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Joceline Percy, 11th Earl of Northumberland (1644-1670)

Sir Peter Lely (Soest 1618 – London 1680)

Category

Art / Oil paintings

Date

1670 - 1673

Materials

Oil on canvas

Measurements

1397 x 1080 mm (55 x 42 ½ in)

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Collection

Petworth House and Park, West Sussex (Accredited Museum)

NT 486282

Caption

Joceline Percy was the only son of Algernon Percy, 10th Earl of Northumberland (1602-1668), by his second wife, Lady Elizabeth Howard (d.1704/5), and last Earl of Northumberland (succeeded in 1668) of the original Percy line. In 1670, two years after the death of his father, the 11th Earl set out for Italy with his pregnant Countess and their daughter. They were accompanied by the philosopher John Locke, who was travelling as their physician. Lady Northumberland was detained by illness in Paris, while her husband pressed on to Turin. Here he died on 21 May 1670, having ‘heated himself by travelling post for many days.’ A few weeks later, his widow gave birth to a still-born child (an infant son had died in 1669). The earldom of Northumberland and the other Percy honours were now extinct, but the 11th Earl’s three-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, inherited his ancestral estates.

Summary

Oil painting on canvas, Joceline Percy, 11th Earl of Northumberland (1644-1670) by Sir Peter Lely (Soest 1618 – London 1680), 1670/73. A posthumous three-quarter-length portrait, standing, three-quarters left, with his right hand on a staff, wearing pseudo-classical dress and a rose mantle. In the background are a curtain and at left a view of a castle. The 10th Earl had followed his own father’s example in taking particular trouble over the education of his heir, Joceline, Lord Percy, born in 1644 at York House. John Evelyn thought that, as a result, the 10th Earl had given ‘a citizen to his country’. ‘It is not enough’, wrote Evelyn in 1658 after Lord Percy’s return from [his first visit to] Italy, ‘that persons of my Lord Percy’s quality be taught to dance and to ride, to speak languages and weare his cloathes with a good grace (which are the verie shells of travail); but besides all these that he know men, customs, courts and disciplines, and whatsoever superior excellencies the places afford, benefitting a person of birth and noble impressions’. In 1670, two years after the death of his father, the 11th Earl set out again for Italy with his pregnant Countess and their daughter. They were accompanied by the philosopher John Locke, who was travelling as their physician. Lady Northumberland was detained by illness in Paris, while her husband pressed on to Turin. Here he died on 21 May 1670, having ‘heated himself by travelling post for many days.’ A few weeks later, his widow gave birth to a still-born child (an infant son had died in 1669). The earldom of Northumberland and the other Percy honours were now extinct, but the 11th Earl’s three-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, inherited his ancestral estates.

Provenance

Confusion as to when first recorded at Petworth but most likely in the collection of the 2nd Earl of Egremont (1710-1763) by 1763. Thence by descent until the death in 1952 of the 3rd Lord Leconfield, who had given Petworth to the National Trust in 1947, and whose nephew and heir, John Wyndham, 6th Lord Leconfield and 1st Lord Egremont (1920-72) arranged for the acceptance of the major portion of the collections at Petworth in lieu of death duties (the first ever such arrangement) in 1956 by H.M.Treasury.

Marks and inscriptions

1673 (no inscriptions visible)

Makers and roles

Sir Peter Lely (Soest 1618 – London 1680), artist

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