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by John Bacon, the elder, Frederick North, second Earl of Guilford

Core Record

Title Frederick North, second Earl of Guilford
Collection Oxford Portraits: University of Oxford
Artist by John Bacon, the elder
Date 1773-1799
Acquisition gift from George James Williams, 1806
Description Bust, head turned very slightly to left; hair curled at the sides and tied in bag behind; eyeballs incised; neck cloth and frilled shirt; collarless coat over waistcoat of which three buttons are visible; embroidered Chancellor's robe; ribbon of the Order of the Garter.

During a visit to the Bodleian Picture Gallery in 1860, George Scharf, Keeper of the National Portrait Gallery, noted in his sketchbook: 'Bust of Lord North by Bacon' (G. Scharf, 'Trustees Sketchbook' III, p.66, National Portrait Gallery Archive, London). Catalogued by Mrs Lane Poole as by John Bacon (Lane Poole, I, p.110, no.273), and by John Ingamells as by John Bacon senior (Ingamells, 2004, p.221), attribution was presumably made in each instance on stylistic grounds as the bust is unsigned. The inclusion of the ribbon of the Garter and his Chancellor's robe indicate that the bust was executed after Lord North's investiture as Knight of the Garter in 1772, and installation as Chancellor of the University in 1773, and before the sculptor's death in 1779.

'A Letter from the Chancellor, enclosing one from Lord Glenbervie with an Extract from a Codicil to the Will of the late George James Williams Esquire, bequeathing to the University a Bust of the late Frederic Earl of Guilford formerly Chancellor of this University, was read to the Board, and the Vice Chancellor was requested to return the Thanks of this Board through his Grace the Duke of Portland to Lord Glenbervie for his communication, and to express on the Part of the University their grateful Acceptance of the Benefaction.' (Hebdomadal Board Minutes, 20 Jan 1806, Hebdomadal Register 1803-23, Oxford University Archives, WP gamma/24/3, p.91)

' Acta 8 May 1926 "agreed to transfer ‘the busts of Lord North, Duke of Wellington, Dean Ireland, Rev. F.W. Robertson, Professor Jowett, and Prince Leopold to the Examination Schools." ' ('Transfers of portraits etc. to the Examination Schools. 1909-[49]', Bodleian Library Records, d.1183, Bodleian Library) 'Read a letter from the Bodleian Librarian (Dr Cowley) offering the Schools Curators ... busts of Lord North, the Duke of Wellington, Dean Ireland, F.W. Robertson, Prince Leopold and Mr Jowett. It was resolved that the offer be accepted, and that the ... busts be placed in suitable positions in the Examination Schools.' (Minutes of the Curators of the Schools, 1914-[1952], 15 June 1926, Oxford University Archives, ES/1/1/2, p.78)
External Link Oxford Portraits website
Id Number Current Accession 99
Measurements 0 x 27.6 in.
Sitter Biographical Notes Frederick, Lord North, second Earl of Guilford (1732-1792)
Prime Minister
Artist Biographical Notes by John Bacon, the elder (1740-1799)
Donor Biographical Notes George James Williams (1719-1805)
Letter writer and wit
Relation References G. Scharf, ’Trustee Sketchbooks’, III, 1860 p.65, XI, 18 June 1867, p.77 (National Portrait Gallery Archive, London); R. Lane Poole, Catalogue of Portraits in the possession of the University, Colleges, City, and County of Oxford, 3 vols (1912, 1925), I,
Rights University of Oxford



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