BARKER, Sir Robert (?1732-89), of Busbridge, Surr.

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



1774 - 1780

Family and Education

b. ?1732, o.s. of Robert Barker, M.D., of Hammersmith by his w. Hannah Whitehead, and 1st cos. of William Devaynes. m. 4 Nov. 1780, Anne, da. and h. of Brabazon Hallowes of Glapwell, Derbys., s.p.  suc. fa. 1745; kntd. 16 Apr. 1764; cr. Bt. 24 Mar. 1781.

Offices Held

Entered E.I. Co.’s military service c.1749, 2nd lt. Madras Artillery 1753, capt. lt. 1756, capt. 1757, maj. 1761; provincial c.-in-c. Bengal 1770-4.


In 1774 Barker resigned his post as provincial commander-in-chief, Bengal, after a disagreement with Hastings. Returning to England with, according to John Scott, a ‘very large fortune’,1 he was returned at the general election of 1774 for the corrupt and expensive borough of Wallingford. In Parliament he consistently supported North’s Administration. There is no record of his having spoken in the House, and he does not seem to have stood again.

He died 14 Sept. 1789, aged 57. In his obituary notice, the Gentleman’s Magazine writes (1789, p. 956), that he was ‘no less distinguished in philosophy than in war’, and lists several scientific papers communicated by him to the Royal Society, of which he was a member.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Mary M. Drummond


  • 1. Debrett, xvi. 102.