Cornthwaite Ommanney was in command of the sloop Zephyr in 1766. Ommanney became a lieutenant in 1758, commander in 1765 and made captain in 1772. He was captain of HMS Tartar in 1776. Ommanney was a superannuated rear admiral in 1794. Baptised at St. Mary’s Church, Portsea on 15 August 1736, the son of John and Elizabeth Ommanney, he went on to marry Martha Manaton and together they had 6 sons. Cornthwaite Ommanney died on 26 March 1801 and was buried at the Church of St. John the Evangelist, Westminster.
Thomas Hickey was a prolific portraitist to the soldiers, civil servants and merchants of colonial British India and is particularly known for small-scale, elegant oval portraits. His style and format of portraiture became a popular one with the landed gentry and was influential amongst many practicing painters of the late 18th century. This particular portrait is painted by an artist who has clearly adopted Hickey’s approach being both a spirited and characterful portrayal of this naval officer.