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John Britton

Photo credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

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Moved to London at sixteen and was apprenticed to a wine merchant. He worked in a variety of jobs before being commissioned by a Salisbury publisher to compile an account of Wiltshire. The Beauties of Wiltshire (1801), was the first of a series of popular topographical books that became a new class of literary works. In 1805, Britton published the first of his nine-volume Architectural Antiquities of Great Britain (1805–1814), and this was followed by fourteen volumes of Cathedral Antiquities of England (1814–1835).

National Portrait Gallery, London





oil on canvas


H 44.2 x W 35.6 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Given by the sitter's widow, 1882. On long-term loan to Bodelwyddan Castle, North Wales

Work type



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Normally on display at

National Portrait Gallery, London

St Martin’s Place, London, Greater London WC2H 0HE England

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