BAKER, John II (by 1531-1604/6), of London.
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Family and Education
b. by 1531, 2nd s. of John Baker I by 2nd w., and bro. of Richard. educ. I. Temple, adm. 29 Jan. 1553. m. (1) Catherine, da. of Sir Reginald Scott of Scot’s Hall, nr. Ashford, Kent, 2s. inc. Richard†; (2) Martha, wid.2
Groom of the chamber by 1552.3
John Baker was given a special admission to the Inner Temple, his father’s inn, in 1553, but he is not again mentioned in the records of the inn. His return for Horsham to the Parliament of April 1554 may be attributed to his father’s friendship with the 3rd Duke of Norfolk, who owned the borough, and although Norfolk was dead before the next election the elder Baker’s influence in Sussex and at court was doubtless sufficient to secure his son’s reelection at Bramber. In these two Parliaments the father sat as knight of the shire for Kent and the elder son Richard successively for Horsham and Lancaster, a family achievement not often matched during this period. The ‘Mr. Baker’ to whom the bill punishing seditious rumours was committed on 19 Nov. 1554 is more likely to have been the father, with his long experience of the Commons, than either of the sons. Not surprisingly, none of the three was to be numbered among the Members who withdrew from this Parliament before its dissolution and who were prosecuted for their offence. It is possible that Baker was re-elected for Bramber to the Parliament of 1555, the name Thomas Baker which appears on the indenture being perhaps a misnomer.4
Sir John Baker was at pains to provide for his second son. When in November 1552 he bought three manors in Kent from Sir Edward North and others he remaindered them to John Baker; he made further provision by his will of October 1555, and in his testament of January 1558 he added to bequests of £200 and his household goods in London an exhortation to his heir ‘to be aiding and loving to thy natural brother John Baker’. Such solicitude prompts the speculation whether the younger Baker may not have been a source of disappointment or anxiety. For the son of so industrious and successful a father he certainly appears a nonentity, making no mark either in London, where he lived, or at court or in politics, and memorable only for having fathered, in Sir Richard Baker, the author of the well-known Chronicle. That he was, at least, no spendthrift appears from the provision in his will that Richard should pay the younger son Thomas £3,000 with which to buy land. Among other provisions of the will, made on 14 Oct. 1604 and proved on 14 Apr. 1606, were that Martha Baker was to have all the plate and jewels which she had received ‘as executrix to her late husband’ and all movables at Frittenden, Kent, and that Thomas Baker should receive the reversion of lands at Bodiam, Sussex.5