Charles Jervas, Henrietta Paulet (1705–1755)

Photo courtesy of Tom St Aubyn (All rights reserved)


Country House
Raynham Hall
Henrietta Paulet (1705–1755)
The Stone Parlour
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Overall height: 122.5 cm, Overall width: 98.5 cm
Charles Jervas (1675-1739)
Catalogue Number
  • Inscribed bottom left: ‘Henrietta Paulet Wife to Wm 4th son to Charles/ Ld Viscount Townshend’


Henrietta Paulet (1705–1755) was the daughter of Lord William Powlett (or Paulet), second son of Charles, 1st Duke of Bolton and his second wife Anne Egerton. On 29 May 1725 Henrietta married William Townshend, third surviving son of Charles, 2nd Viscount Townshend and his first wife Elizabeth Pelham. They had seven children, of whom three survived to adulthood. The eldest daughter, Caroline (b. 1727), married the Most Reverend Honourable Frederick Cornwallis, son of Charles Cornwallis, 4th Baron Cornwallis of Eye, and Charles (b. 1728) became 1st Baron Bayning of Foxley.

When Frederick, Prince of Wales, married Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha in April 1736, he asked permission to appoint Henrietta Townshend as one of the princess’s women of the bedchamber. The king replied 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.’1 In the end, Henrietta was appointed in 1737 without the king’s permission. She received a salary of £200 per annum but relinquished the role shortly after the death of her husband in January 1738.

Charles Jervas worked extensively for the Townshend family and this picture was probably painted around 1724–5 to mark her betrothal to William Townshend. A memorandum from Jervas in the Townshend archives, dated 1733 but listing earlier work, refers to ‘Mistress Coll Townshend half length for Ld Townshend £21–00’; this is most likely the painting referred to. She also received portraits of her new parents-in-law: the same account mentions ‘Ld & Lady Townshend half length copeys for Mistress Coll Townshend £21–00’ and ‘two gold frames to ditto’.2

by Amy Lim


Prince Frederick Duleep Singh, Portraits in Norfolk Houses, ed. Rev. Edmund Farrer, vol. 2, Norwich : Jarrold and Sons, 1928, vol. 2, p. 231, no. 35 (‘HON. MRS WILLIAM TOWNSHEND’)

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

Caroline Pegum, 'The Artistic and Literary Career of Charles Jervas (c.1675–1739)', master's dissertation, Birmingham : University of Birmingham, 2010, p. 83


  1. Quoted in ‘TOWNSHEND, Hon. William (1702–38)’, History of Parliament,, accessed 9 March 2020.

  2. Raynham Hall Archives, Raynham Hall, no. 353; see Object in Focus, Amy Lim, ‘Charles Jervas: A Memorandum of 1733 at Raynham Hall’.


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