Godfrey Kneller, The Honourable Horatio and the Honourable Charles Townshend (1699–1711 and 1700–1764)

Photo courtesy of Tom St Aubyn (All rights reserved)


Country House
Raynham Hall
The Honourable Horatio and the Honourable Charles Townshend (1699–1711 and 1700–1764)
The Morning Room
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Overall height: 126.5 cm, Overall width: 100 cm
Godfrey Kneller (1646-1723)
Catalogue Number
  • Inscribed bottom right: ‘Horatio. Townshend eldest son & Charles/ Townshend. second son afterwards/ Lord Viscount Townshend. Sons/ to Charles Ld Viscount Townshend’ Dog has ‘Townshend’ inscribed in brown paint on the collar


This double portrait depicts, on the left, Horatio (1699–1711) and, on the right, Charles (1700–1764), the two sons of Charles Townshend, 2nd Viscount Townshend and his first wife Elizabeth née Pelham. The painting is dated 1704, which would make them five and four years old respectively. Sadly, Horatio died just a few years later, adding to a series of misfortunes suffered by his father who, in the space of just three months, also lost his wife and baby daughter. Charles became 3rd Viscount Townshend in 1738.

While Horatio, the elder child, is depicted in an assured pose wearing contemporary clothing, his younger brother is shown in classical dress. The long-standing tradition of depicting children in ‘Roman’ dress appears in several portraits by Kneller, including his double portrait traditionally known as The Howard Children (Dulwich Picture Gallery, DPG570) painted eight years earlier. Although signed and dated, the present painting does not appear in Douglas Stewart’s catalogue raisonné of Kneller’s work, despite having featured in the 1948 exhibition at Norwich Castle Museum. In the catalogue of 1926 by James Durham, the sitters are described incorrectly as a ‘Boy and Girl’, two of the children of the 1st Viscount Townshend.

by Emily Knight


James Durham, The Collection of Pictures at Raynham Hall, [publisher not identified], 1926, p. 26

Prince Frederick Duleep Singh, Portraits in Norfolk Houses, ed. Rev. Edmund Farrer, vol. 2, Norwich : Jarrold and Sons, 1928, vol. 2, pp. 231–2, no. 36 (‘TWO CHILDREN OF SIR HORATIO, 1ST VISCOUNT TOWNSHEND’)

Loan Exhibition of Portraits in the Landscape Park, from Norfolk and Suffolk Houses, Norwich : Norwich Castle Museum, Soman-Wherry Press Ltd, 10 July–26 September 1948, p. 7, cat. 3.

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