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William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield

Photo credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

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All rights reserved.

This image can be used for non-commercial research or private study purposes, and other exceptions to copyright permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lord Chief Justice (1756–1788); architect of modern commercial law and marine insurance. Known for his eloquence, he was a firm opponent of Chatham and upheld the absolute dominion of Great Britain over the colonies. In a pioneering judgement in 1772, he held that English Law did not recognise the state of slavery. His tolerance towards Roman Catholics led the mob to burn his town house during the Gordon Riots of 1780.

National Portrait Gallery, London


  • Date


  • Medium

    oil on canvas

  • Measurements

    227.6 x 149 cm

  • Accession number


  • Acquisition method

    Purchased, 1864


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Normally on display at

National Portrait Gallery, London

St Martin’s Place, London, Greater London WC2H 0HE England

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