Friday, July 23, 2010

Naughtiness Immortalized...Repeatedly

Oh Sir Francis, you rogue!

Sir Francis Dashwood has quite the reputation for his debaucheries.  Being somewhat of a king of the Hell-fire clubs and a outspoken scorner of everything sacred, Sir Francis liked to see how much mischief he could get away with.  Most of his mischief was carried out in the privacy of his own home or among a secret society so how could Sir Francis spread the word around of his dubious reputation?  Why immortalizing it in a portrait of course!

Portraits were a rarity to everyday folks and normally to have an artist immortalize you in oils you wanted to look your best so that past generations would remember you as such.  This is how Sir Francis wanted us to remember him as:


I'll let your form your own impressions.

As if the 1750s portrayal wasn't outlandish enough, Sir Francis not one but twice had himself portrayed as Saint Francis which was one step away from blasphemous, given Sir Francis' reputation for renouncing God every chance he got.  One of the portrayals can be found on a sign in the caves of his West Wycombe estate.  The other portrayal was done by his good friend, William Hogarth, and shows Dashwood kneeling before a vision of a sprawled out naked woman with a pile of questionable looking fruit at his knees.

11 comments:

  1. Great post! I've never seen that Hogarth painting before, so funny!

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  2. Love the naughty side!

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  3. Thank you!

    ...who doesn't enjoy tales of the naughty ;)

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  4. *giggles* Well, that certainly dispels the belief of my friends who laugh at me for liking this century because it's "boring", doesn't it...

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  5. I'm afraid Anne is not his daughter... As far as I know and found out, he had no children... The Peerage states her as the daughter of Sir James Dashwood, 2nd Bt. and Elizabeth Spencer (Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, volume 2, page 1514)
    And Sir Francis married "on 19 December 1745, he married Lady Sarah Ellys (née Gould) (d. 19 January 1769), the widow of Sir Richard Ellys, 2nd Baronet" (http://tinyurl.com/33eyqkf).

    But whoosh! Anne Dashwood got 13 children (7daughters and 6sons)...

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  6. Ugh thanks for the check! That's what I get for writing on little sleep and adding things in last minute!

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  7. He definitely looked like he enjoyed partying it up. :)

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  8. Anyone who calls this century boring doesn't know what they are talking about - it's the century after this one that is boring.

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  9. Marchioness de VogueJuly 26, 2010 at 11:10 AM

    this man did things we'd put him in jail for today (hint: molestation, pedophilia)

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  10. Hmm I had never read anything like that about him. Luckily those sort of atrocities were also punishable in the 18th century.

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