Rowland Hill ( 1495- 1561) was the first Protestant Lord Mayor of London. Upon arrival in London as a young man, he became the apprentice of a London mercer and became a distinguished merchant and politician, Hill was particularly renowned for his charitable giving and interest in education. He held the post of surveyor-general of the London hospitals from 1559 until his death and bequeathed a dole of 12 pence to every house in the City. He was elected an alderman in 1542 and became Sheriff in the same year.
In this half-length portrait Hill is shown facing the viewer, dressed in a rich black overcoat trimmed with brown fur. He has the mayoral chain around his neck and a prominent ring on his forefinger. A coat of arms can be seen on the top right, set against the green background.