Portrait of Robert Darcy whose family had important historical links with Temple Newsam.

Robert Darcy (1718-78), 4th Earl of Holderness, was a direct descendant of Thomas, Lord Darcy, the original builder of Temple Newsam (c 1500), who was beheaded for treason in 1537. Holderness was ambassador to Venice (1744-6) and The Hague (1749-51) and was Secretary of State almost continuously between 1751 and 1761. He had many critics but was described by the Duke of Newcastle as 'universally loved and esteemed ... diligent and exact in all his proceedings'. He was an enthusiastic director of opera and masquerades, and a patron of the poet William Mason.


By descent in the family of the sitter

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