BAKER, John II (d.1406), of Southwark, Surr.
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Family and Education
s. of John Baker of Southwark.1
Tax collector, Southwark Nov. 1404.
Baker’s appointment as a tax collector in 1404 refers to him as a weaver, although it is unlikely that he was the John Baker who became master of the mystery of English weavers in the City of London some 13 years earlier. He had certainly settled in Southwark by July 1396, when he was described as a resident of the borough; and he was still living there in 1400, at which date he witnessed the second of two deeds conveying land in Bermondsey. His election to the Parliament of 1406 did not go entirely unopposed, for shortly after being returned he and his colleague, Thomas Spencer, began litigation against a local carpenter who had accused them of being ‘lez plus fauxes hommes de tout le Comitee de Surrey’, and of concealing their real names and humble origins at the time of the election. Baker did not live to see the outcome of the case, and died in either November or December following, while Parliament was still in session. He appears to have been childless, since the only kinsman to whom he made any bequest was his uncle, William Baker. The latter received from him a legacy of £5 which was to be raised by selling the reversion of certain tenements held by the MP’s stepmother, Isabel, in Southwark. Baker himself expressed a wish to be buried in the local church of St. Olave, and set aside the rest of his estate for pious works.2