Arthur Onslow

Arthur Onslow, after Hans Hysing, probably 18th century, based on a work of 1728 - NPG 1940 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Arthur Onslow

after Hans Hysing
oil on canvas, probably 18th century, based on a work of 1728
30 in. x 25 in. (762 mm x 635 mm)
Transferred from Speaker's House, 1922
Primary Collection
NPG 1940

Sitterback to top

  • Arthur Onslow (1691-1768), Speaker of the House of Commons. Sitter in 13 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • Hans Hysing (1678-1752 or 1753), Portrait painter. Artist associated with 36 portraits, Sitter in 1 portrait.

This portraitback to top

In this portrait Onslow is wearing the black and gold robes of the Speaker of the House of Commons, a post he held for over thirty years. In an era of political upheaval, corruption and scandal, Onslow was a man of integrity. Committed to the independence of the role of Speaker, he increased its authority by insisting on Parliamentary procedures. His greatness as a Speaker was recognised in his own time, and he was re-elected four times. On his retirement in 1761 he was showered with honours for his service to Parliament. More detailed information on this portrait is available in a National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue, John Kerslake's Early Georgian Portraits (1977, out of print).

Linked publicationsback to top

Subjects & Themesback to top

Events of 1728back to top

Current affairs

George II's son Frederick, soon to be Prince of Wales, arrives in Britain for the first time, aged 21.
Satirist Jonathan Swift publishes A Short View on the State of Ireland which severely criticises British policy in Ireland.
Composer George Frideric Handel is appointed director of the King's Theatre, London.

Art and science

John Gay's The Beggar's Opera debuts at the Lincoln's Inn Fields Theatre, London.
First version of Alexander Pope's landmark literary satire The Dunciad is published.
Astronomer James Bradley uses stellar aberration to calculate the speed of light and observes the nutation of the Earth's axis.

International

British troops under Sir Charles Wager remain steadfast in Gibraltar and Spain ends its siege. Convention of Prado ends the one-year war between Britain and Spain.
Danish explorer Vitus Bering sails into Arctic seas through the strait between Asia and America now known by his name.

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