Henry Spicer was born at Reephem in Norfolk. He first exhibited, at the age of 25, in the 1766 exhibition of the Incorporated Society of Artists, one of the several societies in existence at the time of the founding of the Royal Academy. He became the Society’s Secretary in 1773 and continued to exhibit there until 1783. He exhibited fairly regularly at the Royal Academy from 1774 until the year of his death. He lived at addresses around Covent Garden and Soho. Spencer specialized in small chalk and watercolour portraits as well as miniatures on enamel and ivory.