This portrait depicts the artist's father who was the son of a farmer. In 1764 Golding inherited valuable property and land in the parish of East Bergholt from his uncle Abram, a successful corn merchant. This included the tenancy of the corn milling business of Flatford Mill on the river Stour. The business prospered under Golding’s direction, and by 1785 he was described by another miller as ‘a man of fortune’ who ‘lives in the style of a country squire’. This portrait is thought to date from 1815, when Golding was already in his seventies, although he looks considerably younger.