James Worsdale, English, c.1692-1767
Title: The Hellfire Club, Dublin
Date: c.1735
Medium: Oil on canvas
210 x 275 cm
Credit Line: Presented, Mr J. Wardell, 1878
Object Number: NGI.134
ProvenanceDomville family, Santry Court; Sir Charles Domville sale; bt. Mr John Wardell, Dublin; bequeathed, Mr John Wardel, Dublin, 1878
Exhibition HistorySecond National Exhibition of National Portraits, South Kensington Museum, London, May 1867
Label TextThe portrait painter James Worsdale was known as a playboy as well as co-founder of the Dublin Hellfire Club, alongside the 2nd Earl of Rosse. Surprisingly, neither man features in this group portrait of the gentleman’s club. Since its foundation, rumours of satanic rituals and immorality have circulated about the club. However, no such scandalous goings-on are visible in this sedate portrait. The dapper men have been identified as Simon Luttrell, Henry Clements, Colonel Henry Ponsonby, Colonel Richard St George, and Henry Barry.

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