Benjamin Hoadly (1676-1761) is shown here in the robes of Bishop of Winchester and Prelate of the Order of the Garter, one of the top three dignitaries of the Anglican Church. He was famous for defending the new Hanoverian monarchy against the claims to the British throne of the Catholic Stuarts. He was also noted for supporting the supremacy of the state over the church, and for his liberal views on religious dogma. Although crippled from youth, he led an extremely active life. He loved the arts, especially the theatre, and entertained lavishly. Hogarth, who was a close friend of his two sons, painted most members of the family and often took part in their amateur theatricals.
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