after Peter Lely, Sir Geoffrey Palmer, 1st Baronet (1598–1670)

Photo courtesy of Tom St Aubyn (All rights reserved)


Country House
Raynham Hall
Sir Geoffrey Palmer, 1st Baronet (1598–1670)
The Stone Parlour
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Overall height: 122 cm, Overall width: 98 cm
after Peter Lely (1618-1680)
Catalogue Number


Sir Geoffrey Palmer, 1st Baronet (1598–1670), lawyer and politician, was the eldest son of Thomas Palmer and Catherine, daughter of Sir Edward Watson. He married Margaret, daughter of Sir Francis Moore, serjeant-at-law, with whom he had four sons and two daughters. Called to the bar in 1623, he left the law for politics when elected to the Long Parliament of 1640 as MP for Stamford. He served as a member of the royalist parliament in Oxford in 1644 where he was also appointed solicitor-general. On the Restoration in 1660, Palmer was appointed attorney-general, was knighted and conferred with a baronetcy. He continued to practise law until his death, acting prominently in the trial of the regicides and was a strong supporter in Parliament of the royal prerogatives.

This portrait of Palmer as attorney-general is after an original by Sir Peter Lely dated c.1663, an engraving and watercolour after which can be found in the National Portrait Gallery (NPG D29884 and NPG 2403). Small differences in the background, scrolled manuscript and hands indicate that this is not the prime version. Palmer was a friend of John Harrison, great-grandfather to Audrey Harrison who married Charles, 3rd Viscount Townshend. It is likely that this painting came to Raynham through her inheritance of Balls Park, Hertfordshire.

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. 233, no. 48 (‘MAN’)

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