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John Montagu, Fourth Earl of Sandwich, First Lord of Admiralty.

John Montagu, Fourth Earl of Sandwich, First Lord of Admiralty.
John Montagu, Fourth Earl of Sandwich, First Lord of Admiralty.
© National Maritime Museum, London
Repro ID: BHC3009
Description: Sandwich (1718-1792) was First Lord of the Admiralty from 1771 to 1782, where he was responsible for naval affairs. Sandwich was criticised for spreading the British Navy rather too thinly during the war, so that the French fleet was able to act successfully against the British. His slow response to the American rebellion in 1775 hampered Britain's early campaigns. However, Sandwich did see that Britain needed to keep a strong force in the Channel to prevent a French invasion. The aristocratic Sandwich was a naval administrator rather than a naval officer, and wielded great powers of patronage within the navy. The formality of Gainsborough's portrait is emphasized by the architecture of Greenwich Hospital in the background. In 1783 Sir Hugh Palliser, a naval officer who had risen under Sandwich, commissioned this portrait and presented it to the hospital. In it Sandwich holds in his hand a plan of the new infirmary to the hospital.
Creator: Thomas Gainsborough
Date: 1783
Credit line: National Maritime Museum, London, Greenwich Hospital Collection
National Maritime Museum/Royal Observatory Greenwich New Opportunities Fund National Grid for Learning  
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