Susanna Montgomerie, Countess of Eglinton was a celebrated 18th Century literary patron and society hostess. She was the daughter of Sir Archibald Kennedy (c. 1656-1710) of Culzean in Ayrshire, and his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of David Leslie, 1st Lord Newark. Susanna married Alexander Montgomerie, 9th Earl of Eglinton (c. 1660-1729), in June 1708. Samuel Johnson commented that she 'for many years gave the laws of elegance to Scotland'. On 24 October 1769, the Countess's son, Alexander, was shot by a poacher on his land near Ardrossan. It is possible that the present miniature of the Countess in mourning dress was commissioned to commemorate the death of Susanna's son, an event from which she never truly recovered (R. K. Marshall, 'Montgomerie, Susanna, Countess of Eglinton [1689/90-1780]', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford, 2004, online version, accessed 2009).