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    Sale 7813

    Glin Castle - A Knight in Ireland

    7 May 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 11

    Attributed to Philip Hussey (1713-1783)

    Portrait of Ellis Agar, Countess of Brandon, seated, three-quarter-length, holding the Charters of Gowran and Thomas Town

    Price Realised  

    Attributed to Philip Hussey (1713-1783)
    Portrait of Ellis Agar, Countess of Brandon, seated, three-quarter-length, holding the Charters of Gowran and Thomas Town
    inscribed 'Charter Thomas Town' and 'Charter Gowran' (on the scrolls on the table and held by the sitter, respectively)
    oil on canvas
    50½ x 40 in. (128.3 x 101.6 cm.)


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    Ellis Agar, Countess of Brandon (1708-1789) was the daughter of James Agar (d. 1733), of Gowran Castle, Co. Kilkenny, M.P., and his second wife Mary Wemyss (d. 1771), daughter of Sir Henry Wemys, of Danesfort, co. Kilkenny, who was Member of Parliament for that County. She married firstly Sir Theobald Bourke, 7th Viscount Mayo (d. 1742), in 1726, and secondly Francis Bermingham, 14th Lord Athenry (d. 1749), in 1745. She was created Countess of Brandon, Co. Kilkenny, in her own right, in 1758, and family tradition holds that this was on account of her friendship with King George II. Her nephew Charles Agar, who took holy orders, was appointed Archbishop of Dublin and was created Earl of Normanton in 1806, while her other nephew, James Agar, represented Co. Kilkenny in Parliament and was created Viscount Clifden in 1781. In this portrait, which was probably painted to mark her earldom, and the importance of the Agars of Gowran, she is shown holding the rolled parchment charters of Gowran and Thomastown, two boroughs which were controlled by her nephew James Agar.

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    Literature

    A.P.W. Malcomson, Archbishop Charles Agar: Churchmanship and Politics in Ireland, 1760-1810, Dublin, 2002, pp. 18-19, fig. 12.