BAKER, Thomas (d.1625), of Whittingham Hall, Suff. and Leyton, Essex.
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Family and Education
2nd s. of Richard Baker† of Sissinghurst, Kent by his 1st w. Catherine, da. and h. of John Tyrrell of Heron, Essex. m. ?(1) Griselda, da. of William Barnes; ?(2) c.1602, Constance, da. of Sir William Kingsmill of Malshanger, Hants, 2 or 3s. 1da. Kntd. 1603.
Though the surname was fairly common in Sussex at the time, this man can probably be identified as a first cousin of the Richard Baker who represented Arundel in the 1593 Parliament. The adjective ‘senior’ is applied to him in the Crown Office list, perhaps to distinguish him from a namesake who matriculated at St. Alban Hall, Oxford, in 1591, aged 15. If this identification is correct, Baker’s election at Arundel could be attributed to Thomas Sackville, Lord Buckhurst.
By 1601 Thomas was the only male adult representative of the senior line of the Sissinghurst Bakers. In quick succession his father and elder brother John had died, the first in 1594, the second, aged over 40, two years later; the heir, Henry, Thomas’s nephew, was then a minor. It is not clear how old Thomas himself was at this time: his father, on making his will in 1591, had appointed him joint executor with John, his elder brother, and also left him 100 marks and his lands in remainder after John and his heirs. When John, in turn, made his will shortly before his death two years later, he appointed Thomas ‘his loving brother’ one of his two overseers.
After his second marriage, Baker subscribed to an indenture by which his Essex lands should form his wife’s jointure. He evidently made Whittingham his main seat. He held, besides, three manors in Lincolnshire, the manor of Hinton in Gloucestershire, certain lands in East Sussex, including the manor of Glynde, and a house and garden in Chelsea. The scattered nature of his estates may have confused the authorities, for in May 1618 a warrant was issued by the Privy Council for his arrest for defaulting at the Essex musters. His defence, that he was already assessed fully for this service in Kent, was accepted.
Baker died 10 Apr. 1625, his widow’s death following within a few months. A dispute then arose between the children over the terms of their father’s will, made 3 June 1622, but the will was upheld by sentence (16 Feb. 1626) in favour of the elder son Thomas, as against his younger brother Richard and sister Elizabeth.
Burke, Extinct and Dormant Baronetcies, 32; Al. Ox. 1500-1714, i. 59; Vis. Kent (Harl. Soc. xlii), 63-4; Vis. Essex (Harl. Soc. xiii), 21; Wards 7/73/105; PCC 44 Clarke, 28 Hele, 46 Dixy, 29 Drake; C142/244/110, 246/114; APC, 1618-19, pp. 134, 139, 140.