Sir Henry Paulet St. John, Bt (1737-1784), of Dogmersfield Park, Hampshire, was the eldest son of Sir Paulet St. John, of Farley Chamberlayne and Dogmersfield Park, Hampshire, and his second wife Mary, daughter of John Waters of Brecon and widow of Sir Halswell Tynte of Halswell, Somerset. His father was Member of Parliament for Winchester from 1734 to 1741 and thereafter represented the County of Hampshire until 1747, Winchester from 1751 to 1754, and was later Mayor of Winchester in 1772. The sitter followed his father into politics and was a Member of Parliament for Hampshire from 1772 to 1780. The St. John family were prolific patrons of Hayman. Among a number portraits of the family by the artist is a group portrait which shows Henry St. John when still a boy, of about ten years old, together with his parents and his three brothers and sister (B. Allen, op.cit., p.103, no.26). The present portrait can be dated to circa 1760. The sitter was also portrayed, when aged about ten, together with his mother, by James Seymour (c.1702-1752) in the foreground of the latter's celebrated view of Dogmersfield Park, which had been built for his grandfather Ellis St. John circa 1728 (see J. Harris, The Artist and the Country House, London, 1979, p.240, no. 264).