Lord George Bentinck

Lord George Bentinck (1802-1848), 1842
Edward Hodges Baily (1788-1867)
Image © Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum

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Lord George Bentinck

The subject of this head-and-shoulders sculpture is Lord William George Frederick Cavendish-Scott-Bentinck (1802 –1848), better known as Lord George Bentinck, the second son of the fourth Duke of Portland. He served in the army before entering the House of Commons in 1828. Initially a moderate Whig, he voted for the emancipation of Roman Catholics in 1829 and for the Reform Bill of 1832, but subsequently he became more conservative. In 1846, when Peel declared in favour of free trade and against the Corn Laws, Bentinck devoted himself completely and effectively to the leadership of the protectionists. Apart from the tariff question, Bentinck’s views proved too independent for the comfort of most of his colleagues. In opposition to the rest of his party, for instance, and to please his chief adviser, Benjamin Disraeli, he supported a bill for removing Jewish political disabilities. The result was that in December 1847 he resigned his leadership of the protectionist opposition.

Edward Hodges Baily modelled portraits of many famous contemporaries between 1810 and 1862. He was an elected member of the Royal Academy where he exhibited many of his works and is perhaps best known for his statue of Lord Nelson on the column of Trafalgar Square.


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