Charles Jervas, Charles, 2nd Viscount Townshend (1675–1738)

Photo courtesy of Tom St Aubyn (All rights reserved)


Country House
Raynham Hall
Charles, 2nd Viscount Townshend (1675–1738)
The Belisarius Room
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Overall height: 122 cm, Overall width: 91 cm
Charles Jervas (1675-1739)
Catalogue Number


This is one of a number of portraits of Charles, 2nd Viscount Townshend (see RN1) by Charles Jervas, who worked extensively for the family between the early 1720s and mid-1730s. During this period Jervas painted Townshend in both coronation robes, as here, and Garter robes, producing full- and half-length versions, both original and studio copies, many of which were given to friends and family.1 This version may have been painted to commemorate Townshend’s presence at the coronation of George II on 11 October 1727.

 A full-length version of RN69 hangs at Audley End, Essex (English Heritage, 81031029), having passed through the family of Townshend’s daughter Elizabeth (see RN6), who married Charles Cornwallis, 1st Earl Cornwallis. Comparison with the Audley End portrait reveals this version to be much more finely executed in the details of the costume, implying that it was executed wholly by Jervas’s hand, whereas the Audley End portrait appears to be a studio copy. Jervas charged half his standard rate for copies: twenty guineas for a half-length original, as here, but only ten guineas for a copy, or twenty guineas for a full-length copy.

According to John Ingamells, a three-quarter-length version of the portrait at Audley End, inscribed ‘Charles Townshend, one of Her Majesty’s principal Secretarys of State, 1726, by Jervas’, was formerly at Honingham Hall, Norfolk. He also states that a copy or version was presented to the 7th Marquess Townshend in 1937, although it cannot be verified whether it is the present portrait.2 However, RN69 is not included in Prince Duleep Singh’s catalogue of paintings at Raynham Hall, compiled in 1914 and published in 1928.

by Amy Lim


Paul Mellon Centre Archive, Oliver Millar, 'Notes on a Visit to Raynham Hall', ONM/1/22, 8 April 1995, p. 25


  1. See Object in Focus, Amy Lim, ‘Charles Jervas: A Memorandum of 1733 at Raynham Hall’.

  2. John Ingamells, National Portrait Gallery: Later Stuart Portraits 1685–1714, London: National Portrait Gallery, 2009, (accessed 2 February 2020). For the version of the portrait formerly at Honingham Hall see also Singh, 1928, vol. 1, p. 289, no. 46.


Related catalogue items from Raynham Hall

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  • Castle Howard Raynham Hall

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