John Scrope participated in the 1686 Monmouth rebellion, before entering the Middle Temple the following year. He published an attack on the pro-Catholic policies of James II in Utrecht in 1686 and later acted as an agent between the Whigs and the Prince of Orange.
Scrope was called to the bar in 1693. He was appointed one of the five Barons of the Court of the Exchequer in Scotland in 1708 and soon became the Chief Baron, responsible for liaising with the Treasury in London. Scrope was one of the central individuals of the Scottish administration in the years that followed the union with England. His friendship with Robert Harley, later Lord Treasurer, led him to become Harley’s chief Scottish advisor. Scrope succeeded William Lowndes, Secretary to the Treasury, in 1724. He assumed charge of the Treasury under the First Lord, Robert Walpole, remaining in office until his death in 1752, aged c.90.
Other depictions of politician and judge John Scrope include another portrait, attributed to Sir Godfrey Kneller, in the collection of Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery and a monument to Scrope, which includes a sculpted bust, at St Margaret’s Church, Lewknor in Oxfordshire, where the politician was buried.
Hans Hysing was born in Stockholm; the son of a goldsmith. He served a three year apprenticeship with a goldsmith, before studying painting under David von Krafft from 1694. In 1700 he moved to London and became a pupil of another Swedish painter, Michael Dahl. In 1711 he joined Kneller’s Academy in Queen Street and from 1720 studied at the St Martin’s Lane Academy. During the following decade Hysing painted increasingly distinguished sitters including Sir Robert Walpole, Arthur Oslow, speaker of the House of Commons, and the eldest daughters of George II. Scottish portraitist Allan Ramsay was his pupil from 1732 to 1733. Hysing witnessed the will of the daughter of Michael Dahl in November 1752, but had died by February the following year.
John Scrope (c.1662-1752) judge and politician; Secretary to the Treasury 1724-52
Oil on canvas (feigned oval)
height: 76.50 cm, width: 63.50 cm
Presented by The Rt Hon George Onslow
bl: John Scrope Esq / Secretary to the / Treasury / 1730; on label on verso of frame, handwritten in black ink, 18th/19th-c hand: This Picture of W. Scrope, the very able / Secretary to the Board of Treasury for many years / was given to the Secretary's Room by the Right / Hon-ble George Onslow, one of the Lords Councillors of the said Board, A. D. T[loss of part of label]
Collection of 'George Onslow'; by whom presented to HM Treasury
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