William Sargent (1786-1863) Treasury official

  • About the work
    Country: UK
    City: London
    Place: HM Treasury, 1 Horse Guards Road

    William Sargent was both the son and grandson of a politician. He was the third son of John Sargent (1750–1831), MP for Seaford in East Sussex, and one of nine children (six boys and three girls). His grandfather, also called John Sargent (1714–1791), was a merchant and MP for the May Place estate in Kent.

    Sargent’s early life was spent at the mansion of Lavington Park in Sussex. The estate had been inherited by his mother, Charlotte, from her father Richard Bettesworth, although Sargent’s father rebuilt the house in 1798 to the designs of the architect James Lewis (1750/51–1820). (A portrait of Charlotte Sargent by artist George Romney is in the collection of the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool.)

    From 1795 to 1803 Sargent studied at Winchester College and later found employment as a clerk in the Treasury, becoming Auditor of the Civil List and eventually rising to the position of Secretary to the Treasury. He married Sophia, daughter of George Arnold (c.1748–1805), and the couple had six sons and a daughter.

    Despite this portrait being by a skilled and practiced painter, the artist’s identity is unknown.

  • About the artist

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  • Details
    William Sargent (1786-1863) Treasury official
    Oil on canvas
    height: 128.50 cm, width: 102.50 cm
    Bequeathed by Sir Orme Garton Sargent, 1962
    Collection of Sir Orme Garton Sargent (died 1962), the sitter's great grandson; by whom bequeathed to the Lords Commissioners of HM Treasury, to be hung in the Treasury Chambers
    GAC number