BALDWIN, Charles Barry (?1789-1859), of 6 Parliament Street, Mdx.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1820-1832, ed. D.R. Fisher, 2009
Available from Cambridge University Press



1830 - 1832
21 Apr. 1840 - 1852

Family and Education

b. ?1789,1 1st s. of Charles Baldwin, lt.-col. of King’s Co. militia. educ. I. Temple, called 1824. m. 16 Sept. 1823, Frances Lydia, da. of Walter Boyd*, 1s. d.v.p. 2da. d. 13 Apr. 1859.

Offices Held

Under-sec. to French claims commission 1819, sec. 1821, sole commr. ?1829-30.


Baldwin was a descendant of Richard Baldwin, the wealthy provost of Trinity College, Dublin, 1717-58, and the nephew of Sir Edward Barry of Dublin, an Irish baronet and army officer, but nothing is known of his early life.2 It was presumably through his work on the commission for liquidating British claims on France that he met his wife, the daughter of one of the principal claimants. Called to the bar in November 1824, he was described in the Law List for 1830 as a conveyancer and in 1835 as a parliamentary draftsman and counsel to the French claims commissioners. At the general election of 1826 he offered for Totnes on behalf of the independent freemen, pledging his support for ‘our glorious constitution ... in church and state’, but he came bottom of the poll.3 He stood again in 1830 and was returned in second place, having apparently allied himself to one of the sitting Members, Thomas Peregrine Courtenay, a junior minister in the duke of Wellington’s government, in order to oust the other, Lord Darlington.4

Ministers listed him among their ‘friends’ and he voted with them in the crucial civil list division, 15 Nov. 1830. He divided against the second reading of the Grey ministry’s reform bill, 22 Mar., presented a hostile petition from Totnes, 24 Mar., and voted for Gascoyne’s wrecking amendment, 19 Apr. 1831. At the ensuing general election he was again returned for Totnes ahead of Darlington, after denouncing the bill and being ‘hissed down’ by the inhabitants.5 He divided against the second reading of the reintroduced measure, 6 July, for use of the 1831 census to determine the disfranchisement schedules, 19 July, and to postpone consideration of Chippenham’s inclusion in schedule B, 27 July. He put the case for removing Totnes from that schedule, 2 Aug., arguing that it was not a nomination borough and that it was ‘increasing in wealth and prosperity’. He voted against the bill’s passage, 21 Sept. He thought it was ‘very unfair to discuss the merits’ of the Dublin election case ‘on the present occasion’, 8 Aug., and obtained a return of the number of registered 40s. freeholders for the county of Dublin, 16 Aug. He gave notice of a bill to authorize the compounding and commuting of charges for charitable purposes on freehold property, 9 Dec., but this was not forthcoming. He was absent from the division on the second reading of the revised reform bill, 17 Dec. 1831, but voted against the enfranchisement of Tower Hamlets, 28 Feb., the third reading, 22 Mar. and the second reading of the Irish bill, 25 May, and paired for an increase in Scotland’s representation, 1 June 1832.6 He divided against the Liverpool disfranchisement bill, 23 May. He obtained returns of the appeals lodged against decisions made by the French claims commissioners, 25 May, the cost of street improvements in Westminster, 1 June, sewerage charges there, 4 Aug., and the number of parishes to which the Metropolitan Police Act had been extended, 10 Aug. He presented a petition against the London and Birmingham railway bill, 30 May. He voted against government on the Russian-Dutch loan, 12 July. He successfully moved for an address to the king to suspend the distribution of Deccan prize money in relation to the claims made by a force serving at Rhyegur, 11 Aug. 1832.

Baldwin did not stand at the general election of December 1832, but he was returned for Totnes at a by-election in 1840, having been involved in a double return the previous year, and sat as a free trade Conservative until his defeat in 1852. He evidently continued his legal practice and was a director of a number of insurance and railway companies. He resided latterly in Paris, where he died in April 1859, ‘aged 69’.7 He revoked a former will favouring his wife, because of ‘the persecution and proceedings against me when I was dangerously ill and suffering from severe mental agony arising from the loss of my only son’. This possibly relates to a case before the consistory court in June 1854 when a Mrs. Baldwin was granted a separation from her husband on the ground of adultery. He divided his estate between various individuals and institutions.8

Ref Volumes: 1820-1832

Author: Terry Jenkins


  • 1. According to Gent. Mag. (1859), i. 653. However, IGI (Yorks.) lists the baptism of Charles Barry Baldwin, son of Charles, 19 Apr. 1790.
  • 2. Oxford DNB sub Baldwin, Richard; Dod’s Parl. Companion (1843), 122.
  • 3. Devon RO D1579 A/12/19; Woolmer’s Exeter and Plymouth Gazette, 17 June 1826.
  • 4. Add. 40401, f. 155; Trewman’s Exeter Flying Post, 12 Aug. 1830.
  • 5. Western Times, 7 May 1831.
  • 6. The Times, 4 June 1832.
  • 7. Dod’s Parl. Companion (1847), 142; Gent. Mag. (1859), i. 653.
  • 8. The Times, 9 June 1854.