Out of stock
Portrait of a Gentleman Lord Godolphin?
Maybe Lord Godolphin, in later frame
Oil on Canvas
Overall Frame Size 930 mm by 775 mm
Canvas Size 745 mm by 587 mm
Sidney came from an ancient Cornish family as the son of Sir Francis Godolphin (1605–1667) and nephew of the poet Sidney Godolphin. At the Restoration he was introduced into the royal household by King Charles II of England, whose favourite he had become, and he also entered the House of Commons as member for Helston, in Cornwall. Although he very seldom addressed the House, and, when he did so, only in the briefest manner.
Sidney “gradually acquired a reputation as its chief if not its only financial authority”. In 1668, a successful intermediary between the King and his sister Henrietta Anne (wife of the Duke of Orléans) in order to secure an agreement with King Louis XIV of France to reject England’s Dutch allies in return for French money. In 1669, they awarded a 31-year lease to him on all tin mines in Rialton and Retraigh in Cornwall. In 1670, Godolphin was appointed Groom of the Bedchamber along with a pension of £500 per annum. He held this post until 1678. The King said that he valued Godolphin because he was “never in the way and never out of the way”.
Charles appointed Godolphin envoy-extraordinary to Louis XIV in 1672 in order to reassure the French King of Charles’s allegiance before Louis attacked the Dutch. Godolphin was with Louis in the field during the Franco-Dutch War, but was unimpressed with his capabilities as a military commander.
In March 1679, Godolphin was appointed a member of the Privy Council, and in September of the same year was promoted, along with Viscount Hyde (afterwards Earl of Rochester) and the Earl of Sunderland, to the chief management of affairs.