The sitter was the second son of John Manners, 3rd Duke of Rutland, and brother to the celebrated soldier John, Marquis of Granby, under whom he served as Lieutenant-Colonel of the 21st Light Dragoons. On 5 April 1760, together with his brother, he raised a regiment at Belvoir, which became the 21st Light Dragoons, for which he was their Colonel Commandant until the regiment disbanded in 1763. He assumed the additional surname of Sutton upon inheriting the estates of his maternal grandfather Robert Sutton, 2nd Lord Lexinton, in 1734. Nicolson (op. cit.) notes that he sat to Wright in 1760 when the artist was at Newark.