The Kentish family name of Brockman appears on record as early as King Richard II, when the monarch granted lands to the family in the County. Sartorius painted other members of the family out hunting including Francis Drake-Brockman who is thought to be a son of the Rev. Ralph Drake-Brockman of Beachborough (1724-1781) who had assumed the name of Brockman in 1768 in compliance with the will of his cousin James Brockman, and his wife Caroline, youngest daughter of Henry Brockman of Cheriton, Kent.
James Drake-Brockman (c. 1760 - 1832) was married on 7 June 1786 in Lambeth Palace chapel to Catherine Tatton, daughter of the Rev. William Tatton, D.D., Rector of Rotherfield, Sussex, and Prebendary of Canterbury Cathedral. They had a very large family of thirteen children. In 1791, he became High Sheriff of county Kent. His wife Catherine Tatton was painted by Thomas Gainsborough in 1786 (Washington, National Gallery).
The Sartorius family originally came from Nuremburg, Germany. John Nost Sartorius's grandfather arrived in England from Bavaria in the early eighteenth century, but it was his father Francis Sartorius (1734-1804), who started the line of sporting artists whom we now know. Living at Carshalton, Surrey and often working at Newmarket, John Nost exhibited over one hundred paintings at the Free Society and the Royal Academy, and one at the Society of Artists. He contributed sixteen subjects to The Sporting Magazine, and over forty of his paintings, mainly portraits of racehorses, were engraved. The Prince of Wales, Earl of Derby, Lord Foley, Charles James Fox and Christopher Wilson were among his patrons. Sartorius's accurate portrayal of Epsom, Ascot and Newmarket 'finishes' are a valuable document of the history of racing.
The subject of 'treeing the fox' is occasionally depicted in hunting scenes and this is an unusually early depiction. The huntsman's theory was that, if the hounds were made to wait a few minutes for their kill by hanging up the fox in a tree, it made them more keen. The practice was also intended to allow the rest of the field to join the huntsman and show their appreciation for his work. He would then receive a contribution, or 'cap', from the members of the field.