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Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, 3rd Bt

15 of 166 portraits by Michael Dahl

Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, 3rd Bt, by Michael Dahl, 1729, based on a work of circa 1729 -NPG 2614 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, 3rd Bt

after Michael Dahl
1729, based on a work of circa 1729
49 3/4 in. x 40 in. (1264 mm x 1016 mm)
NPG 2614

Inscriptionback to top

Inscribed in lower left corner Sr. W W Wynn Bt./MP.

This portraitback to top

In 1727 the sitter's brother's election to Montgomery Borough was petitioned against on the ground that the right of election lay in the freemen of the county town only. In the ensuing debate, Wynn supported the right of Parliament in disputed elections. In 1729 he introduced the bill to prevent bribery at elections, which passed into law (Anno II, George II, cap. XXIV), with an amendment by the Lords making the last determination of the House as to the right of election in every constituency final. This provides a terminus and possibly an approximate date for the type.
NPG 2614, on a stretcher with hand-forged nails, is an eighteenth-century copy. A similar portrait was formerly with David Minlore. A whole length version, presumably the prototype, belongs to Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, the present baronet. A slightly different three-quarter length, in which the sitter wears ruffles at his neck and holds a hat in his hand is in the collection of Sir John Carew Pole, Bart at Antony House, Cornwall. [1]

Footnotesback to top

1) This version is inscribed Hudson pt, but clearly relates to the Dahl type.

Physical descriptionback to top

Blue eyes, light brown brows, white wig, fresh complexion; port-coloured coat and waistcoat, white cravat and cuffs, gilt sword hilt; paper in sitter's hand inscribed: An Act for the/more effectual/preventing Bribery/and Corruption in the Election of Members to Serve in Parliament/Brought; [1] gold-figured green drapery to right; greenish-grey background.

1) R. Sedgwick, The History of Parliament, the House of Commons, 1715-1754, 1970, pp 543, 545 and references there cited.

Conservationback to top

Not relined; a few small patches of retouching, particularly below cravat; cleaned, November 1933.

Provenanceback to top

Bought at the Dillon sale, Sotheby's, 24 May 1933, lot 6; in the collection of the 17th Viscount Dillon at Ditchley Park, 1908, previous history unknown, but possibly always at Ditchley. Another portrait of Wynn, a pastel by Hoare (Ditchley 108), with companion portraits of the 4th and 5th Dukes of Beaufort in Beaufort Hunt dress (Ditchley 106, 107), had evidently been in the house since the 18th century.

Reproductionsback to top

The type engraved by G. Vertue, 1742, and published by T. Payne, bookseller in Wrexham.


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.

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