The sitter was the eldest son of James, 8th Lord Chandos of Sudeley. He was Member of Parliament for Hereford from 1698 until the accession of King George I in 1714 when he was created Viscount Wilton and Earl of Carnarvon. In 1707 he was appointed Paymaster General of forces abroad, an extremely lucrative post which he held until 1714. The great wealth which he acquired was mostly employed in building a splendid house at Canons, near Edgware, which is reputed to have cost £200,000. He maintained a full choir in the magnificent chapel, where Handel spent two years producing some twenty anthems as well as his first English Oratorio 'Esther'. In 1719 Carnarvon was created Marquis of Carnarvon and Duke of Chandos. He married three times, first in 1697, Mary, daughter of Sir Thomas Lake, secondly Cassandra, daughter of Sir Francis Willoughby, and thirdly Lydia Catherine, daughter of John Vanhatten. On his death he was succeeded by his second son, Henry. Much of the fortune he had built, however, was squandered by poor investment and after his death Canons was sold by auction for materials. Michael Dahl painted an earlier portrait of the sitter to commemorate his elevation as Earl of Carnarvon in 1714, and a family group by Sir Godfrey Kneller, signed and dated 1713, is recorded by Kerslake as being at Thornham Hall (op. cit., p. 37). The ducal coronet establishes a terminus post quem of 1719.