The present portrait is based on the portrait by Gainsborough, painted in Bath in 1768, when the sitter was employed as a valet by George Brudenell, 1st Duke of Montagu (1712-1790), which is now in the National Gallery of Canada. An engraving by Francesco Bartolozzi is in the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich (inv. no. ZBA2573). Ignatius Sancho was a musician and man of letters. Born on board a slave ship from Guinea to the Caribbean, he was orphaned at the age of two and was brought to Britain and met the Duke of Montagu who encouraged his education and nurtured an interest in the arts. After the Duke's death his widow helped Sancho to establish a grocery in Westminster and his wealth and property secured him the vote, becoming the first Briton of African heritage to vote in a British election. He moved in a wide circle of actors, writers, politicians and artists. He was a supporter and patron of the arts and a composer in his own right. He was the first Briton to receive an obituary. He became a symbol of the immorality of the slave trade.