The sitter was the daughter and heiress of George Speke of White Lackington, Somerset. She married the statesman Frederick Lord North, the eldest son of the 1st Earl of Guilford, who succeeded as the 2nd Earl of Guilford (1732-92) in 1790, in May 1756. Her husband, who was Chancellor of the Exchequer and leader of the House (1767-82) and Prime Minister (1770-82), was painted by Ramsay in 1761 (location unknown; A. Smart, op. cit, p. 166, no. 407, fig. 529). The sitter, who was an amateur painter of some distinction, also sat for a portrait to by Sir Joshua Reynolds (D. Mannings, Sir Joshua Reynolds: A Complete Catalogue of His Paintings, New Haven and London, p. 352, no. 1342, fig. 280), and in the 1760s was painted together with her husband and one of their children (artist unknown). She died in January 1797, leaving four sons and three daughters.