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Charles Pepys, 1st Earl of Cottenham

Photo credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

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Pepys was called to the Bar in 1804, and ran a highly successful legal practice. In 1830, he was appointed Solicitor General to Queen Adelaide, a post he held for two years.
He entered Parliament as MP in 1831, where he rarely spoke except on purely legal questions. At the time there was a shortage of lawyers in the House of Commons and, to the surprise of many, in 1834 Pepys was appointed both Solicitor General and Master of the Rolls. He became Lord Chancellor in 1836. Although little remembered as a politician or as a law reformer, he was praised for his work as a judge.

National Portrait Gallery, London



exhibited 1840


oil on canvas


H 102.2 x W 78.7 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Purchased, 1977

Work type



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National Portrait Gallery, London

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

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