Maude Verney (nee Hay-Williams) was born on 7 Feb 1847 and married Frederick William Verney in London on 8 June 1870. Frederick Verney's father, Sir Harry Verney, was Lord of the Manor and a major landowner in Pleasley, and Frederick's stepmother was Frances Parthenope Nightingale, sister of Florence Nightingale. Maude and Frederick Verney had three children and despite living in London, the family continued its associations with the areas of Pleasley and Lea Hurst (the Derbyshire home of the Nightingale family).
Maude often painted the landscape of Pleasley, including the local colliery. Although coal mining was the main industry in Pleasley, this painting of hay makers is a reminder that agriculture still played an important part in the village in the early twentieth century.