BAKER, John (1660-1716), of East Langdon, nr. Deal, Kent.
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Family and Education
b. 1660, s. of James Baker of Deal by his w. Elizabeth, afterwards w. (lic. 28 Mar. 1666) of John Brett of Deal, carpenter. unm.1
Lt. RN 1688, capt. 1691, r.-adm. 1708, v.-adm. 1709.
Shortly after being made a captain Baker was serving in Sir George Rooke’s* squadron, which was involved in the loss of the Smyrna convoy in 1693. He spent much of the rest of the war in the Mediterranean, remaining on active service during the peace. After the resumption of hostilities Baker returned to the Mediterranean, where he served in the main fleet at Cadiz and Vigo in 1702, and took part in the capture of Gibraltar and the battle of Malaga in 1704, in which he was wounded, and in the attempt on Toulon in 1707. In the autumn of 1707 he returned to England with the fleet under Sir Clowdesley Shovell*, when several of the ships, including the admiral’s, were wrecked off the Scillies. Promoted rear-admiral in February 1708, he served under Sir George Byng* in the fleet that repelled the Jacobite invasion attempt. Early in 1709 he was put in command of an expedition to Port Royal, Newfoundland, but when this was abandoned because of the possibility of peace, he was sent back to the Mediterranean. Later in the year Baker was promoted to vice-admiral, a few days after the appointment of a Whig-dominated Admiralty commission, which included his friend and recent commander, Byng, and the Earl of Orford (Edward Russell*). Baker remained in the Mediterranean until the end of the war, capturing a rich French prize in 1712. With the coming of peace he was ordered to return home and was not given any further command during the Queen’s reign.2
In 1713 Baker successfully contested Weymouth, voting against the expulsion of Richard Steele on 18 Mar. 1714. In June he was unseated on petition by the Tory majority in the House. Classed as a Whig in the Worsley list and two other comparative analyses of the 1713 and 1715 Parliaments, Baker sat for Weymouth until his death, which took place at Port Mahon on 10 Nov. 1716. He was buried in Westminster Abbey.
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Author: Paula Watson
- 1. Westminster Abbey Reg. (Harl. Soc. x), 288.
- 2. Charnock, Biographia Navalis, ii. 379–83; Byng Pprs. (Navy Recs. Soc. lxviii), ii. 3–138; Marlborough–Godolphin Corresp. 1044, 1269, 1275, 1287, 1319; Luttrell, Brief Relation, v. 465; vi. 339, 354, 409, 427, 467, 473, 491, 522, 599; Boyer, Anne Annals, vi. 241.