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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

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John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich

c. 1774
Valentine Green (engraver) after Johann Zoffany

mezzotint on paper (sheet: 48.3 cm x 35.5 cm, plate-mark: 44.3 cm x 35.5 cm)

John Montagu, fourth Earl of Sandwich (1718-1792) was first lord of the Admiralty for three spells, notably from 1771 to 1782, the period of James Cook’s second and third voyages. Montagu became the earl at the age of ten, was educated at Eton and Cambridge, made a ‘grand tour’ and extended his travels through the Ottoman Empire, developing an interest in Orientalism. Returning to England in 1739, he took his seat in the House of Lords, aligning himself with the wealthy Duke of Bedford. When Bedford became first lord of the Admiralty in 1744, Sandwich became his de facto deputy. Incidentally, he became an army officer, rising to the rank of general without engaging in any military business. After a spell as a diplomat, he became first lord of the Admiralty for the first of three periods in 1748. Havingas ambassador to Madrid, northern secretary and postmaster general in the 1760s, he was first lord of the Admiralty for the third time from 1771 to 1782, during most of the American war of independence. He was a great supporter of Cook, whom he promoted to commander in August 1771, and it was he who commissioned John Hawkesworth to put together the account of the Endeavour voyage. Cook named various places in his honour, including the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) and Montague Island, off the coast of Narooma, NSW. The sandwich is said to be named after him, also.

This mezzotint is a rare specimen of a proof state printed 'before letters', that is, before the caption was ready for printing.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2015

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Johann Zoffany (age 41 in 1774)

Valentine Green (age 35 in 1774)

John Montagu (age 56 in 1774)

Subject professions

Government and leadership

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

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