At the centre of the group is Shelley’s grandfather Sir Bysshe Shelley, the first baronet and, thanks to his marriages to two wealthy heiresses, the source of the family wealth. To his left is Mary Catherine Michell, his first wife; to his right his second wife, Elizabeth Jane [Perry] Sidney, heiress of the Sidney family. At the top of the group is Sir Bysshe’s elder brother John Shelley; at the bottom is Timothy Shelley, Sir Bysshe's son from his first marriage and the father of the poet.
The miniatures of Sir Bysshe and John Shelley were painted by Luke Hudson, perhaps in 1765; those of Sir Bysshe's wives and son are by unknown artists.
Shelley' opinion of his grandfather was not high. ‘He is a bad man'', he wrote in 1812. ‘I never had respect for him, I always regarded him as curse on society. – I shall not grieve at his death. I will not wear mourning, I will not attend his funeral. I shall think of his departure as of that of a hardhearted apostate.'
(sometime between March 1931 and Dec. 1934) Sir John Shelley-Rolls; (bequest, 1961) Bodleian.