Eben William Robertson was a country landowner and a historian. He was born at Netherseale, his father’s rural seat in Leicestershire to which he succeeded in 1852. His family was one of the derivative branches of the Robertsons of Struan, and Robertson is seen here wearing the family tartan. His original studies into early medieval Scottish history led to the publication in 1862 of a well-researched book entitled ‘Scotland under her early kings’, which asserted the country’s early independence. This small but elaborate portrait was painted in watercolour on ivory. It was composed by the royal miniature painter, Sir William Charles Ross, at a time when miniatures competed with the brilliance of oil painting.