Sir Thomas Frankland was an Admiral of the White, who from 1740-45 commanded a frigate on the Bahama Station. He then served as a Commodore at Antigua for the following four years. For the next thirty-five years, from 1749 until his death in 1784, he represented Thirsk in Parliament. In 1743 he married Sarah Rhett, who was the grand-daughter of the chief-justice of what was then the "province" of South Carolina. They had nineteen children in all, of whom seven daughters grew to adulthood. Around 1795, Frankland commissioned John Hoppner to paint a portrait including two of his daughters (now in the NGA).
City of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. Illustrated Catalogue of a Loan Collection of Portraits. Birmingham, England, 1903: 32-33.