Alexander Baring, 1st Baron Ashburton

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The Lord Ashburton

President of the Board of Trade
In office
15 December 1834 8 April 1835
Monarch William IV
Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel, Bt
Preceded by Charles Poulett Thomson
Succeeded by Charles Poulett Thomson
Master of the Mint
In office
23 December 1834 8 April 1835
Monarch William IV
Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel, Bt
Preceded by Hon. James Abercromby
Succeeded by Henry Labouchere
Personal details
Born27 October 1774 (1774-10-27)
Died12 May 1848 (1848-05-13) (aged 73)
Longleat, Wiltshire
Nationality British
Political party Tory
Anne Louisa Bingham
(m. 1798;his death 1848)
Parents Sir Francis Baring, Bt
Harriet Herring Baring

Alexander Baring, 1st Baron Ashburton PC (27 October 1774 – 12 May 1848), of The Grange in Hampshire, of Ashburton in Devon and of Buckenham Tofts near Thetford in Norfolk, was a British politician and financier, and a member of the Baring family. Baring was the second son of Sir Francis Baring, 1st Baronet, and of Harriet, daughter of William Herring.

Buckenham Tofts is a now deserted historic parish and manor in Norfolk, England, situated about 7 miles north of Thetford, and since 1942 situated within the Stanford Training Area, a 30,000 acre military training ground closed to the public. It was situated about one mile south of the small village of Langford, with its Church of St Andrew, and about one mile west of Stanford, with its All Saints' Church and one mile north of West Tofts, with its Church of St Mary, all deserted and demolished villages. None of these settlements are shown on modern maps but are simply replaced by "Danger Area" in red capital letters. It is situated within Breckland heath, a large area of dry sandy soil unsuited to agriculture. The parish church of Buckenham Tofts, dedicated to St Andrew, was demolished centuries ago and stood to the immediate north of Buckenham Tofts Hall, the now demolished manor house, as is evidenced by a graveyard which was discovered in that location. The parishioners, few as they were, used nearby St Mary's Church, West Tofts, one mile to the south, where survive 18th c. monuments to the Partridge family of Buckenham Tofts. In 1738 the Norfolk historian Blomefield stated of Buckenham Tofts "there is nothing remaining of this old village, but the Hall, and the miller's house". The ancient manor house was rebuilt in 1803 by the Petre family in the Georgian style and on a grand scale, was sold with the large estate in 1904 and was finally demolished by the army in 1946, having suffered major damage from military training exercises and shelling. In the early 21 century the remains of the manor house were described as follows: "a grassy platform of raised ground and beside a short line of dilapidated stone steps. The raised ground made a sort of elevated lawn, large enough for a tennis court or two, and the steps went to the top of the platform, and then went nowhere."

Thetford town in Norfolk, England

Thetford is a market town and civil parish in the Breckland district of Norfolk, England. It is on the A11 road between Norwich and London, just south of Thetford Forest. After World War II Thetford became an ‘overspill town’ taking people from London, as a result of which its population increased substantially. The civil parish, covering an area of 29.55 km2 (11.41 sq mi), has a population of 24,340.

Baring family noble family

The Baring family is a German and British family of merchants and bankers. In Germany the family belongs to the Bildungsbürgertum, whereas in England it belongs to the aristocracy.


Early life

Alexander was born on 27 October 1774. He was the second son born to Harriet (née Herring) Baring (1750–1804) and Sir Francis Baring, 1st Baronet (1740–1810). Among his siblings was Maria (the mother of Francis Stainforth), Sir Thomas Baring, 2nd Baronet, Henry Baring (a Member of Parliament for Bossiney [1] and Colchester), [2] and George Baring (who founded the Hong Kong trading house of Dent & Co.). His father and his uncle, John Baring established the London merchant house of John and Francis Baring Company, which eventually became Barings Bank. [3]

Sir Francis Baring, 1st Baronet English merchant banker and art collector

Sir Francis Baring, 1st Baronet was an English merchant banker, a member of the Baring family, later becoming the first of the Baring baronets.

Francis Stainforth British philatelist

The Reverend Francis John Stainforth was an early British philatelist, conchologist, and book collector. He was the Perpetual Curate of All Hallows Staining church in London, where Mount Brown compiled large parts of his catalogue. The church was believed to be the one mentioned by Charles Dickens in Dombey & Son.

Sir Thomas Baring, 2nd Baronet, was a British banker and Member of Parliament.

