The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Oliver Cromwell ('The Dunbar Medal')

Early Stuart Portraits Catalogue

Oliver Cromwell ('The Dunbar Medal')

by Thomas Simon
1650
1 3/8 in. x 1 1/2 in. (35 mm x 28 mm) oval
NPG 4365

Inscriptionback to top

Inscribed: WORD AT DUNBAR./THE LORD OF HOSTS/SEPTEM/Y 3 1650 and signed beneath left shoulder THO:SIMON.FE

This portraitback to top

Made for distribution to officers and men after the battle of Dunbar (3 September 1650), the first instance of an identical campaign medal being given to all ranks. A smaller version (2.5 x 2.2) was also made.
Simon had been specially sent by Parliament to Edinburgh after the battle. When the Dunbar Medal was made by Thomas Simon Cromwell responded ‘I may truly say it will be very thankfully acknowledged by me, if you will spare having my Effigies in it’ (D. Piper, ‘The contemporary Portraits of Oliver Cromwell’, Wal. Soc., XXIV, 1958, p 33).

Referenceback to top

Henfrey 1877
H. W. Henfrey, Numismata Cromwelliana, 1877, pp 5-7.

Piper 1958
D. Piper, ‘The contemporary Portraits of Oliver Cromwell’, Wal. Soc., XXIV, 1958, p 33.

Piper 1963
D. Piper, Catalogue of the Seventeenth Century Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery 1625-1714, 1963, p 97.

Physical descriptionback to top

Obverse: Cromwell addressing the House of Commons.
Reverse: profile head of Cromwell.

Provenanceback to top

Spink & Sons Ltd, 1964; presented by the Cromwell Association in memory of their past president, the Rt. Hon. Isaac Foot, 1964.


This extended catalogue entry is by John Ingamells, one of a limited number of entries drafted in 2010 for the incomplete catalogue, Early Stuart Portraits 1625-1685, and is as written then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.

View all known portraits for Oliver Cromwell