Michael Dahl, Colonel the Honourable Roger Townshend (1677–1709)

Photo courtesy of Tom St Aubyn (All rights reserved)


Country House
Raynham Hall
Colonel the Honourable Roger Townshend (1677–1709)
The Belisarius Room
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Overall height: 127 cm, Overall width: 100 cm
Michael Dahl (1659-1743)
Catalogue Number
  • Inscribed bottom left: ‘Coll: Townshend./ 2nd son to Horatio Ld. Townshend.’


Colonel Roger Townshend (1677–1709) was the second son of Horatio, 1st Viscount Townshend (c.1630–1687) and his second wife, Mary Ashe (d. 1685) (RN68), daughter of Sir Joseph Ashe, 1st Baronet of Twickenham. Townshend was returned as the Whig MP for Norfolk in 1701–2 and in 1705–8 and for Great Yarmouth in 1708–9. He was given a commission as colonel of a foot regiment in 1706, which he kept until his death. He did not marry. 

RN61 is a pendant to a portrait of Townshend’s brother, Charles, the 2nd Viscount Townshend (RN1). Both are of a similar size and format to a portrait of Charles painted by Michael Dahl (RN7). The present portrait may be dated to between 1695 and 1700, due to its closeness in the rendering of the necktie and hair to Dahl’s portrait of Bainbrigg Buckeridge in the National Portrait Gallery (NPG 6521) and in the closeness of its composition and handling to that of the Portrait of a Man from Dulwich Picture Gallery, notably the distinct shadows demarcating where the hand presses into the broadly painted drapery (DPG576).

by Emily Burns


Prince Frederick Duleep Singh, Portraits in Norfolk Houses, ed. Rev. Edmund Farrer, vol. 2, Norwich : Jarrold and Sons, 1928

Paul Mellon Centre Archive, Oliver Millar, 'Notes on a Visit to Raynham Hall', ONM/1/22, 8 April 1995, p. 23

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