His paternal grandparents were Elizabeth (née Vowler) Baring and Johann Baring, a wool merchant who emigrated to England in 1717 from Germany and established the family in England. His maternal grandfather was merchant William Herring of Croydon and among his mother's family was her cousin, Thomas Herring, Archbishop of Canterbury. [4]

Johann Baring German businessperson

Johann Baring, later anglicised to John Baring, was a German-British merchant. He came to England in 1717 as an immigrant, as the apprentice of a wool merchant. His decision to settle permanently in England started the Baring family on the road to becoming one of the leading family banking firms in the world.

Thomas Herring Archbishop of Canterbury

Thomas Herring M.A. was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1747 to 1757.

Archbishop of Canterbury Senior bishop of the Church of England

The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion and the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury. The current archbishop is Justin Welby, who was enthroned at Canterbury Cathedral on 21 March 2013. Welby is the 105th in a line which goes back more than 1400 years to Augustine of Canterbury, the "Apostle to the English", sent from Rome in the year 597. Welby succeeded Rowan Williams.


Alexander was brought up in his father's business, and became a partner at Hope & Co. He was sent to the United States for various land deals, and formed wide connections with wealthy American families. In 1807 Alexander became a partner in the family firm, along with his brothers Thomas and Henry, and the name was changed to Baring Brothers & Co. When Henry Hope died in 1811, the London offices of Hope & Co. merged with Baring Brothers & Co. [5]

Hope & Co. Dutch bank with Scottish founders

Hope & Co. is the name of a famous Dutch bank that spanned two and a half centuries. Though the founders were Scotsmen, the bank was located in Amsterdam, and at the close of the 18th century it had offices in London as well.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or simply America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Most of the country is located contiguously in North America between Canada and Mexico.

Henry Baring British politician

Henry Baring, of Cromer Hall, Norfolk, was a British banker and politician. He was the third son of Sir Francis Baring, 1st Baronet, the founder of the family banking firm that grew into Barings Bank. His grandfather John Baring emigrated from Germany and established the family in England.

Political career

Baring sat in parliament for Taunton between 1806 and 1826, for Callington between 1826 and 1831, for Thetford between 1831 and 1832 and North Essex between 1832 and 1835. He regarded politics from the point of view of the business man and opposed the orders-in-council for "the restrictions on trade with the United States in 1812," and, in 1826, the act for the suppression of small banknotes as well as other reform. He accepted the post Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Duke of Wellington's projected ministry of 1832; but afterwards, alarmed at the men in parliament, declared "he would face a thousand devils rather than such a House of Commons." [6] After the Panic of 1847, Baring headed an external bimetallist movement hoping to prevent the undue restriction of the currency. [7]

Taunton (UK Parliament constituency) Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom, 1885-2010

Taunton was a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom and its predecessors from 1295 to 2010, taking its name from the town of Taunton in Somerset. Until 1918, it was a parliamentary borough, electing two Member of Parliaments (MPs) between 1295 and 1885 and one from 1885 to 1918; the name was then transferred to a county constituency, electing one MP.

Callington was a rotten borough in Cornwall which returned two Members of Parliament to the House of Commons in the English and later British Parliament from 1585 to 1832, when it was abolished by the Reform Act 1832.

Thetford was a constituency of the British House of Commons. It elected two Members of Parliament (MPs) by the bloc vote system of election. It was disenfranchised under the Representation of the People (Scotland) Act 1868, which had resulted in a net increase of seven seats in Scotland, offset by the disenfranchisement of seven English Boroughs.

Baring was Master of the Mint in Robert Peel's government and, on Peel's retirement in 1835, was raised to the peerage as Baron Ashburton, of Ashburton, in the County of Devon, [8] a title previously held by John Dunning, 1st Baron Ashburton. In 1842 he was again sent to America, and the same year concluded the Webster–Ashburton Treaty. A compromise was settled concerning the north-east boundary of Maine, the extradition of certain criminals was arranged, each state agreed to maintain a squadron of at least eighty guns on the coast of Africa for the suppression of the slave trade, and the two governments agreed to unite in an effort to persuade other powers to close all slave markets within their territories. Despite his earlier attitude, Lord Ashburton disapproved of Peel's free trade and opposed the Bank Charter Act of 1844. [6]

Master of the Mint is a title within the Royal Mint given to the most senior person responsible for its operation. It was an important office in the governments of Scotland and England, and later Great Britain, between the 16th and 19th centuries. Until 1699, appointment was usually for life. Its holder occasionally sat in the cabinet.

Robert Peel British Conservative statesman

Sir Robert Peel, 2nd Baronet, was a British Conservative statesman who served twice as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and twice as Home Secretary. He is regarded as the father of modern British policing, owing to his founding of the Metropolitan Police Service. Peel was one of the founders of the modern Conservative Party.

