George Romney (Beckside 1734-1802 Kendal) Portrait of Frederick Howard, 5th Earl of Carlisle (1748-1825),
Lot 22
George Romney
(Beckside 1734-1802 Kendal)
Portrait of Frederick Howard, 5th Earl of Carlisle (1748-1825),
£40,000 - 60,000
US$ 67,000 - 100,000
Auction Details
Lot Details
George Romney (Beckside 1734-1802 Kendal)
Portrait of Frederick Howard, 5th Earl of Carlisle (1748-1825), half-length, wearing a brown coat and the green sash and star of the Order of the Thistle
oil on canvas
74 x 61.5cm (29 1/8 x 24 3/16in).


    Commissioned by Anthony Morris Storer (1746-1799) and thence by descent until sold by the Storer Trust
    Sale, Sotheby's, London, 9 December 1964, lot 172 (bt. Agnew's, London for £3,400)
    With Agnew's, London
    Sale, Sotheby's, London, 13 June 2002, lot 10, where purchased by the present owner

    H. Ward and W. Roberts, Romney, A Catalogue Raisonné of his Works, London, 1904, vol. II, p. 25
    Lord R. Sutherland Gower, George Romney, London, 1904, p. 113, no. 54

    by J.K. Sherwin, 1782
    by T. Holloway, 1795
    by G. Gook, 1844

    The sitter succeeded as fifth Earl of Carlisle on his father's death in 1758. At Eton he befriended Charles James Fox and Earl Fitzwilliam. After leaving Cambridge without taking a degree and embarking on the Grand Tour he was awarded the Order of the Thistle in 1767. The present portrait probably commemorates that event. Nevertheless, he spent most of his time on the Continent with Fox, carousing and gambling. Carlisle returned to England in 1769 and took his seat in the House of Lords the following year. Initially he had little interest in politics, although his marriage to Lady Margaret Caroline Leveson-Gower, the sixteen-year-old daughter of the future Marquess of Stafford, gave Carlisle an important connection to Cabinet. Continuing his life of dissipation, Carlisle developed a reputation as a rake and steadily lost large amounts of money at the gaming table. His mistresses included Frances Villiers, Countess of Jersey.

    As he approached his thirtieth birthday Carlisle began to develop diplomatic ambitions. The first major test of his abilities was on 22 February 1778, when he was surprisingly named the head of a peace mission sent to America to negotiate with the colonists and attempt to find a solution to the crisis. Perhaps his greatest work was done in the 1790s, when he supported Pitt in government and worked for the establishment of a strong national government.

    Carlisle also had longstanding ambitions as a poet, publishing his first collection in 1773, which consisted of two poems, 'Ode ... upon the Death of Mr Gray' and 'For the Monument of a Favourite Spaniel'. However, a more lasting literary fame was achieved through the works of his ward, Lord Byron, who dedicated the first two editions of his Hours of Idleness to Carlisle and makes mention of him in other works, reflecting their somewhat tempestuous relationship.
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