James Macardell, Thomas Pelham-Holles, Duke of Newcastle, mezzotint after a painting by William Hoare

Around 1750

Thomas Pelham-Holles (1693-1768) was created Duke of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1715 as a reward for his support of the Hanoverian cause at the time of the first Jacobite Rebellion, and in 1718 was made a Knight of the Garter. He is shown here in splendid traditional Garter robes.

In 1711 he had inherited the enormous wealth of his uncle John Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle. His annual income included £25,000 from rents alone. He held office under Robert Walpole from the age of thirty-one and was one of the lords regent who ran affairs of state during the frequent absences in Hanover of kings George I and II.

After the sudden death of his brother Henry Pelham in 1754, Newcastle followed him as first lord of the Treasury. War was brewing with the French who took advantage of the fact that most of the British fleet was either in the Channel or the Bay of Biscay to take the British Mediterranean island of Minorca in 1756. Newcastle, who had failed to predict the French attack, resigned. He was out of office for only seven months, but was driven to resignation again in 1762, returning to office for only one further year, 1765-6, when he was lord privy seal under Lord Rockingham. In 1768, he died after a stroke at his house in Lincoln's Inn Fields.

Find in the collection online

More information



Height: 387.000 mm
Width: 274.000 mm

Museum number

PD 1863-1-10-178


Bequeathed by William Eaton, 2nd Baron Cheylesmore


Find in the collection online

Search highlights

There are over 4,000 highlight objects to explore