Sir Robert Walpole and Earl Onslow by William Hogarth. Antique print by E. Harding, dated in the plate 1803, from an original painting by William Hogarth.
Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford, KG, KB, PC (26 August 1676 – 18 March 1745), known before 1742 as Sir Robert Walpole, was a British statesman who is generally regarded as the de facto first Prime Minister of Great Britain. Although the exact dates of Walpole’s dominance, dubbed the “Robinocracy”, are a matter of scholarly debate, the period 1721–1742 is often used. He dominated the Walpole–Townshend ministry and the subsequent Walpole ministry and holds the record as the longest-serving British prime minister in history.
Arthur Onslow PC (1 October 1691 – 17 February 1768) was an English politician. He set a record for length of service when repeatedly elected to serve as Speaker of the House of Commons, where he was known for his integrity.
Horace Walpole, Robert Walpole’s son said of Onslow “No man had ever supported with more firmness the privileges of the House, nor sustained the dignity of his office with more authority. His knowledge of the constitution equalled his attachment to it. To the Crown he behaved with all the decorum of respect, without sacrificing his freedom of speech. Against the encroachments of the house of peers he was an inflexible champion. His disinterested virtue supported him through all his pretensions, and though to conciliate popular favour he affected an impartiality that by turns led him to the borders of insincerity and contradiction; and though he was often so minutely attached to forms, that it made him troublesome in affairs of higher moment, it will be difficult to find a subject, whom gravity will so well become, whose knowledge will be so useful and so accurate, and whose fidelity to his trust will prove so unshaken.”