The sitter was the eldest daughter of George, 4th Earl of Halifax and his second wife, Lady Mary Lumley, eldest daughter of Richard, 1st Earl of Scarbrough. She married Sir Roger Burgoyne, 6th Bt. (d. 1780), M.P. for Bedford, in 1739.
Lady Fanny is portrayed in the bridesmaid's dress she wore at the marriage between Anne, Princess Royal (1709-1759), eldest daughter of King George II, and William IV, Prince of Orange, which took place on the evening of 14 March 1734. The petticoat of the gown takes the form of tiered scalloped flounces, and from the bodice falls a train caught back to reveal the petticoat beneath. The sleeves are composed of a series of tiered ruffles. While such stiff bodied gowns were customary wear for female members of the Royal Family and their immediate attendants on the most formal ceremonial occasions, the distinctive arrangement of flowers on the petticoat is more unusual. Mary Glanville, Mrs Delaney describes the dresses worn by the bridesmaids in rather general terms, recording that they were 'white and silver', and that the maids had 'great quantities of jewels in their hair'.
The ceremony was performed at the French Chapel adjoining St. James's House which for the occasion was connected with King George II's apartment in St. James's House by a covered Gallery holding four thousand people, through which the marriage procession passed. John, Lord Hervey, who organised the procession, gives a lively account of the event in his memoirs: 'The Chapel was fitted up with an extreme good taste and as much finery as velvets, gold and silver tissue, galloons, fringes, tassels, gilt lustres and sconces could give. The king spared no expense on this occasion'. He commented, however, that the scene 'looked more like the mournful pomp of a sacrifice than the joyful celebration of a marriage ...' (see Lord Hervey's Memoirs, Ed. R. Sedgwick, London, 1952, pp. 56-100). The scene is recorded in an engraving by J. Rigaud after William Kent.