A portrait Miniature of Samuel Butler (1613-1680) famous for his satiric poem Hudibras

Artist/Maker CHRISTIAN RICHTER (1678-1732)
Dimensions 9.50cm high   
Description Set in a later gilded gesso frame with erroneous inscription on the reverse

Butler was brought up in the household of Sir William Russell (who was Governor of Worcester) and became his clerk. In early youth he was a servant to the Countess of Kent. Through Lady Kent he met her steward, the jurist John Selden who influenced his later writings. He also tried his hand at painting but was reportedly not very good at it; one of his editors reporting that "his pictures served to stop windows and save the tax" (on window glass).

After the Restoration he became secretary, or steward, to Richard Vaughan, 2nd Earl of Carbery, Lord President of Wales, which entailed living at least a year in Ludlow, Shropshire, until January 1662 while he was paying craftsmen working on repairing the castle there. In late 1662 the first part of Hudibras, was published, and the other two in 1664 and 1678 respectively. One early purchaser of the first two parts was Samuel Pepys.

Butler is thought to have been in the employment of the Duke of Buckingham in the summer of 1670, and accompanied him on a diplomatic mission to France. Butler also received financial support in the form of a grant from King Charles II.
His poem Hudibras mocks Puritans and which became the most popular poem of its time.

There is another version of this portrait in the Buccleuch Collection, erroneously attributed to Samuel Cooper.

The miniature appears to be based on the portrait by Gilbert Soest, painted circa 1670's in the NPG.
Provenance Ombersley Court, Worcestershire.

Once owned by Evesham Abbey, the manor of Ombersley was acquired by the Sandys family in the early 1600s, when Sir Samuel Sandys, the eldest son of Edwin Sandys, Bishop of Worcester and later Archbishop of York, took a lease on the manor, before receiving an outright grant in 1614.
The date of 1723 on the reverse indicates that this miniature was formerly the property of Samuel Sandys, 1st Baron Sandys, (1695-1770) a British politician who lived at the country house Ombersley between 1724-32. He held numerous posts in the Government including Chancellor of the Exechequer, and Leader of the House of Commons.
Signed Signed with monogram CR on the reverse and dated 1723
Medium watercolour on vellum
Condition Good
Ref No. 5201
Price Sold
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