William Byrd III
Original Author: John Hesselius
Created: Eighteenth century
Medium: Oil on canvas
Publisher: Virginia Historical Society

William Byrd III

William Byrd III, the wealthy heir of Westover plantation, stands for an oil portrait by eighteenth-century artist John Hesselius. The artist includes a horse in the background of the portrait. Byrd imported horses from England and gambled on high stakes horse races. According to the 1813 will drawn up by Byrd's widow, Mary Willing Byrd, this painting was hung "in the passage" at Westover.