1780. Oil on canvas. 226 x 149 cm. National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh, UK. Read Note.
Hugh Montgomerie, 12th Earl of Eglinton (1739-1819) was a Scottish nobleman, politician and composer. In his youth, he served in the 77th Highlanders Regiment of the British Army, and saw action in the French and Indian War (1754-1763). Copley's portrait of him, though painted almost 20 years after the fact, shows him in full battle dress and carrying a sword, on a background of a battle between the Highlanders and Cherokees, with the Highlanders victorious. The battle may be either the Battle of Etchocy (1760) or the Battle of War-Women's Creek (1761).
Returning to Britain, Montgomerie became a Member of Parliament for the Scottish region of Ayrshire, serving intermittently up until 1796. That year, he was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ayrshire. In 1798, after succeeding to the earldom, he was elected a representative peer and received a seat in the House of Lords. In 1806, he was created Baron Ardrossan in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. In 1814, he was made a Knight of the Thistle