Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Clement Garnham (1782-1827) became a cadet in the East India Company and shortly before his sixteenth birthday sailed for Bengal where he remained until 1803. On his return journey to England his ship Lord Nelson was captured by a French frigate and he was held as a prisoner of war for the following three years. On his release he returned to India as a captain and by 1811 sailed with the Bengal Volunteers for the conquest of Java, which was under Napoleon's jurisdiction. When the Island was taken Sir Stamford Raffles, the future founder of Singapore, was installed as Lieutenant-Governor and Garnham was appointed as one of his two Aides-de-Camp. He was a resident at the court of the Sultan of Djoejocarta and as a mark of their respect, when in 1815 he was recalled to Burma, he was presented with a Javanese spear, kris and head dress, which are visible at his feet in the present portrait. The following year Garnham accompanied Raffles to England, on route they stopped at St. Helena where they took the opportunity to meet the exiled Napoleon. While in England he proposed and married his cousin Isabella, who bore him three daughters. They settled in Suffolk but soon returned to India and it was whilst on sick leave on the 27th February 1827 that he died at sea on his way to the Cape.
Samuel Lane (1780-1859) was taught by Joseph Farringdon and exhibited extensively at the Royal Academy. In 1818, when the present portrait was exhibited, Lane also exhibited a portrait of Ráden Rána Dipura, a Javanese chief who accompanied Sir Stamford Raffles to England.