John Read was born and lived in Bedford, UK – St John’s Street in 1794 - and listed during the 1790s as both a painter and limnor – illustrator. He took on at least three young men as apprentices during that time. He was also listed as being employed as gamekeeper to John Lawson Esq. in 1788. As well as exhibiting two paintings at the recently formed Royal Academy in 1779, he exhibited a total of 31 paintings at the Society of Artists in London between the years 1773 and 1783. All his exhibited works at these two institutions were those that demonstrated his skill in the form of still life and game. It was enterprise that inevitably drove him to paint commissions of prized animals and there is evidence of these paintings up to the turn of the century.