Hannah (1740-81) was the natural daughter of John Ranby F.R.S. (1703-73), Principal Sargeant Surgeon to George II and to the Chelsea Hospital. Ranby was a friend and neighbour of the Hogarths at Chiswick. The identity of Hannah's mother is unknown. In 1758 Hannah married Walter Waring, MP for Bishops Castle, Shropshire and later for Coventry, who in 1769 inherited his cousin's estate at Groton, Suffolk.

This portrait is a pair to Hogarth's George Osborne, later John Ranby, Tate Gallery no.T07121. Both have elaborate painted stone surrounds. In Hannah's portrait the surround overlies a more simple oval one, whereas in her brother's the surround was always as we see it today. This suggests that Hogarth reworked Hannah's portrait so that its surround matched the one in the boy's portrait, and therefore that Hannah's portrait was painted first.

Further reading:
Elizabeth Einberg, Manners & Morals: Hogarth and British Painting 1700-1760, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery 1987, pp.204-5, reproduced in colour p.204
Elizabeth Einberg, Hogarth the Painter, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery 1997, p.49, reproduced in colour

Leslie Parris
June 1997