Five Famous Regency Era Portraits

Five Famous Regency Era Portraits

I have become a wee obsessed with Pinterest. Might even need a 12-step program! One can literally find an image for just about anything. Occasionally home decor or funny sayings catch my eye – yes, I have Pinterest Boards for those – but most often I am scouting historical clothing and anything Regency related. I have FIVE boards devoted just to historical paintings/portraits from the general Regency Era (some Georgian) from the mid-1700s to 1840s or so. It is a great way to see how clothing was worn, hair was styled, and interiors were decorated. It is also a fun way to learn a bit of history.

Here are a few of my favorite portraits from the Regency Era. I think these names will be recognized!

Sarah Sophia Child Villiers, Countess of Jersey

Sarah Sophia Child Villiers, Countess of Jersey (née Fane) (1785-1867)


Born: March 4, 1785 – Died: January 26, 1867

Eldest daughter of John Fane, 10th Earl of Westmorland and Sarah Anne Child, Lady Sarah married George Child Villiers, 5th Earl of Jersey on May 23, 1804.

Her extramarital affairs, though conducted discreetly, were said to be numerous. When asked why he had never fought a duel to preserve his wife’s reputation, Lord Jersey said drily that this would require him to fight every man in London.

Lady Jersey was one of the patronesses of Almack’s and a leader of the ton during the Regency era.

Portrait by Alfred Edward Chalon.

Vice Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson



Born: 1758 – Died: 1805

British flag officer famous for his service in the Royal Navy, particularly during the Napoleonic Wars. He was noted for his inspirational leadership and superb grasp of strategy and unconventional tactics, which resulted in a number of decisive naval victories. He was wounded several times in combat, losing one arm in the unsuccessful attempt to conquer Santa Cruz de Tenerife and the sight in one eye in Corsica.

Of his several victories, the best known and most notable was the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, during which he was shot and killed. Nelson’s death at Trafalgar secured his position as one of Britain’s most heroic figures.

Portrait in the post featured image is by Lemuel Francis Abbott, 1799.

Portrait to the left is by William Beechey, 1800.

Sarah Siddons


Born: July 5, 1755 – Died: June 8, 1831

Siddons was a Welsh actress, the best-known tragedienne of the 18th century. She was particularly famous for her interpretations of Shakespearian roles, in particular, Lady Macbeth. For twenty years she was the undisputed queen of the Theatre Royal on Drury Lane. Siddons retired from the stage in 1812.

She began as a lady’s maid to Lady Greathead. In 1773, at the age of 18, she married actor William Siddons. She gave birth to seven children but outlived five of them, and her marriage to William Siddons became strained and ended in an informal separation.

Portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence, 1804.


Rudolph Ackermann


Born: April 20, 1764 – Died: March 30, 1834.

Ackermann was born in Stollberg, an Electorate of Saxony. He worked as a saddler and coach-builder in different German cities, then moved to Paris, and then London. In 1795 he established a print-shop and drawing-school in The Strand, setting up a lithographic press and trade in prints. Over his lifetime, Ackermann was an Anglo-German bookseller, inventor, lithographer, publisher, and businessman.

In 1809 he applied his press to the illustration of his Repository of Arts, Literature, Fashions, which appeared monthly until 1829. Thomas Rowlandson and other distinguished artists were contributors. Repository documented the changing fashions in dress and furniture of the Regency.

Portrait by François Mouchet between 1810-1814.

Duchess of Kent and her daughter, the future Queen Victoria


Princess Mary Louise Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, Princess of Leiningen, Duchess of Kent and Strathearn (August 17, 1786 – March 16, 1861) In this portrait by Henry Bone in 1824, the Duchess is with her five-year-old daughter Victoria (born May 24, 1819).

The life of the Duchess of Kent and the convoluted line of succession that brought Victoria to the throne in 1837 is fascinating. Wikipedia has a nice synopsis:


Those are a mere handful of the portraits of historical people I have on my Pinterest Boards. Check out my boards with over 1000 pins of Georgian people, famous and infamous! Sharon’s Pinterest

6 Comments for Five Famous Regency Era Portraits

  1. Sarah lady Jersey didn’t have affaires. It was her mother in law that had affaires. The comment by the Earl of jersey about not fighting duels over his wife is supposed to have been made in reference to her denying vouchers to Almacks to some half pay officers. Several thought to challenge Lord Jersey over the refusal but he said he didn’t have time to waste in such foolishness. . The story comes from Gronow who was a very young officer at that time and probably isn’t even true. Lady Jersey was left a majority ownership of a bank that still exists in Barclay’s . She is one of the few women who had influence in the field.

  2. Hmmm…the post on FB said “the places Dr. Darcy traveled” and as I am currently reading The Passions of Dr. Darcy (wonderful, BTW) I was very excited. But I ended up here with Regency Era Portraits. Is there a problem with the link? These are also lovely and I am so delighted to find out that there is an actual use for Pinterest, but I really would like to see your gallery for Dr. Darcy’s travels!

    • Regina, the plugin I use to re-tweet archived posts is the best rated one, yet still messes up with links at times. I have tweaked the settings so hopefully it will work better.

      The actual novel gallery for Dr. Darcy (and all the novels) is via the link on the left sidebar.

      • Yes, I found it a few days ago and totally loved it! Nice to see such a good use for Pinterest!

  3. An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a co-worker who had been conducting a little research on this.

    And he actually ordered me lunch simply because I found it for him…
    lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!!
    But yeah, thanks for spending time to discuss this matter here on your blog.

  4. Wonderful portraits and history! The gallery is full of magnificent and life like portraits. Such a different art in those days. I feel as thought they’re going to reach out and touch me 🙂

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