1639. Oil on canvas. National Trust, Petworth House, Sussex, UK. Read Note.
Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford (1593-1641), English statesman, was of Yorkshire family with royal connection. In 1614 he became MP for Yorkshire, although initially in opposition, he in 1628 became a royalist. In 1632 he was appointed a Lord Deputy of Ireland, where he ruled despotically. In 1639 he became the Charles I's chief adviser and was made Earl of Strafford and lord-lieutenant of Ireland. He was seen by the Parliament as main obstacle to Pym, the leader of the Parliament and was condemned to death by Act of Parliament. When Charles I refused to agree to his execution, a violent mob outside Whitehall Palace threatened the queen and the King gave in. He was beheaded in May 1641