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Francis Dashwood, 11th Baron Le Despencer

Photo credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

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A leading Tory MP, Dashwood served as Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1762 to 1763. He is better known for creating the 'Monks of Medmenham Abbey': a sinister club that mocked Catholic religious practices with feasting and fornication. Many senior public figures were members including John Wilkes and the Earl of Sandwich. Dashwood fell out with Wilkes after he condemned Wilkes's obscene Essay on Woman (1763). His moral hypocrisy was attacked in poems by Charles Churchill and in popular satirical prints. Dashwood was also a leading light in the Society of Dilettanti and commissioned the construction of West Wycombe Park and Church.

National Portrait Gallery, London

London

Title

Francis Dashwood, 11th Baron Le Despencer

Date

1776

Medium

oil on canvas

Measurements

H 73.7 x W 61 cm

Accession number

1345

Acquisition method

Purchased, 1903

Work type

Painting

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National Portrait Gallery, London

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

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