The sitter was the daughter and co-heir of Edward Blount of Blagdon, Devon, an early patron and correspondent of Alexander Pope. In 1727 she married Edward Howard (1685-1777) who, in 1732, succeeded as 9th Duke of Norfolk. Despite the Duke's Jacobite past they were received at the court of George II where Lady Irwin recorded that 'The Duchess was a sensible woman... and assured the Queen [that] though she and the Duke were of different religion they had as much duty and regard for the King as any of his subjects'. She was considered to be intelligent, energetic, and charming, if rather formidable. Horace Walpole referred to her as 'My Lord Duchess'. Needlework by her can still be seen at Arundel Castle.