Henry Mervyn was a merchant and shipowner of Plymouth and Stoke Damerell and a partner of Richard Baylay. David Mannings (op.cit.) dates the present pictures to 1746-47. Graves and Cronin (op.cit.) explain that Mr and Mrs Mervyn were childless and had no relations of their own name and that all their property, including these pictures, was inherited by The Rev. F. Baylay, Canon of Canterbury. This pair of portraits was copied by James Northcote in 1781 and Northcote's account books record that they were paid for by Mrs Frederick, who seems to have been a relation of the Baylay family (J. Simon, 'The Account Book of James Northcote', Walpole Society, LVII, 1995/6, p. 45, nos 133 and 134). These Northcote copies were included in John Baylay's sale at Christie's, 23 April 1910, as lot 111 (bt. by Mrs Joseph). Northcote had also executed portraits of members of the Baylay family (J. Simon, op.cit., nos. 147-149).