Paul Sandby's wife, whom he married on 5 May 1757, was Ann Stogden or Stogdon. She died aged sixty-one in 1797. Her portrait was painted by Francis Cotes and exhibited at the Society of Artists in 1761. The couple had three children, Paul, Thomas Paul and Nancy, the second of whom married his first cousin Harriot, daughter of Thomas Sandby. Mrs Ann Sandby suffered from poor health in later life, and extreme deafness. She died at the family home, 4 St George's Row, and was buried on 6 November 1797 in the new burial ground behind the garden there.
Mrs Sandby's companion in this drawing is George Stevens. There were two well-known men of this name in Sandby's day, George Stevens (1736-1800), a Shakespeare scholar and occasional hoaxer who succeeded in fooling Charles Darwin and others, and George Alexander Stevens (1710-1784), an actor turned satirical writer, lecturer and songwriter. When the present drawing was sold in these Rooms in 1959 it was identified as 'George Alexander Steevens, Esq., and Mrs. Paul Sandby'. The actor Stevens often had his surname misspelled Steevens and Stephens on playbills and in notices. His actress wife Elizabeth was also sometimes referred to as 'Mrs Steevens'. The Stevens depicted here bears a resemblance to George Alexander Stevens as he appears in an anonymous print The Lecture, a copy of which is in the Harvard Theatre Collection. George Steevens the Shakespeare scholar had a distinctively prominent nose and receding forehead. The present drawing appears to be the only known original likeness of G.A. Stevens.
George Alexander Stevens became famous for his 'Lecture upon Heads', first given in 1764. The Lecture was a satirical monologue featuring three-dimensional model heads or 'blockheads' which were held, or brought forward, in turn, by the actor as he spoke. Stevens had in 1754 delivered an earlier pseudo-scientific 'lecture' which discussed, among other topics, 'How far the Parabola of a Comet affects the Vegetation of a Cucumber'. Stevens's connection with Sandby is not known, but both men turned their satire against William Hogarth in the early 1760s. Stevens satirised Hogarth's print The Five Orders of Perriwigs in Adventures of a Speculist, written circa 1763-64. Sandby's attack on Hogarth appeared in the form of several satirical etchings.