This group portrait shows the Rev. Thomas Eyre together with his sister and brother-in-law in the meadows at Oxford with New College, All Souls, and the Radcliffe Library beyond.
The Rev. Thomas Eyre, was the Rector of Fovant and Chilmark in Wiltshire, Treasurer of Wells Cathedral and Canon Residentiary of Wells and Salisbury. Remarkably both the Rev. Eyre's father and grandfather had also been Canons of Wells and Salisbury before him. His sister Frances married Major Robert Sherwood, who is recorded in the army lists of 1774 as a Major in the 35th Regiment, after whose death, aged thirty-five, she married her first cousin Harry Edgell (1731-1801). The Rev. Eyre, like his father and his grandfather before him, studied at St. John's College, Oxford, and the view in this picture may well have been taken from the gardens of St. John's College.
William Williams, who won a premium for drawing at the Society of Artists in 1758, is recorded as having lived and worked in several towns in England during his career, including Manchester (1763), Norwich (1768-70), York (1770), Shrewsbury (1780), and Bath (1785-87). He exhibited at the Society of Artists (1766-1780) and at the Royal Academy (1770-1792). His small scale full-length portraits are among his best works.