The first St Clement Danes Association started in May 1798 and disbanded in 1802. This corps of volunteers was categorised as an Armed Association, meaning it purchased its own arms. Units categorised as Volunteers were provided arms by the government. The corps consisted of two companies, one company commanded by Captain Samuel Edwards and the second, Captain William Sandby.
For some reason, neither of these Captains were designated as the Captain commanding suggesting that they each held an equal rank. There were four lieutenants – the First Lieutenants were John Paternoster and William Twining and the Second Lieutenants were Benjamin Marshall and Lieutenant John Prince. We believe the portrait to be of one of these officers. In this early corps, there were at least 245 members as that number were reported to have participated in the Grand Hyde Park Review on 28 October 1798.