All the Leslie lineage is descended from the same Scottish Clan and Great Family; one of the very oldest. Tradition says it began in 1069 A.D. when the Saxon claimant to the throne of England was defeated by William the Conqueror and fled to Scotland. However, we only need to concern ourselves with the more recent history to discover the sitter in this portrait. Unfortunately, there is very little information to go by, but the date of the painting is enough to suggest that this may be a portrait of Mary Holloway (birth date unknown – d.1832) or Lady Dorothy Eyre (1788 – 1853). Both were wives to Colonel Charles Leslie, K.H. (1785 – 1870), the twenty-sixth Baron of Balquhain, Aberdeen, who served with the 29th Regiment under the Duke of Wellington. His first marriage was to Mary Holloway on 24 November 1826. She died six years later and four years after her death Charles Leslie married his second wife, Lady Dorothy Eyre (1788-1853). On their marriage in 1836, Maria Dorothy Leslie would have been 48 years of age. The sitter in the portrait looks to be 40-50 years so it would not be unreasonable to assume one of them could be the subject of the portrait.
The canvas has been re-lined sometime either in the late 19th or early part of the 20th century. New strips of lining have been added to strengthen the edges. The painting has been professionally cleaned and the canvas has had a good quality stretcher made to replace the damaged original.