c1830 William Pole Tylney Long Wellesley MP Silhouette Portrait


A very attractive side on silhouette portrait of a handsome man that we believe to be the nephew of the Duke of Wellington, William Pole-Tylney-Long-Wellesley, 4th Earl of Mornington, c 1830, and probably still the most reviled of British Members of Parliament.

There is a similar period etching of his left side illustrating his Wikipedia page, that is nearly identical. The painting is a head and torso portrait of a middle-aged man, but still a very elegantly attired dandy. What is striking about him is his resemblance to Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington, with a more bouffant hairstyle. His father was William Wellesley-Pole, 3rd Earl of Mornington. The picture is by a period fame portraitist W.H. Manners and dates from around 1930, when William ‘Long Pole’ was trying to get custody of his children, entrusted to the sisters of his former wife Catherine Tilney-Long’s (died 1825). She was known as the Wiltshire Heiress and believed to be the richest commoner in 1812. Two months before the celebrity wedding William Wellesley-Pole assumed the additional surnames of Tylney-Long, changing his name by Royal Licence. He proceeded to waste away the majority of her wealth by his lavish lifestyle and cause her premature death, by his behaviour. William Wellesley-Pole enjoyed a political career, first as a Tory Member of Parliament for the pocket borough of St Ives from 1812 until 1818, before moving to Wiltshire. He was returned as St Ives MP 1830-1831.

The painting is on card and has been mounted in a small glazed oval frame, set in a black wood surround. The reverse of the picture has the business details of the Manners portrait company. Unfortunately, because it has been cut to size, is incomplete. It should read 286, High Holborn, London. He was active in the period 1827 -1840, so coincides with the date of 1930. There is another backing card that appears to be a ticket for the New Theatre (1808–1815) on Tottenham Street.

Size image: 7 x 5.5 cm (2 ¾ x 2 1/8 inches)
Size frame: 13 x 10.5 cm (5 1/8 x 4 1/8 inches)
Weight: 111 g