Adam Ferguson was the eldest son of the famous historian and philosopher, Professor Adam Ferguson, and a university friend of Sir Walter Scott. Scott and Ferguson kept up a correspondence during Ferguson's service in the Peninsular campaign, two years of which were spent as a prisoner of the French. Through Scott's influence he was later appointed Keeper of the recently rediscovered Regalia of Scotland. He received a knighthood from George IV during the latter's visit to Edinburgh in 1822. This portrait shows Ferguson with his wife Margaret in their house at 27 George Square in Edinburgh, which they occupied between 1847 and 1852. Besides its value as a 'conversation piece', the painting is of great interest as a faithful record of an early Victorian Edinburgh interior.