Jonathan Staniforth (d.1779) was the son of Disney Staniforth and his wife Mary (d.1756), daughter and coheir of Nicholas Skinner of London. The Staniforth family lived at Firbeck Hall in Yorkshire, which they had acquired in 1676. On the death of Amelia Stanyforth in 1792 Firbeck Hall was inherited her distant relative John Barker who sold it to Henry Gally of Langold who added the name 'Knight' to his surname. The FitzHerberts of Tissington were connected to the Knight family through the marriage of Selina FitzHerbert (d. 1823) (see lot 597), sister of Sir William FitzHerbert, 1st Bt (d.1791), to Henry Gally Knight.
Thomas Murray, who was born in Scotland, was a pupil of the eminent portrait painter John Riley, taking over his practice when Riley died in 1691. His practice was successful and he painted portraits of many prominent figures of his day among them John, 1st Duke of Atholl, Christopher, 2nd Duke of Albermarle and William, Duke of Gloucester.