The circumstances of Tennyson sitting for Helen Allingham are recorded by her husband, the poet William Allingham, in his Diary, edited by Helen Allingham and D. Radford, 2 volumes, 1907:
13 October 1880: At Hindhead. 'Helen, at his (A.T's) wish, made a sketch of the landscape as seen through one of the arches of the porch. T., looking over her, said: "I suppose I owe you Â£20 for this?" H. said the payment would be to give her a sitting or two, and he gave in rather grumblingly; hitherto he had refused and said one day "I'll go out of the room if you look at me!" H. had two or three short sittings in his study, with fading light and made a couple of beginnings. He promised to sit again when we next met. I talked to him while he sat, and tried to keep him from looking unhappy...' (p. 301) Two drawings by Mrs Allingham of Tennyson in 1880 are recorded in Early Victorian Portraits as having been exhibited in the Tennyson Centenary Exhibition of 1909, numbers 112 and 136.