Historical Portraits Picture Archive

Portrait of The Hon. Theresa Parker, later the Hon. Mrs. George Villiers (1775-1856), 1798 

Henry Edridge (1769-1821)

Portrait of The Hon. Theresa Parker, later the Hon. Mrs. George Villiers (1775-1856), 1798, Henry Edridge
Pencil and grey wash on paper
18th Century
10.25 x 7 in (26 x 17.8 cm)
This drawing by the renowned English draughtsman Henry Edridge shows Theresa Parker, the only daughter of John Parker, 1st Baron Boringdon. She stands in front of the family home, Saltram, in Devon. The west front of the house, which contains interiors by Robert Adam, can be seen to the right of the sitter, while the River Plym, with views towards Plymouth, can be seen on the left. Edridge would almost certainly have portrayed Theresa Parker whilst staying at Saltram. Other works by him remain at the house, and, as a gentleman, he often stayed at country houses whilst making drawings of his host’s family.

The Parker family were keen artistic patrons, thanks mainly to John Parker, Theresa’s father. John Parker commissioned Sir Joshua Reynolds to paint himself, his wife and children, including a double portrait of Theresa and her brother (National Trust, Saltram), along with numerous other works by Reynolds. Reynolds was a regular guest at the house, and advised Parker on building his art collection. The two also had a mutual friend in Angelica Kauffman, whom Parker had first met in Naples in 1764. Kauffmann’s portrait of Reynolds is still at Saltram today, along with the majority of John Parker’s collection.

Theresa Parker married the Hon. George Villiers, the third son of the 1st Earl of Clarendon, in the year this drawing was made. By virtue of George Villiers’ elder brothers dying without heirs, Theresa’s eldest son became the 4th Earl of Clarendon, and went on to serve as Foreign Secretary under four Prime Ministers; Aberdeen, Palmerston, Russell and Gladstone.
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