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Unknown man, formerly known as William Frederick, 2nd Duke of Gloucester

2 of 28 portraits of William Frederick, 2nd Duke of Gloucester

Regency Portraits Catalogue

Unknown man, formerly known as William Frederick, 2nd Duke of Gloucester

by Unknown artist
circa 1820-1825
8 3/4 in. x 7 1/8 in. (222 mm x 182 mm)
NPG 1576b

Physical descriptionback to top

Half-length seated to right in a black coat, Ribbon and Star of GCB, Army Gold Cross with one bar (worn round neck on a red ribbon with blue edge). Dark hair and whiskers, fresh complexion, aged 45-50. NPG clover leaf stamp lower right.

Provenanceback to top

Given by Lord De Mauley 1910. It was acquired without either identity or artist, though William Frederick Duke of Gloucester has been suggested; but this is clearly mistaken as he can be seen to be wearing the Army Gold Cross, worn round the neck by general officers only. None of the royal dukes was entitled to this coveted decoration, awarded only to officers 'personally and Particularly engaged'. He appears therefore to be a general, painted perhaps for a miniature c.1820, probably a veteran of the Peninsula but with only one campaign bar - Generals Hill and Beresford, who had similar appearances and similarly shaped heads, would both have worn five bars. The Order of Knights Grand Cross of the Bath - Military Division, was remodelled in January 1815. Thirty-three generals, lieutenant-generals and major-generals were appointed GCB on this occasion and another 32 by the end of 1820. It has not been possible to match any of them with NPG 1576b, though General Sir Henry Fane GCB (1778-1840) has been suggested by officers of the Army Ogilby Trust. It certainly bears a close resemblance to the oil by A. Pio formerly in the United Service Club collection (now Crown Estate Commissioners), where he is shown slightly younger, in lieutenant-general's uniform, Ribbon and Badge of GCB, and Army Gold Cross with Bar for Orthes, copied from a portrait by Charles Jagger engraved in mezzotint by R. M. Hodgetts 1835.


This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: Richard Walker, Regency Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, 1985, 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.

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