Hugh Percy, 3rd Duke of Northumberland (1785-1847), the eldest son of Hugh Percy, 2nd Duke of Northumberland and his second wife Frances Julia Burrell (d.1820) was born 20 April 1785. Educated at Eton College and St John's College, Cambridge where he obtained an M.A. and an L.L.D. in 1809. He began a political careen in 1806 when he was returned as member of Parliament for Buckingham, going on to serve the same role for Westminster, the county of Northumberland and Launceston. Though he rarely spoke in Parliament he did move for an amendment to the Slave Trade Abolition act which would have emancipated every black child born after 1 January 1810.
In April 1817 he married Lady Charlotte Florentia (d. 1866), second daughter of Edward Clive, 1st Earl of Powis. The service was held at the Percy's London home Northumberland House.
The marriage seems to have been a success, with the Duke being described by Greville as 'a very good sort of man, with a very narrow understanding, an eternal talker, and a prodigious bore. The Duchess is a more sensible woman, and amiable and good humoured. He is supposed to be ruled in all things by her advice.' (Greville Memoirs, 1.164).
The Duke was known for his love of extravagance, shown by his orders from Rundell, Bridge and Rundell who supplied large quantities of silver and silver-gilt from 1822 to 1831, including the present tray, one of a pair, and another smaller pair. Many of these commissions are recorded in the Percy Letters in the Duke of Northumberland's archives. Rundell's additionally gilded and repaired pieces in the Duke's existing collection, and provided insurance for the transport of the Duke's plate to France when he traveled there in 1825 as Special Ambassador at the coronation of Charles X. Indeed the Duke's probate inventory, prepared after his death in 1847, show that at Northumberland House alone there were twenty-nine chests.