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Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford

2 of 64 portraits of Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford

Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford, by Nathaniel Dance (later Sir Nathaniel Holland, Bt), 1773-1774 -NPG 3627 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford

by Nathaniel Dance (later Sir Nathaniel Holland, Bt)
1773-1774
49 1/4 in. x 39 1/2 in. (1251 mm x 1003 mm)
NPG 3627

Inscriptionback to top

The lining canvas inscribed in a 19th-century hand: Fredk./2nd Earl of Guildford.

This portraitback to top

The standard portrait of Lord North, skillfully accommodating his physical clumsiness and the dignity of his office as chancellor of the University of Oxford. He had been installed in July 1773 [1] (having received the Garter the previous year), and the first of many engravings of the portrait was published on 23 May 1775. A medal by John Kirk after Isaac Gosset was also struck in 1775 to mark the election of the new chancellor.
NPG 3627 appears to be wholly by Dance, but may be a replica of the portrait at Waldershare Park. [2] Many copies are recorded, including those at the Bodleian Library, Oxford (given in 1805); [3] Trinity College, Oxford (bought in 1817); [4] the Carlton Club; Dalmeny (Rosebery sale, Christie’s, 5 May 1939, lot 36), and another was offered by Graves to the NPG in 1891. [5] A half-length version was engraved by R. H. Cromek in 1802 from a picture belonging to Sir Grey Cooper (d. 1801). [6]

Footnotesback to top

1) Cf. Wal. Corr., XXXII, p 137n10.
2) Exhibited The Dye is now Cast, NPG Washington, 1975 (138), illus. fig.97. Listed in 1866 as a ‘replica of one at Wroxton Abbey [i.e. NPG 3627]’ (Scharf transcript of 1866 Waldershare cat., no.90).
3) Mrs R. L. Poole, Catalogue of Portraits in the possession of the University, Colleges and City and County of Oxford, I, p 110.
4) Mrs R. L. Poole, Catalogue of Portraits in the possession of the University, Colleges and City and County of Oxford, III, p 135.
5) Sir George Scharf's Trustees' Sketch Books, 36/49; after it was declined Graves had it collected from the NPG, Scharf noting that ‘it was put openly on the top of a cab and the driver went in the direction of Victoria Street & not to Pall Mall’. Another version was sold Sotheby’s, 18 December 1974, lot 121 (withdrawn).
6) Other reduced versions were sold Phillips, 30 January 1990, lot 33; Sotheby’s, 11 July 1984, lot 207, and Bonham’s, 25 October 1990, lot 93; see also NPG 276.

Physical descriptionback to top

Blue eyes, white powdered hair with a black ribbon; wearing a chancellor’s black gown with gold facings1 and the ribbon of the Garter over a light brown suit; white stockings.

1 The gown might equally apply to the chancellor of the University of Oxford or to the chancellor of the exchequer; Huddesford’s whole-length portrait of North’s predecessor at Oxford, Lord Lichfield (illus. Illustrated Catalogue of a loan exhibition of Portraits of English historical personages who died between 1714 and 1837, exhibited in the Examination Schools, Oxford, 1906, f.p.69) shows a rust-coloured suit beneath the chancellor’s gown.

Provenanceback to top

By family descent at Wroxton Abbey; the Trustees of the North Settled Estates sale, Christie’s, 19 March 1948, lot 1, bought Leggatt for the NPG.

Exhibitionsback to top

British Institution 1820 (51) lent by the Earl of Guildford;1 Second special exhibition of National Portraits (William and Mary to MDCCC), South Kensington, 1867 (641) lent Col. North; D. Goodreau, Nathaniel Dance, exhibition catalogue, Kenwood, 1977 (36).

1 It is possible that this was the portrait now at Waldershare Park.

Reproductionsback to top

T. Burke 1775, reissued 1785; E. Bocquest (half length); W. H. Mote 1833 (after a drawing by William Derby, from the original belonging to Hon. Georgiana North); Holl (bust-length oval).


This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Ingamells, National Portrait Gallery: Mid-Georgian Portraits 1760-1790, National Portrait Gallery, 2004, and is as published 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 Nathaniel Dance (later Sir Nathaniel Holland, Bt)

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