William Lindow (d.1786) was a prosperous merchant at Lancaster. His wife Abigail (1740 - 1790) was the daughter of his business partner Abram Rawlinson. Their overseas trade is suggested by a glimpse of sea and shipping in the background. Romney's account book for October 1772 lists several family portraits painted for Lindow. Among them this one is described as 'A Conversation of Himself and his Lady'. It cost ¿42. The note is particularly interesting, as it demonstrates that this dignified double portrait was considered informal enough to be described as a 'conversation piece', a term normally associated with relaxed domestic ease.