1767. Oil on canvas. 128 x 104 cm. National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh, UK. Read Note.
Duncan Stewart of Ardsheal (1732-1793) came from a famous Highland family which supported Prince Charles Edward Stuart during the Jacobite Rising of 1745. After the failure of the Jacobite revolt, the family moved to the American colonies. Stewart lived in Connecticut where he held the post of Collector of Customs. During the American War of Independence, he took the loyalist side. Eventually, the family estate of Ardsheal in Argyll, confiscated after the 1745 Jacobite Rising, was restored to him and he returned to Scotland. Copley painted this portrait in 1767, on the occasion of Duncan Stewart's marriage to Anne Erving.
Mrs Duncan Stewart (Anne Erving) (1740-1802) was the the daughter of the Hon. John Erving, a Scot born in Kirkwall in the Orkneys who had emigrated to America in 1706 and become a prominent New England citizen, serving as governor of Boston and one of His Majesty’s Council for the Province. Anne Erving married Duncan Steward in 1767, and they would move to Scotland in the aftermath of the American War of Independence.
See: John Singleton Copley. Duncan Stewart of Ardsheal. Mrs Duncan Stewart (Anne Erving).