Object Title

Painting - John, Lord Mordaunt

Painting - John, Lord Mordaunt



Object Number



Purchased from Sotheby's, 15 November, 1961, lot 4. Catalogued as 'English School, Portrait of Edward Osborne... Hornby Castle Catalogue No. 89. Property of the Duke of Leeds, from Hornby Castle.'

Physical Description

Oil on panel.
Half length, leaning on one elbow over a balustrade, the other hand resting on a helmet which stands on the balustrade, wearing a black but burnished field armour with gilt bands and borders.





Dimensions: Height: 902 mm (35.5 in); width: 686mm (27 in)

Inscriptions and Marks


Bibliographic References

Charles Beard 'An iconographic problem', Connoisseur, June 1931, 358-65.

G Rimer, T Richardson and J P D Cooper, Henry VIII: arms and the man, Leeds, 2009, p.223

Tower of London, 'Exhibition of Armour made in the Royal Workshops at Greenwich' (1951), No 71, Catalogue, 42, plate VI.


The original identification of the sitter as Sir Edward Osbourne (c 1530-1591) was shown by Charles Beard ('an iconographic problem', Connoisseur June 1931, 358-65) to be impossible given the date of the armour shown and he suggested the now accepted identification, after comparison with another version of the same portrait in the possession of the Stopford-Sackvilles of Drayton, Northamptonshire, John, Lord Mordaunt (1490-1562) being a common ancestor and a man high enough in Henry VIII's favour to have been granted the right to have an armour from the Greenwich workshops. The break in the line of gilding at the top of the visor in this version which does not occur in the Drayton version, has led to the suggestion that this is a copy of the Drayton version, rather than the other way round, but it seems to be an early copy, probably late 16th century.

He is shown here as a man aged somewhere between fifth and sixty years of age, resting comfortably in a burnished field armour with gilded borders.The armour shown here, and especially the helmet, is similar to two armours made for Henry c1540, Armouries No. II-8 and the armours at Windsor.

Mordaunt (c.1480-1562) was the eldest son of Sir John Mordaunt who had served Henry VII. This appeared to provide the younger John's entry to the royal court. John succeeded to his father's estates in 1504 and was subsequently seen regularly at court. He attended many of the important public occasions during Henry VIII's reign including the Field of the Cloth of Gold in 1520. In 1532 he was created Baron Mordaunt of Turvey. He attended Anne Boleyn's wedding (1533), her trian (1536) and later bore a banner at Jane Seymour's funeral (1537). He remained an active participant in local government. See biography in the 'Oxford Dictionary of National Biography'.