The sitter has traditionally been identified as a member of the La Touche family. It has been suggested that the sitter bears a strong resemblance with some of the children of David La Touche of Marlay and that in view of the sitter's age it is probably a portrait of Robert La Touche, fifth son of David La Touche of Marlay (1729-1817), who was born in 1783 and became Lieutenant Colonel of the Carlow Militia and a Member of Parliament.
David La Touche of Marlay was the grandson of David Digges la Touche (1671-1745), a Huguenot who had fled from France to Amsterdam, after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, who joined the army and went to England with the Prince of Orange, served at the Battle of the Boyne and remained in Dublin after his regiment was disbanded, becoming a banker. His elder son, David Digges La Touche II (1704-85) built Bellevue in Delgany, County Wicklow. The latter's son, father of the presumed sitter, was M.P. for Dundalk and was also involved in the family's banking business. In 1762 he married Elizabeth, daughter of George Marlay, Bishop of Dromore, and in 1764 they purchased an estate at Rathfarnham, and renamed it Marlay, where they brought up six sons and five daughters. He was later appointed Governor of the Bank of Ireland.
The La Touche family were important patrons of Hamilton who had been well known to the family since the mid-1760s and produced numerous portraits of members of the family including three oils and three pastels of David La Touche of Marlay. Of the oils one is in the collection of the Bank of Ireland and another is in the National Gallery of Ireland (Irish Paintings in the National Gallery of Ireland, I, Dublin, 2001, no.491, illustrated). For other portraits of the La Touche family see Sergio Benedetti, The la Touche Amorino, Canova and his Fashionable Patrons, exhibition catalogue, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, 1998).