BAKER, John III, of Lyme Regis, Dorset.
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Family and Education
m. by 1395, Joan.
Baker, common though his surname is, was possibly related to a namesake who had sat for Lyme in the Parliament of 1369. In 1395, described as ‘of Whitford’, some six miles from the town, he contracted with John Dorset* to pay, over a period of 12 years, an annual rent of £2 for property in and near Lyme. At the assizes held at Exeter in 1408 he was accused of illegal disseisin of land at Colyford, Devon, also in the vicinity of the town. When the dean of Salisbury made a visitation of Lyme in July 1405, Baker was cited for fornication with Alice Benet, but although he confessed and paid a fine for penance, he did not reform his ways and was again cited for this offence three years later. As a parishioner of Lyme he provided evidence about the state of the church when the dean paid a subsequent visit in June 1412.1
Baker’s income, at least in part, was derived from the cloth trade. He was one of the delegates sent from Lyme to the shire court at Dorchester to report the results of the elections to the Parliaments of 1417, 1419, 1420, 1421 (May) and 1422.2