BARKER, Sir Anthony (c.1557/8-1630), of the Rectory, Sonning, Berks.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



Family and Education

b. c.1557/8, 2nd s. of William Barker (d.1573) of Sonning and Anne, da. of Lawrence Stoughton of Stoughton, Surr. m. (1) by 1596, Jane (d. Feb. 1610), da. of Edward Elrington of Birch Hall, Theydon Bois, Essex, 6s. (1 d.v.p.) 5da. (2 d.v.p.); (2) Anne, s.p. 1 suc. ?bro. William by 1588; kntd. 30 Mar. 1608.2 d. 1 Apr. 1630. sig. Anthonye/Anthonie Barker.

Offices Held

Escheator, Oxon. and Berks. 1598;3 commr. swans, Oxf. circ. 1606-at least 1615;4 sheriff, Berks. 1609-10;5 commr. sewers, Berks. and Oxon. 1612, Bucks. and Berks. 1622;6 j.p. Berks. by 1614-?d.;7 commr. subsidy, Berks. 1621-2, 1624, 1628-9;8 dep. lt. Berks. 1623-d.;9 commr. oyer and terminer, Oxf. circ. 1624,10 martial law, Berks. 1626,11 charitable uses, 1626-at least 1628,12 Forced Loan 1626.13


Barker’s great-uncle acquired Holme Park in Sonning, three miles from Reading, as steward of the bishop of Salisbury, and also leased the rectory there from the dean and chapter.14 Barker himself was living in the rectory by 1588, perhaps after the death of his elder brother, William.15 In 1609-10 he served as Berkshire’s sheriff, but seven years later £24 4s. 8d. remained outstanding on his account.16 Shortly after he became a magistrate he was accused of encroachment on the royal manor of Sonning by its tenant, Sir Richard Lydall.17 He enjoyed the patronage of the local magnate, William Knollys†, Viscount Wallingford, who in 1620 nominated him for election at Reading, where he was high steward. The records of the Parliament show no mark of his presence, but he remained in Wallingford’s favour, and in 1623 was appointed a deputy lieutenant at his request.18 Admonished two years later for failing to proceed as a deputy against Lydall for ‘divers rebellious contempts’, he nonetheless continued in office.19 Appointed a commissioner for the Forced Loan, Barker, like many of his Berkshire colleagues, failed to attend a meeting at Reading in December 1626, and was consequently not included on the commission when it was reissued in the following February.20

Barker was ‘infirm and weak in body’ when he made his will on 29 Mar. 1630, and died on 1 April. He left £10 to a younger son, Nathaniel, rector of Stoke Talmage, Oxfordshire, ‘to buy him some books’, and provided £600 each for his three surviving daughters.21 Another of his younger sons, Anthony, was returned for Wallingford to the Long Parliament.

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Alan Davidson / Andrew Thrush


  • 1. E. Ashmole, Antiqs. of Berks. (1719), ii. 387-9; PROB 11/55, f. 242; O. Manning and W. Bray, Surr. i. 171; Vis. Berks. (Harl. Soc. lvi), 163-4; (Harl. Soc. lvii), 64; VCH Essex, iv. 252.
  • 2. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 144.
  • 3. List of Escheators comp. A.C. Wood (L. and I. Soc. lxxii), 128.
  • 4. C181/2, ff. 4v, 233.
  • 5. List of Sheriffs comp. A. Hughes (PRO, L. and I. ix), 6.
  • 6. C181/2, f. 169; 181/3, f. 76v.
  • 7. C66/1988; T. Rymer, Foedera, viii. pt. 2, p. 3.
  • 8. C212/22/20, 23; E115/145/69; 115/63/116.
  • 9. SP14/148/83.
  • 10. C181/3, f. 119.
  • 11. Add. 21922, f. 66.
  • 12. C93/10/22; 93/11/13.
  • 13. SP16/40/39.
  • 14. VCH Berks. iii. 213, 223.
  • 15. STAC 8/196/22. For the elder bro. see Vis. Berks. (Harl. Soc. lvii), 64; PROB 11/55, f. 241.
  • 16. BL, Royal C.17.XXXVI, ff. 29v-30.
  • 17. STAC 8/196/22.
  • 18. CSP Dom. 1623-5, p. 5.
  • 19. APC, 1625-6, p. 163.
  • 20. SP16/40/39; Rymer, viii. pt. 2, p. 144.
  • 21. PROB 11/157, f. 310; C142/497/144.