Henry Whitworth (Captain Harry).

Lot: 50.


Bonhams, London, New Bond Street. Auction date: 19 June 2024, 15:00 BST.

Portrait of Henry Whitworth M.F.H.
signed ‘William Orpen’ (lower right).

Medium: oil on canvas.
Size: 127.5 x 102 cm. (50 1/8 x 40 1/8 inches.)

Estimate: £20,000 – £30,000 Sterling. €23,000 – €35,000 Euro.

Provenance: Commissioned by the family of the present owner Private Collection, U.K.

Henry Whitworth (1870-1930), better known as “Captain Harry”, was heir to the Yorkshire based Whitworth brewing family. 
A lifelong horseman, in his youth he hunted with the Fitzwilliam (Wentworth) hounds but also followed many other packs. On a visit to Ireland, where he had taken a house for a couple of months, he was so impressed with the sport in the country that he returned there for eight years and accepted the successive masterships of two packs. He acted as joint master with Mr. Poyser of the Galway Blazers during the 1902 to 1903 season and the Westmeath from 1903 to 1908. He held the unique record of winning every Hunt Cup in Ireland with his celebrated horse ‘Earthworm’.

During WWI Whitworth served in the Royal Horse Artillery and was made captain on 1st June 1916. Following the war he continued his equine pursuits and he was a successful racehorse owner winning the Ebor Handicap with ‘Iron Hand’ in 1920, the Bessborough Stakes at Ascot and the Irish Derby with ‘He Goes’. In 1928 he became High Sheriff for Yorkshire.

 Text from Bonhams catalogue by Kenneth McConkey. 

Post by Dominic Lee, Orpen Research Archives.