William Davidson was a Dundee cloth merchant who settled in Amsterdam and married a Dutch woman. A wealthy merchant, he actively supported the exiled Charles II, supplying him with money, equipment and information obtained through espionage. Soon after Charles was restored to the throne in 1660, he made Davidson Conservator of the Staple at Veere – a Dutch town with a large Scottish population – his function being to protect Scottish trading privileges. This portrait, painted about 1664, shows Davidson with his third son, Charles, who was the king’s godson. However, cleaning revealed that the child was a later addition to the painting. Charles was probably added after his death in 1666, aged only five. In his hand he holds a miniature of the king, emphasising his father’s allegiance.