Mr Cleary was famous for his philanthropy and his property business, Haslemere Estates. He was a donor to many causes. His interest in land and conservation is still expressed by the arboretum he created in the grounds of his house in Kent.
This portrait was commissioned by Magdalene College, Cambridge, in recognition of Mr Fred Cleary’s characteristically generous donation to the Pepys Library. Because of this, the portrait includes an aspect of the ‘number one bookcase’ in the Pepys Library, which houses the original Pepys diaries. Mr Robert Latham, the great Pepys scholar, allowed me unlimited access, out of public hours.