William Carlyle was an apothecary in Carlisle, England in Cumbria. He was the father of the Alexandria merchant, John Carlyle. John Carlyle owned his portrait along with that of his wife, Rachel Murray, and his other son, George. Dr. George Carlyle sent John Carlyle the three portraits as recorded in their correspondence. It is unclear when the portrait was painted or if George had this portrait copied for his brother from an earlier portrait.
“Your Reasons for Not Sending the Pictures I Desired, I am Satisfyed With, but Wish you had Sent them as it has Turned out, Now I think it prudent to Wait to See Whether We May hope for Peace before they are Sent,” John Carlyle to George Carlyle, 10 August 1757
“3 family pictures” worth £15 appear in John Carlyle’s probate inventory, 1780
The subject wears a brown jacket with silver buttonholes and silver buttons. He also wears a long white wig. He is turned three-quarters to his right and appears inside a painted oval frame.
See: J.F. Carlyle, ed., “The Personal and Family Correspondence of Col. John Carlyle” (2011); Gunston Hall Probate Inventory Database.