This portrait of Thomas Osborne is intended to indicate the high social status of the sitter. Osborne is represented in lavish robes and is seated in a highly decorative chair. His right hand rests gently on the Lord Treasurer's staff and he looks towards the viewer with a confident and superior expression. Thomas Osborne was the son of Sir Edward Osborne and was born in Danby in Yorkshire. He was elected Member of Parliament for York in 1665. Supported by the patronage of George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, Osbourne became Lord Treasurer of England in 1673. In 1689 he supported the plot to help William of Orange and his wife Mary to seize the English throne and by spring the following year, he had again established himself as chief minister within the new Government. Osborne was never a popular or trusted figure in court and Gilbert Burnet (appointed Royal Chaplain by William of Orange) described him as ‘the most hated minister that had ever been about the king.’
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