The sitter was the son of George Edgcumbe, 1st Earl of Mount Edgcumbe and Emma, daughter of John Gilbert, Archbishop of York. He was a member of the Society of Antiquaries and a keen actor. By the time this miniature was painted Edgcumbe’s opera, Zenobia, had been produced at the King’s Theatre, London (1800). He was also author of the popular text Musical Reminiscences of an Old Amateur chiefly respecting Italian Opera in England 1773 to 1823 (1825). In the year the present portrait was painted he served as Captain of the Honourable Band of Gentlemen Pensioners, a position he held until 1812. Also in 1808 he became a member of the Privy Council and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. He is depicted in Zoffany’s 'Tribuna of the Uffizi'. Edgcumbe’s family seat was Cotehele in Cornwall, now a National Trust Property.