Yeend King was born in London and spent his early working life as an apprentice to O'Connor, whose glass making business was in Berners Street, Marylebone. In the latter half of the 19th century, Marylebone was considered London's 'artistic quarter' and the presence of so many artists' sutdios no doubt tempted him to change career. He studied first with William Bromley, the genre artist, and later in Paris with Leon Bonnat and Fernand Cormon, both professors at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. The robust plein-air technique then prevelant in France influenced his art, and on his return to England he chose to specialist in landscapes and depictions of rustic genre.
A regular supporter of the Royal Academy, the Royal Society of British Artists and the Grosvenor Gallery, Yeend King's picture Milking Time was bought by the Chantrey Bequest in 1898, when the artist was still at the relatively young age of 43. Certain parallels can be found in the work of Robert Gallon whose wife's sister he married.