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.
Lt. R.N. 1688, capt. 1691, r.-adm. 1708, v.-adm. 1709.
John Baker served with distinction and success throughout the wars of William III and Anne. On attaining flag rank in 1708 he was appointed second-in-command to another Kent sailor, Sir George Byng, afterwards a lord of the Admiralty, becoming closely connected with the then Whig heads of the Admiralty, Lord Orford, George Dodington of Eastbury, and Byng himself.1 When peace was concluded in 1713 he was returned as a Whig for Weymouth but was unseated on petition. Having been returned unopposed for Weymouth in 1715, he was appointed to the command of a squadron sent to the Mediterranean to negotiate with and check the corsairs of North Africa. While he was so employed the Jacobite Duke of Leeds, under whom he had formerly served, propounded a scheme for bringing him and his squadron over to the Pretender by offering to make him admiral and commander-in-chief of the fleet, with an earldom and £200,000 to support it.2 The proposal was never put to Baker who, having concluded his mission, was preparing to return to England, when he died at Port Mahon, 10 Nov. 1716. He was buried in Westminster Abbey. He left his property, including the manor of East Langdon, which he had bought in 1705, to his nephew Hercules Baker.3