Friday 4 January 2019

Warren Hastings Bust by Thomas Banks formerly belonging to William Seward

Updated 13 June 2020

Warren Hastings (1732 - 1818).

A (presumed) Marble Bust by Thomas Banks (1735 - 1805).

the bust carved 1789 - 91?

Some notes: -

Formerly in the Possession of William Seward. FRS. FSA. (1747 - 99).

I have not yet been aqble to establish the connection between William Seward and Warren Hastings - 

Seward wrote a sympathetic potted biography of Hastings which was published in his Biographiana, vol II pub. 1799 along with an engraving of another bust of Hastings by Banks (ill. below).

For an excellent potted history of Banks see -

For the busts of Warren Hastings by Thomas Banks see Annals of Thomas Banks excerpts available on line at

Bust of Thomas Banks -  possibly

Stipple Engraving by John Conde (1765 - 1794).

Circa 1792

210 x 133 mm.

Another copy of this engraving is in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery Print Roombut with a wrong attribution and date

Conde engraved a self portrait bust by Thomas Banks (1791).


Warren Hastings

Thomas Banks c. 1770's ?

described as at Commonwealth Relations Office.

This image from Conway Library, Courtauld Institute website

I have not yet found the current location of this bust - it is not listed on the Goverment Art Collection website


For much more on William Seward the owner of the bust of Hastings see -

Engraving from Biographiana by William Seward, Vol II - 1799.

Curiously this must be the Lansdowne bust below or another version of it, showing the large button? on his left hand proper shoulder and not the version (above) once in the collection of William Seward.


Warren Hastings
height: 66.00 cm, width: 47.00 cm

Government Art Collection


Commissioned by William Petty, 1st Marquess of Lansdowne, later Earl of Shelburne (1737-1805) for Lansdowne House, Berkeley Square; 

thence by descent; sold through Christie's, 'Lansdowne House' sale, on 6 March 1930 (Lot 35; with 'wood pedestal carved with dolphins and foliage, and painted white'), for £84.0.0; 

from which sale purchased by J. Rochelle Thomas (of The Georgian Galleries), King Street, London SW1; by whom presented to the Ministry of Works in 1954


 Presented by J Rochelle Thomas (The Georgian Galleries), February 1954.

Currently located ?  at The British Deputy High Commission (Kolkata, India).


by Thomas Gaugain, published by John Brydon, after Simon de Koster, after Thomas Banks
stipple engraving, published February 1798 (1790)
NPG D35562

© National Portrait Gallery, London


Very poor photograph from

No information provided.

The shape of the remains? of the socle suggest to me that it is a plaster version of the earlier bronze by Thomas Banks (below) possibly by Shout of Holborn who frequently used the eared device over his socles.


Warren Hastings (1732 - 1818).
Thomas Banks (1735 - 1805).

Bronze from an original terracotta of 1790.
699 mm. tall

Purchased 1866.

NPG 209.

National Portrait Gallery - Currently located at Beningborough Hall.

Banks ‘entertained the highest veneration’ for Hastings, frequently expressing his admiration ‘of the fine expression of his features, and more particularly of the uncommonly grand form of his forehead, which, with that of Horne Tooke, he considered the finest he had seen in modern heads’. [1] Hastings had promised to sit to Banks in December 1789, and sittings are listed in his Diary between 1 and 5 February 1790, the 5th being ‘the last day’, when the model was presumably completed. Hastings paid Banks ‘for the bust & 5 casts £73.10.0’ on 14 April 1791. [2]

This first bust by Banks was produced in two forms, the marble with the shoulders complete, and the bronze with the shoulders cut, as NPG 209. The marble, dated 1790, belongs to the India Office (British Library); [3] a terracotta is in the Victoria Memorial Hall, Calcutta, and another was with Mrs Shortt in 1938; a bronze cast (bearing the inscribed date 1790), was sold Christie’s, New York, 16 April 1994, lot 1, and a plaster also belongs to the India Office (British Library). [4]

NPG 209, differing from the preceding with its cut shoulders, is dated 1794 and appears to have been the subject of two letters from Banks to Hastings. On 27 December 1794 he wrote: ‘I have at last succeeded in Obtaining a Cast of yr Bust in bronze, tho not altogether to my mind I beleive it is as good as can be got done at any London foundry - the expences attending the making three or four Moulds & the casting & repairing together, make it necessary for me to charge you thirty five pounds ...’. On 9 January 1795 he wrote again saying he had begun the bronze ‘by advice of Mr Cockerell who thought I might get something by sending some to India & I imagin’d it might be your wish to have one also & therefore made trial but finding the doing them attended with a good deal of trouble & expence I have giv’n up the idea of sending any to India & if I have been under a Mistake with respect to that which I sent to yr house I am willing to withdraw it’. [5] A plaster cast was presented to Westminster School by a descendant of Cockerell. [6]

Banks produced a second marble bust for Lord Lansdowne in 1796, the right shoulder bare, the socle inscribed INGRATIA PATRIA (Foreign Office; GAC 2680/1). [7] Sittings were given in October and December 1796; a profile engraving by T. Gaugain (from a drawing by Simon de Koster) was published 10 October 1797 and another by the same artists showing a full-face view was published in 1798. [8] The ‘Bust of Mr Hastings’ exhibited at the RA in 1799 (1081) was presumably of this second type. On 12 January 1798 Banks told Hastings he had ‘but one cast from the last Bust I made of you’ and a new mould costing five guineas was required.

