Christopher Newall, The Grosvenor Gallery Exhibitions, Cambridge University Press, 1995, p 89
Victoria Jean Osborne, 'A British Symbolist in Pre-Raphaelite Circles: Edward Robert Hughes RWS (1851-1914)', University of Birmingham thesis, October 2009, p 19-20
The sitter's husband Dr Joseph King, 1814-1897, was the son of the founder of the Liverpool stock exchange, who became a surgeon and then joined his father's business, living in Liverpool until moving to Hampstead in 1878 after his marriage to Phoebe Powell in 1866. The Kings lived in Welford House in Arkwright Road, from where the Hampstead parish church of St John-at-Hampstead is clearly visible. In 1871 proposals were made for 'beautifying and improving' the church, including the demolition of the tower. Endless arguments ensued - a petition against was set up and signed by the cream of artistic and literary London - including William Morris, Burne-Jones, Holman Hunt, Madox Brown, Trollope, du Maurier, Coventry Patmore, FT Palgrave and others. The Trustees gave in and the church was restored, realigned and extended. It was this petition which fired Morris to organise opposition to the Victorian practice of destroying, altering and rebuilding early cathedrals, churches and other buildings, and led him to establish in 1878 the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. John Constable, George du Maurier, Sir Walter Besant and Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree are all buried in this church.
After a six-year hiatus in exhibiting, Hughes resumed in 1879, sending [Joseph King] to the Royal Academy (his first appearance there since 1872) and making his debut at the Grosvenor Gallery with [Mrs King, which may have been] turned down by the hanging committee there.' (Victoria Osbourne, 'A British Symbolist in Pre-Raphaelite Circles: Edward Robert Hughes RWS (1851-1914)', University of Birmingham thesis, October 2009, pp 19-20)