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Philip Proger (1585–1644)

Photo credit: Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales

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Philip Proger (1585–1644), of Gwerndu in Breconshire (Powys), was equerry to James I and later groom of the Privy Chamber. This picture is the earliest known portrait of a Welshman holding a leek. At the Tudor and Stuart courts the Sovereign and courtiers wore leeks on Saint David's Day. James I commented on this practice, 'that the wearing of leeks on Saint David's Day by Welshmen was a good and commendable fashion... the Welshmen in commemoration of the great fight of the black Prince of Wales, do wear leeks as their chosen ensign'.

National Museum Wales, National Museum Cardiff


Philip Proger (1585–1644)


17th C


oil on canvas


H 104.5 x W 83.7 cm

Accession number

NMW A 18

Acquisition method

purchased at Phillips, 1988

Work type


Inscription description

Inscribed by hand Label stretcher, top right Charles Proger M.P. / He wrote a treatise on the leek / died 12 April 1712 / This picture by Jansens (?) Label, printed Thom. AGNEWS & SONS LTD CK W.O 0293/88 Label, printed stretcher, top left THOS AGNEW & SONS LTD 131181 Label, printed frame, verso top middle JAMES BOURLET & SONS Frame Makers and Packers PICTURES RELINED, CLEANED & VARNISHED J.A. Arnold Forster, Esq., Salthorp House Swindon, WiltsLabel, printed Label, printed frame, verso, left Pa


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National Museum Wales, National Museum Cardiff

Cathays Park, Cardiff (Caerdydd) CF10 3NP Wales

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