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George Jeffreys, 1st Baron Jeffreys of Wem

1 of 14 portraits of George Jeffreys, 1st Baron Jeffreys of Wem

George Jeffreys, 1st Baron Jeffreys of Wem, by John Michael Wright, 1675 -NPG 6047 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Later Stuart Portraits Catalogue

George Jeffreys, 1st Baron Jeffreys of Wem

by John Michael Wright
1675
47 3/4 in. x 39 3/4 in. (1213 mm x 1010 mm)
NPG 6047

Inscriptionback to top

Holding a debtors’ roll on which Sum ... /Debts … alone may be read; a later inscription, upper right: Sir George Jeffreys./Recorder of the City/of London. Sixth/Son of John Jeffreys/Esqr. of Acton in/the County of/Denbigh. 1673, above the (added) arms of Jeffreys (erm., a lion rampant sa., a canton of the last), with the Welsh motto POB DAWNE O DDVW1; signed and dated, verso, on the original canvas: Georgius Jeffrys Ar. Communis/serviens ad Legem Civitatis Londini//Jo: Mich. Wright Londinsis./Pictor Regius pinxit Anno/1675.

1 Approximately ‘all talent comes from God’ (I am grateful to David McNeff for this advice). The 1686 engraving by R. White after Kneller showing Jeffreys as lord chancellor has POB DAVN O DDVW.

This portraitback to top

The earliest known portrait of Jeffreys, showing him aged twenty-eight, dressed in the black robes of a serjeant-at-law (serviens ad legem). According to the provenance it was evidently painted for the sitter or his family.
In 1675 Wright was completing a commission from the City of London to paint twenty-two whole-length portraits of the Fire Judges for the London Guildhall, [1] indicating his close involvement with legal patronage at this time.

Footnotesback to top

1) See J. L. Howgego, Guildhall Miscellany, 1, Feb. 1953, pp 20-30.

Referenceback to top

Simon & Saywell (eds.) 2004
Complete Illustrated Catalogue, NPG, ed. J. Simon & D. Saywell, 2004, p 335.

Provenanceback to top

The sitter’s great granddaughter, Lady Charlotte Fermor, who married 1746 William Finch of Burley-on-the-Hill; by descent to E. R. Banbury, Burley-on-the-Hill; Christie’s, 14 April 1989, lot 97, bought Leggatt for the NPG.


This extended catalogue entry is from the National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Ingamells, National Portrait Gallery: Later Stuart Portraits 1685-1714, National Portrait Gallery, 2009, 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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