Bishop Burnet's Portrait

Portrait of Bishop Burnet by Sir Godfrey Kneller

In a dominant position over the stairs hangs Bishop Burnet’s portrait, by Godfrey Kneller, the leading portrait painter in England during the late 17th and early 18th centuries.

It was acquired by the 2nd Earl of Hardwicke, who co-edited the 1823 edition of Burnet’s ‘History of My Own Time’. Burnet is depicted at the age of 50, in his robes of Chancellor of the Garter. As in the portrait of the 1st Earl of Hardwicke as Lord Chancellor in the Long Gallery, the Bishop’s elbow rests near his embroidered purse of office, containing the Seal of the Order. The Edinburgh-born clergyman led an active and prominent political life, and was one of the most prolific and widely read authors of his time.