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Bate was a tough-minded journalist and newspaper editor, as well as an Anglican parson. He had famously got into a fight with some young men of fashion in Vauxhall Gardens, earning him the nickname ‘The Fighting Parson’.

Bigoted and confrontational, we might wonder whether he could be considered as a man of Sensibility. But for this portrait, his friend Gainsborough has included an adoring dog and an outdoor setting to emphasise the idea that he was also a nature-loving ‘man of feeling’.

September 2004