This unusual group portrait is of members of two Norfolk families, the Harveys and the Herrings, and would appear to celebrate the union of two families which had occured through the marriage of William Herring of Heathersett Hall (d.1842) who was a manufacturer, and Sheriff of Norwich in 1831, and Sarah Harvey, daughter of Charles Harvey M.P.. The young boy in the centre is their son, William Henry Harvey (1813-after 1870).
On the left hand side of the picture, the Harveys, a prominent Norwich family, many of whom were Mayors and Sheriffs, are individually portrayed beneath their arms and motto, ALTERI: SI: TIBI. The older generation Robert Harvey of Catton and Tharston Hall (c.1730-1816), Sheriff and Mayor of Norwich, and his wife Judith, daughter of Captain Onley are at the top. The latter's brother and co-heir, Rev. Charles Onley of Sisted Hall, Essex, is alongside. Their children, Charles and Charlotte Harvey, John Harvey (1755-1842) and Robert Harvey (1751-1820) prominent wool manufacturers, are shown beneath. Beneath this group are the next generation, Onley, Judith Turner (née Harvey) and Charles Robert Turner (1789-1876), Caroline Mary Harvey and the sister of Charles Harvey, Mrs Morison and Charlotte's brother, Samuel Haynes.
The Herrings, depicted on the right, were predominantly merchants and bankers from Norwich, and their arms, depicted in the top right hand corner and inscribed with the family motto DUM SPIRO SPERO, were granted in 1826 to John Herring of the City of Norwich. John Herring (1718-1786), centre-right, was said to be a havel and slea maker. He married Anne Smith of Beccles, beside him. Below them are their children with their respective wives, their eldest son John (1749-1810) who married Rebecca Buckle, James Herring and his second wife Elizabeth (née Leachment) and John Herring's brother and his wife, William and Elizabeth. The eldest son of John and Rebecca Herring, John (1774-1842) and his wife Catharine are in the top right corner beneath their arms. His brothers and their wives are beneath him, Thomas and Ann, William and Sarah (née Harvey), John Barwell and Laura (née Manby), Thomas Herring Buckle, a drug merchant and William Herring of and his wife Sarah.