BARING, John (1730-1816), of Mount Radford, Exeter, Devon

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer



9 Nov. 1776 - 1802

Family and Education

b. 5 Oct. 1730, 1st s. of John Baring of Larkbear, Devon by Elizabeth, da. of John Vowler, grocer, of Exeter; bro. of Francis Baring. educ. Geneva. m. 24 Nov. 1757, Anne, da. of Francis Parker of Blagdon, Devon, 2s. 4da. suc. fa. 1748.

Offices Held

Sheriff, Devon 1776-7.


This Member’s father, son of Franz Baring, minister of the Lutheran church of Bremen, settled as a clothier near Exeter in 1717; was naturalized in 1723; and left his son a flourishing Exeter cloth business, which the latter developed. In 1763 he extended his interests to London, and with his brother Francis established the firm of Baring and Co., initially to act as agency for the Exeter firm. They were particularly concerned with the financing of foreign trade, and though John Baring was originally the dominant figure in the firm, he gradually left its affairs to his brother Francis; while he himself returned to Devon, established the Plymouth bank, and in 1770 founded the Devonshire bank at Exeter. By 1776 his interests seem to have been principally financial. In 1774 he unsuccessfully contested Honiton. His increasing wealth enabled him to purchase considerable property at Exeter; in 1776 he stood there in opposition to the corporation interest, and was returned after an expensive contest.

At first he supported Administration. In 1779 the Public Ledger wrote about him:

He is a man of good fortune, and very respectable character. His brother, Mr. Francis Baring, is one of the East India directors; and from the influence, probably, of that connection, more than from any other circumstance, this Member is the avowed and steadfast friend of the present Administration.

But shortly afterwards, in his pre-election survey, Robinson wrote: ‘Mr. Baring was a friend until Mr. Dunning married his sister.’ In the critical divisions of 21 Feb. and 8, 13 Mar. 1780, Baring voted with the court; on 31 Mar. John Dunning and Elizabeth Baring were married; in the division of 6 Apr. Baring abstained, and on 24 Apr. he voted with the Opposition.

At the general election he was returned unopposed on the corporation interest at Exeter, and henceforth till the fall of North consistently voted with the Opposition. He voted for Shelburne’s peace preliminaries, 18 Feb. 1783, for parliamentary reform, 7 May 1783, and against Fox’s East India bill, 27 Nov. 1783; supported Pitt, but with his brother turned against him over the French Revolution.

There is no record of his having spoken in the House before 1790.  He died 29 Jan. 1816.1

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Mary M. Drummond


  • 1. Gent. Mag. 1816, i. 278; Burke, L.G. gives 1 Feb. 1816.