1822 - NPG 412 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Hannah More

by Henry William Pickersgill
oil on canvas, 1822
49 1/2 in. x 35 1/4 in. (1257 mm x 895 mm)
Purchased, 1875
Primary Collection
NPG 412

On display in Room 20 at the National Portrait Gallery

Sitterback to top

  • Hannah More (1745-1833), Religious writer. Sitter in 11 portraits.

Artistback to top

This portraitback to top

The writer and reformer Hannah More was in her seventies at the time this portrait was painted. In her letters, More described her objections to sitting for this portrait: 'Morally and physically it is grievous to me ... I object, in a moral point of view, that so much time out of my little fragment of life should be so spent'. The letter on the table is addressed to William Wilberforce, the friend who inspired her support for anti-slavery after they met in 1787. The most striking part of her outfit is the layered 'van Dyck' ruff collar and high-crowned, frilled muslin cap tied under the chin and trimmed with abundant silk ribbons. These were a popular form of indoor head wear. With them she wears a simple silk day dress with a high waistline, smooth ungathered shoulders and muslin frills at the wrists. Over the top of this is wrapped a shawl of silk or fine wool with fashionably patterned borders and ends. In her right hand she holds a scent bottle.

Related worksback to top

Linked publicationsback to top

Events of 1822back to top

Current affairs

Lord Castlereagh (the Marquis of Londonderry) commits suicide after a blackmail campaign against him.
Tory cabinet joined by liberals George Canning and Robert Peel. Canning is appointed Foreign Secretary.

Art and science

John Nash completes the remodelling of the King's villa, the Brighton Pavilion and begins plans for the new layout of Regent Street and Regent's Park.
The Caledonian Canal opens to link eastern to western Scotland.
The Sunday Times is founded.


David Wilkie exhibits celebrated Chelsea Pensioners at the Royal Academy to commemorate the Battle of Waterloo. It proves so popular a rail has to be erected to protect it.
First major failure of the potato crop in Ireland. A large-scale public works programme is implemented to provide employment.

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