John Dunning, 1st Baron Ashburton British politician

John Dunning, 1st Baron Ashburton, of Spitchwick the parish of Widecombe-in-the-Moor, Devon, was an English lawyer and politician, born in Ashburton in Devon, who served as Solicitor-General from 1768. He was first noticed in English politics when he wrote a notice in 1762 defending the British East India Company merchants against their Dutch rivals. He was a member of parliament from 1768 onward. His career in the House of Commons is best known for his motion in 1780 that "the influence of the crown has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished". He was created Baron Ashburton in 1782.

Ashburton was a trustee of the British Museum and of the National Gallery, a privy councillor and D.C.L. He published, besides several speeches, An Enquiry into the Causes and Consequences of ... Orders in Council (1808), and The Financial and Commercial Crisis Considered (1847). [6]

Personal life

On 23 August 1798, Ashburton married Anne Louisa Bingham (1782–1848), daughter of Ann Willing Bingham and William Bingham of Philadelphia, who served as a U.S. Senator and was one of the richest men in America, having made his fortune during the American Revolution through trading and ownership of privateers. [9] . Her maternal grandfather was Thomas Willing, the president of the First Bank of the United States. Together, they had nine children: [10]

Ashburton died on 12 May 1848 at Longleat, Wiltshire. His widow died several months later on 5 December 1848. [10]


Through his eldest son, he was a grandfather of Hon. Mary Florence Baring (1860–1902), who married William Compton, 5th Marquess of Northampton. [13] Through his second son, he was a grandfather of Hon. Alexander Baring, 4th Baron Ashburton (1835–1889), and Hon. Maria Anne Louisa Baring (1833–1928), who married William FitzRoy, 6th Duke of Grafton. [14]

Styles of address


Of this great mercantile family the Duc de Richelieu wittily remarked; "There are six main powers in Europe; Britain, France, Austria-Hungary, Russia, Prussia and Baring-Brothers!" (Vicary Gibbs, from the "Complete Peerage" 1910).

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  1. " House of Commons: Bodmin to Bradford East". Archived from the original on 10 August 2009. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  2. " House of Commons: Clonmel to Cork County West". Archived from the original on 20 December 2009. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  3. Debrett's (1916). Debrett's Peerage, Baronetage, Knightage, and Companionage. Kelly's Directories. p. 670. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  4. Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Baring"  . Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  5. Titcomb, James (23 February 2015). "Barings: the collapse that erased 232 years of history". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 27 March 2017.
  6. 1 2 3 Chisholm 1911.
  7. É. Halévy (1961) Victorian Years. London: Ernest Benn; p. 201.
  8. "No. 19257". The London Gazette . 10 April 1835. p. 699.
  9. Maine League of Historical Societies and Museums (1970). Doris A. Isaacson (ed.). Maine: A Guide 'Down East'. Rockland, Me: Courier-Gazette, Inc. pp. 381–382.
  10. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "Ashburton, Baron (UK, 1835)". Heraldic Media Limited. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  11. "Sandwich, Earl of (E, 1660)". Heraldic Media Limited. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  12. "Bath, Marquess of (GB, 1789)". Heraldic Media Limited. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  13. "Northampton, Marquess of (UK, 1812)". Heraldic Media Limited. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  14. "Grafton, Duke of (E, 1675)". Heraldic Media Limited.


Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
William Morland
John Hammet
Member of Parliament for Taunton
With: John Hammet 1806–1811
Henry Powell Collins 1812–1818, 1819–1820
Sir William Burroughs, Bt 1818–1819
John Ashley Warre 1820–1826
Succeeded by
Henry Seymour
William Peachey
Preceded by
Matthias Attwood
William Thompson
Member of Parliament for Callington
With: Matthias Attwood 1826–1830
Bingham Baring 1830–1831
Succeeded by
Henry Bingham Baring
Edward Charles Hugh Herbert
Preceded by
Lord James FitzRoy
Francis Baring
Member of Parliament for Thetford
With: Lord James FitzRoy
Succeeded by
Lord James FitzRoy
Francis Baring
New constituency Member of Parliament for North Essex
With: Sir John Tyrell, Bt
Succeeded by
Sir John Tyrell, Bt
John Payne Elwes
Political offices
Preceded by
Charles Poulett Thomson
President of the Board of Trade
Succeeded by
Charles Poulett Thomson
Preceded by
James Abercromby
Master of the Mint
Succeeded by
Henry Labouchere
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
New Creation
Baron Ashburton
Succeeded by
Bingham Baring