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.

Advanced Collection search

Henry Pelham

Henry Pelham, by William Hoare, 1751 -NPG 221 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Henry Pelham

by William Hoare
50 in. x 40 in. (1270 mm x 1016 mm)
NPG 221

Inscriptionback to top

Inscribed, upper right: The Right. Honbl. Henry Pelham./Chancellor of the Exchequer, &c. &c.1751.

This portraitback to top

NPG 221 is one of several three-quarter lengths of near uniform quality and appearance, of which the first is probably the portrait at Stanmer now on loan, as after Shackleton, from the Chichester Estates to the Department of the Environment. This is also likely to be the portrait reproduced in what appears to be an identical frame, sold Knight, Frank and Rutley, 7 June 1915, lot 43. Another good 50 x 40 is at Rockingham Castle (69) together with a small copy (110), 12 x 10 in., by descent through the sitter's daughter and coheir Grace, who married in 1752 Lewis, 1st Baron Sondes. [1] Other versions include one at Clumber [2] and another, with the rolled paper addressed to the sitter, in the collection of Lord Rosebery. A pastel by Hoare from Clumber with the same face mask as NPG 221 was at Christie's, 4 June 1937, lot 1. It is very like the Gallery's pastels of Pope and Newcastle. Although NPG 221 is the only dated version, the inscription 1751 should be considered in the light of Houston's engraving and Vertue's comment, June 1752, that ‘... this spring ... Mr. Hoar ... removd to London to paint the pictures of several noble Men ... (his principal employment in Town has been to draw the pictures of Hon. Mr. Pelham ...)'. [3]

Footnotesback to top

1) Catalogue of Paintings at Rockingham Castle ..., 1934, typescript kindly lent by the owner, Lieutenant Sir Michael Colme Seymour, Bart.
2) W. J. Hipkin, Descriptive Catalogue of the Pictures ... at Clumber House, 1923, pp 26-27 (69), subsequently perhaps with D. Minlore.
3) G. Vertue, Vertue Note Books (edited by The Earl of Ilchester), Walpole Society, 1930-55, III, p 161.

Physical descriptionback to top

Blue eyes, heavy eyebrows curled at outer end, a wart or pimple above his right eyelid, long nose, full lower lip, double chin, curled grey wig touching shoulders; chancellor's black gown with gold lace over mid-brown velvet suit, white lace cravat and shirt ruffles; seated in greyish-brown chair, a rolled paper in his left hand; on a table, right, chancellor's purse with the lettering around outer rim and centre partly illegible; green curtain and column in background.

Conservationback to top

Varnish yellowed; surface cleaned and varnished, 1895.

Provenanceback to top

Given, 1866, by W. Jones Lloyd.

Reproductionsback to top

The type engraved by R. Houston, 1752, after W. Hoare as painted in 1752 (J. Chaloner Smith, British Mezzotinto Portraits, 1878-83, 86).

This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Kerslake, Early Georgian Portraits, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1977, 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 Henry Pelham



Gallery blog

Read our latest news and have your say.

Join the conversation

Tell us More about our silhouettes, photograph of Hubert Leslie, Silhouettist

Identify our Silhouettes

Join enthusiastic contributors who have already identified 155 sitters.

Help transcribe signatures

Tell us More about our Silvy sitters, photograph of Camille Silvy, photographer with boy

Tell us more about our Silvy sitters

Help us identify the sitters who visited Camille Silvy’s photographic studio during the 1860s.

Identify our sitters