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George Bond, father of the seven children depicted in this portrait, was a wealthy city merchant, and an official in the East India Company. The family seems to have occupied several imposing residences, including a country house, ‘Ditchleys’ in Essex, and a Jacobean mansion in Wimbledon.In the foreground, the three older boys play cricket, flanked by their two sisters. Their two younger brothers are dressed in white frocks, as was then the custom for toddlers of either sex. The youngest boy, Essex Henry Bond, second from the left, later made his career as a commander in the navy, transporting convicts to Australia.

May 2007