An ‘original’ terracotta of one of Banks’s busts was in William Tassie’s sale, Christie’s, 12 July 1805, lot 207. 

A plaster cast from an unspecified model by Banks belonged to Captain D. M. Anderson in 1935. 

In Banks’s sale, 22 May 1805, lot 5 was a ‘Mask of Mr Hastings’; lots 53 and 54 were busts of Hastings in terracotta; lot 55 another with ‘the Mould of Ditto’, and lot 56 ‘Ditto in different Drapery, and Mould of Ditto’. 

In 1792 Banks had also modelled two chimneypieces for Daylesford, incorporating Persian and Indian motifs. [9]

Footnotes -

1) C. F. Bell, Annals of Thomas Banks, 1938, pp 80-81 (quoting Mrs Forster to Allan Cunningham, 1 March 1830, from The Builder, XXI, 3 January 1863, p 5).

2) Ibid., p 79.

3) Ibid., pl.XXXI; dated 1790, illus. M. Archer, The India Office Collection of Paintings and Sculpture, 1986, no.124; engraved J. Condé 1792.

4) M. Archer, The India Office Collection of Paintings and Sculpture, 1986, no.125.

5) C. F. Bell, Annals of Thomas Banks, 1938, pp 102-03 (quoting British Library, Add MS 9173, ff.292, 306). The architect Samuel Pepys Cockerell had designed Daylesford for Hastings.

6) C. F. Bell, Annals of Thomas Banks, 1938, p 80; Sir Arthur Knapp, A Catalogue of the known Portraits of Warren Hastings, 1951, p 20, no.4.

7) C. F. Bell, Annals of Thomas Banks, 1938, pp 110-11, 115-16.

8) Ibid., pl.XXXI.

9) Ibid., pp 88-89, pls.XXII, XXIII


[Warren Hastings; his godson Warren Hastings Frith of Lesley, Hants.];1 John Marshall of Southampton, who had purchased it ‘a few years ago from a family related to [Hastings]’,2 from whom purchased 1866.

1. See C. F. Bell, Annals of Thomas Banks, 1938, pp 80, 103. An undated note in Scharf’s hand in the NPG archive records the death of Warren Hastings Frith, son of Col. Frith, at Lesley, Hants, ‘about 6 years ago’.

2. Letters from Marshall of 1, 8 November 1865, 6 March 1866 (NPG archive); the bust was acquired with ‘a granite polished column’.

This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Ingamells, National Portrait Gallery: Mid-Georgian Portraits 1760-1790, National Portrait Gallery, 2004, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.

Info. above from
National Portrait Gallery.


Warren Hastings
Engraving after Zoffany
11.76 x 8.25 cms
Image courtesy Nation Galleries of Scotland.


Warren Hastings
After Tilly Kettle
Engraving from the European Magazine

17.6 x 11 cms.

Image courtesy National Galleries of Scotland.


Warren Hastings
Mezzotint by John Jones (1745 - 97).
after John Thomas Seton ( 1735 - 1806).
48 x 34.7 cms.

Image courtesy National Galleries of Scotland.


Warren Hastings
After William Bromley.
30.48 x 20.96 cms.
Image Courtesy National Galleries of Scotland.


Bust of Alexander Pope.
by Roubiliac.
in the Possession of William Seward
Drawn by John Brown
Engraved by Marino Bovi
with Titles

The bust here incorrectly attributed to Rysbrack 


This engraving was not the one exhibited in the exhibition at Waddesden Manor in 2014.
curated by Malcolm Baker, who curiously chose to use the proof engraving without title (below).
Thus avoiding any controversy regarding the sculptor of the bust.
Obviously not Rysbrack but Roubiliac.
Malcolm Baker was aware of the existance of this engraving in 2002

The William Seward Bust of Alexander Pope.
Sculpted by Roubiliac
Drawn by John Brown
Engraved by Marino Bovi
Proof engraving
before Title
This is the engraving used in the Waddesden exhibition

William Seward (1747 - 1799).

by George Dance (1741 - 1825).
Pencil and grey wash, 
Dated 5 May 1793.
10 in. x 7 5/8 in. (254 mm x 194 mm)
Purchased, 1898.

National Portrait Gallery.


Monument and Bust of Warren Hastings

Westminster Abbey
The bust by Samuel Manning I (1786 - 1842).
the Monument designed by John Bacon Jnr.

Poor quality image from Westminster Abbey Website


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