The Duke of York and Albany was the second son of King George III. He spent much of his life in the British Army and was Commander-in-Chief during the Napoleonic Wars, at which time he embarked on significant structural reforms. It was said that he did 'more for the army than any one man has done for it in the whole of its history' (The Oxford Illustrated History of the British Army
, Oxford, 1994, p. 145). Appropriately, this sale also includes a bust of his private secretary, Lieutenant-General Sir Herbert Taylor, with whom he had a close professional bond (see lot 128).
The present bust follows the same model as the marble in the Royal Collection, which was acquired by the sitter's brother, the Prince Regent, for the Entrance Hall at Carlton House in 1813 and is now at Windsor (inv. no. RCIN 31621).