BAKER, Richard (c.1568-1645), of Highgate, Mdx.; later of Middle Aston, Oxon.
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Family and Education
b. c.1568, 1st s. of John Baker† of London by his 1st w. Catherine, da. of Reginald Scott of Scot’s Hall, nr. Ashford, Kent. educ. Hart Hall, Oxf. 1584; travelled abroad. m. aft. 1620, Margaret, da. of Sir George Mainwaring of Ightfield, Salop, at least 2s. 3da. suc. fa. 1606. Kntd. 1603.
Sheriff, Oxon. 1620-1.
Baker, a well-known religious and historical writer of his day, was descended from Sir John Baker, Henry VIII’s chancellor of the Exechequer. He owned manors in Essex, Gloucestershire, Kent and Oxfordshire. His entry into Parliament was probably due on both occasions to Thomas Sackville, Lord Buckhurst, his uncle by marriage, a notable borough patron in Sussex. Baker’s first cousin, Robert Sackville, later 2nd Earl of Dorset, represented Sussex in both these Parliaments. In the Parliament of 1597 Baker was named to the committee concerning spinners and weavers (10 Nov.) and he reported the committee’s progress on 21 Nov. and 28 Nov.
Little is known of Baker’s middle life. When knighted in 1603, he was living at Highgate, but later he moved to Oxfordshire, where he owned the manor of Middle Aston. It was soon after his year as sheriff there that he married and ruined himself by becoming surety for the heavy debts of his wife’s family. In April 1625 he was reported to be a debtor to the Crown and his property at Middle Aston was seized. Ten years later the forfeited lands were still in the King’s hands, and Baker took refuge in the Fleet prison, where he devoted himself to meditation and to literary work. He died in the Fleet 18 Feb. 1645, and was buried in St. Bride’s church, Fleet Street.
DNB; Wards 7/30/8; D’Ewes, 560, 564; CSP Dom. 1628-9, p. 383.