George Seton is shown here surrounded by his four sons and his daughter. He was a Catholic and a loyal supporter of Mary Queen of Scots, whom he helped to escape from Holyrood Palace after the murder of David Rizzio. Seton was also involved in Mary’s flight from Lochleven Castle, where she had been imprisoned. Following Mary’s escape, Seton acted as her ambassador to the Duke of Alva in the Spanish Netherlands, and it was during this posting in 1572 that this portrait was painted. The figures each have their initials and age inscribed beside them, although it is not certain if these were added by Pourbus or by another hand at a later date.