Colonel Henry Fitzhugh, 1751
In 1751 Colonel Henry Fitzhugh (1723–1783), the eldest son and principal heir of Captain Henry Fitzhugh, was twenty-eight and had been married for five years. He would become the father of thirteen children. Following in the family tradition, the colonel's public service already included command in the county militia that carried a title. He is shown by John Hesselius to be a man of intelligence, refinement, and confidence, keenly aware of both his heritage and his capabilities.
Henry Fitzhugh emerges from the documentary record as a notable patron of art, modeled after the example of his exceptional grandfather, William. At his home, Bedford, the colonel displayed the family portrait gallery. Included were the images that he commissioned from Hesselius of himself, his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. It followed that in the early 1770s, his grown daughter, son, and daughter-in-law would extend the dynastic collection further by commissioning their own portraits from the same artist.