Thomas Law Hodges (1776–1857) of Hemsted Place, Cranbrook, Kent, was for many years a Member of Parliament for that county. An old inscription on the back states that the sitter is 18 years old. This would date the picture to 1794, so that it is probably the portrait of ‘Mr Hodges’ which Beechey exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1795. Hodges’s family were long-established as landowners in Dorset and Gloucestershire. He had a privileged upbringing, educated at Harrow and Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where he was admitted in 1794, perhaps the occasion for this portrait being made.