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Oil on canvas in a giltwood frame.
William Townshend was the third son of Charles Townshend, 2nd Viscount Townshend. He succeeded to the family seat at Yarmouth on coming of age and married Henrietta, the daughter of Lord William Powlett. In 1724 he became Aide de Camp to the King with the rank of Colonel which was renewed in 1727 and was also appointed in the same year as Captain Lieutenant of the 3rd Dragoon Guards. In 1729 he was appointed Groom of the Bedchamber to Frederick, the Prince of Wales, when he was brought over to England from Hanover as well as Usher of the Exchequer. By 1733 William had become a great favourite of the Prince, whose negative views on the excise bill were generally supposed to be influenced by those of William. In response to this, the King offered to the Prime Minister, Walpole, to make the Prince dismiss William, but the offer was refused. When the Prince, on his marriage, asked the King for permission to appoint William's wife as one of the Princess's women of the bedchamber, the King told the Queen to reply that ' as Mr Townshend was the most impertinent puppy in the Prince's whole family, he was determined not to reward him for being so; that it was more favour than either the servant or the master deserves that he himself was not turned out'. The Prince went ahead and appointed her without permission.
Charles Jervas was an Irish born painter who studied as an assistant to Godfrey Kneller between 1694-1695. In 1698 he travelled to Paris and Rome where he spent most of the decade before returning to London in 1709 where he found success as a portrait painter. With a growing reputation, he managed to succeed Kneller as Principal Painter to the King in 1723 and continued to live in London until his death in 1739.
The Grand Trianon Art Museum sale, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 14 February 1966 no. 43
Richard D. Bass, Texas
|Height||128.20 cm||(50.47 inches)|
|Width||101.60 cm||(40.00 inches)|