Sir William Gooch was appointed the lieutenant governor of Virginia (1727-1749) after a successful military career in the British Army. He returned to England in 1749. According to a questionable family history, this portrait of Gooch descended to his son, William Gooch, Jr. who settled in Virginia and married Eleanor Bowles of Maryland. When William Gooch, Jr. died in 1742, Eleanor married Warner Lewis of Warner Hall and the portrait of Sir William Gooch descended in the Lewis family. At another time, this portrait was identified as governor Hugh Drysdale. The portrait was almost certainly painted in England, though who it represents is unclear.
Dimensions: 50 1/4 x 40 1/4 in. (127.6 x 102.2 cm)
The subject wears a white wig, He has a gold-trimmed jacket over breastplate armor. A dress sword is on his left hip. His left hand is on his hip. His right hand holds a trimmed hat. In the distance is a battle scene.
See: Alexander Wilbourne Weddell, ed., A Memorial Volume of Virginia Historical Portraiture, 1585-1830 (1945), 167-168; Henry Wilder Foote, “Charles Bridges: “Sargeant-Painter of Virginia” 1735-1740, The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography (January 1952): 10-11, 46-49; Encyclopedia Virginia