Thomas Augustine Arne was born in London and educated at Eton. He composed several operas, including Rosamund, 1733. He was later employed as composer to Drury Lane theatre, setting many Shakespearean songs. His sister, Susanna, known as 'Mrs Cibber', was a successful actress and singer at the time. Arne also wrote choral works for the Vauxhall concerts including Rule Britannia. He was awarded a Doctorate of Music by Oxford University in 1759. The likeness of the present sitter to surviving portraits of Arne is particularly close, his long nose with its wart to the left a distinctive identifying feature.