He was the son of Stephen and Judith Slaughter, was baptised in London, and had the artist Judith Lewis as a sister. It has been claimed that John Lewis (fl. 1737–1769), also an artist, was Slaughter's brother-in-law; but it is disputed whether Lewis was the husband of Judith Slaughter. Slaughter studied under Godfrey Kneller from 1712. In 1720, on the account of Joseph Highmore, he was at the London academy of Louis Cheron and John Vanderbank.
There followed a long period abroad, in France and Flanders. Returning in 1732–33 to London, Slaughter then set up in Dublin during 1734, paying a longer visit in the 1740s. Slaughter influenced in particular Thomas Frye, as did James Latham.
In 1745 Slaughter became Surveyor of the King's Pictures, in succession to Peter Walton. From 1748 he spent time on picture restoration. On 14 July 1765, two months after his death, he was elected to the Accademia del Disegno, with William Oram.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Stephen Slaughter.|
- Lauze, Emma. "Slaughter, Stephen". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/25721. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- Ciaran Brady (2000). The Encyclopedia of Ireland: An A-Z Guide to Its People, Places, History, and Culture. Oxford University Press. p. 292. ISBN 978-0-19-521685-1.
- William Laffan, "Taste, Elegance and Execution": John Lewis as a Landscape Painter, Irish Arts Review Yearbook Vol. 15, (1999), pp. 151–153 at p. 151. Published by: Irish Arts Review. Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/20493057
- Peter Lord, The Two Lives of John Lewis, Irish Arts Review (2002-) Vol. 22, No. 1 (Spring, 2005), pp. 114–119, at p. 115. Published by: Irish Arts Review. Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/25503176
- Warren Mild (1990). Joseph Highmore of Holborn Row. Mild Associates. p. 175. ISBN 978-0-9627517-0-7.
- "National Portrait Gallery - British picture restorers, 1600-1950 - S". Retrieved 27 May 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Thomas Frye, Irish Portrait Painter: Biography, Paintings". Retrieved 27 May 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
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- Lee, Sidney, ed. (1899). . Dictionary of National Biography. 59. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
- Ric Berman (1 August 2013). Schism: The Battle That Forged Freemasonry. Sussex Academic Press. p. viii. ISBN 978-1-78284-006-0.
- E. M. Johnston-Liik (2006). MPs in Dublin: Companion to History of the Irish Parliament, 1692-1800. Ulster Historical Foundation. p. v. ISBN 978-1-903688-60-1.
- "Sir George Lee, Stephen Slaughter, Tate". Retrieved 27 May 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)