John Percival, 1st Earl of Egmont (1683-1748)

Artist: Hans Hysing
Date: ca. 1735

John Percival, 1st Earl of Egmont was a friend of William Byrd II of Westover. This portrait is a smaller, simpler copy of a portrait with a more elaborate background by Hans Hysing now in the collection of Oglethorpe University, Georgia. This portrait descended in the Byrd family and remains in a private collection.

References: “I had the honour of your Lordships commands of the 9th of September, and since that have the pleasure of conversing a great deal with your picture. It is uncommonly well done & the painter has not only hit your ayr, but some of the vertue too which usd to soften and enliven your features. So that every connoisseur that sees it, can see t’was drawn for a generous, benevolent, & worthy person. It is no wonder perhaps that I could descern so many good things in the portrait, when I knew them so well in the original, just like those who pick out the meaning of the Bible, altho’ in a strange language, because they were aquainted with the subject before. But I own I was pleasd to find some strangers able to read your Lordships character on the canvas, as plain as if they had been physiognomists by profession.” – William Byrd II to Egmont, 12 July 1736

Portrait of “Ld. Egmont” was left in Mary Willing Byrd’s will to Richard Willing Byrd

The subject wears red and white parliamentary robes and a wig.

See: Mary Willing Byrd, “The Will of Mrs. Mary Willing Byrd, of Westover, 1813, with a List of the Westover Portraits,” Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 6, no. 4 (April 1899): 345-358; David Meschutt, “William Byrd and His Portrait Collection,” MESDA Journal 14, no. 1 (May 1988): 18-47; Marion Tinling, ed., Correspondence of the Three William Byrds of Westover, 1684-1776 (1977), 487.

Decade: 1730s