BAKER, John IV (by 1503-44), of Presteigne, Rad.
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Family and Education
Forester, lordship of Radnor 3 May 1524; clerk of cts. Radnor c.1530; commr. tenths of spiritualities, St. David’s diocese 1535; sheriff, Rad. 1540-1; j.p. and custos rot. by d.3
John Baker was the first sheriff pricked for Radnorshire after the Union and the first man to sit for that shire in Parliament. His father had fought for Henry VII at Bosworth and had been granted the forestership of Radnor, with a fee of 40s. a year, in which Baker was to succeed him. Through his marriage to the daughter of a Ludlow merchant and his speculation in land Baker both waxed affluent and came to stand well with Bishop Lee, president of the council in the marches, to whom he presumably owed his advancement in local administration. His lease of the tithes at Beguildy in Radnorshire was contested in Chancery about 1540 by Richard Cupper after Baker had won an action against him in the common pleas: some of the parishioners seem to have favoured Cupper as they removed tithes to the value of £10 from the parsonage and Baker had to sue them in Chancery for recovery. Nothing is known about his part in the House but it was on the eve of the third session that he made a will on 8 Jan. 1544 providing for his family and naming his wife executrix and his father-in-law overseer. He died 13 days later and his place was taken by John Price I at a by-election on 19 Feb. The wardship of Baker’s son Ralph was bought by James Vaughan of Hergest, Herefordshire, who as sheriff had returned him to Parliament.4