The sitter was a wealthy malt-distiller who purchased Claybury Hall, Ilford, Essex in 1786 and the Manor of Chigwell in 1800. He married Wilhelmina Caroline Addington in 1775 and died in December 1806 at Thomas' Hotel, Berkeley Square, leaving a son and three daughters. James Hatch's Aunt, Miss Elizabeth Hatch is the sitter of lot 4 of this sale. His youngest daughter, Louisa, married William Rufus Rous (1796-1875), of Worstead House, Norfolk, third son of Sir John Rous, 1st Earl of Stradbrooke and his second wife Charlotte Maria, daughter of Abraham Whittaker, in 1822. Her husband was a Captain in the Coldstream Guards. This portrait was painted in the year that Hatch's daughter had her first child.
Lemuel Francis Abbott studied under both Francis Hayman and Joseph Wright of Derby, before establishing a successful portrait practice in London in the early 1780s.