Baynes, Adam (DNB00)

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Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 03
Baynes, Adam

by Francis Espinasse
There is a typo in the author initials in the original.

BAYNES, ADAM (1622–1670), soldier of the Commonwealth, son of Robert Baynes, was baptised at Leeds parish church 22 Dec. 1622, entered the army of the parliament, and rose to rank of captain. Arrangement was made by the treasurers of war in June 1649, to repay to Baynes and Paul Beale, described as ‘York merchants,’ 6,700l., a sum advanced by them in connection with the disbandment of the parliamentary forces in Yorkshire, and the despatch of soldiers thence to Ireland to serve in Cromwell's Irish campaign (Calendar of State Papers, Domestic Series, vol. for 1649–50, p. 574). He seems soon afterwards to have been appointed a commissioner of excise, and subsequently a commissioner of customs, and to have been at times a member both of the army and admiralty committees. He sat in the first protectoral parliament as member for Leeds, then for the first time enfranchised, which town he again represented in the parliament of 1656. In 1657 he was appointed a visitor in the charter for the nascent college of Durham; and in Richard Cromwell's parliament of 1659 he sat as member for Appleby. He appears to have trafficked largely in the purchase of forfeited estates, buying among others Queen Henrietta's domain of Holmby and several royal forests in Lancashire. He is also said to have bought Wimbledon from Lambert, with whom he was on terms of intimacy. At the Restoration he was deprived of some of his acquisitions, but his circumstances continued to be affluent. In 1666, when the authorities feared an anti-royalist rising, Baynes, who had for some time been suspected of plotting against the government, was among those arrested and imprisoned in the Tower for ‘treasonable practices’ (Calendar of State Papers, Domestic Series, vol. for 1666–7, p. 531). He died at his estate of Knowstropp, near Leeds, Yorkshire, in December 1670. In the British Museum (Add. MSS. 21417–427) there are ten volumes of letters (presented by the Rev. Adam Baynes, a descendant, in 1856) addressed to Baynes, for the most part by his brother and his cousin, Robert and John Baynes, who were officers in the Commonwealth army. Some of these were printed by J. Y. Akerman in the second and third volumes of the ‘Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries’ (1st series). A much larger selection from them is contained in a volume published (in 1856) by the Bannatyne Club, and edited by J. Y. Akerman, as ‘Letters from Roundhead Officers, written from Scotland, and chiefly addressed to Captain Adam Baynes, July 1650—January 1660.’

[Akerman's Preface to the Letters from Roundhead Officers; Calendar of State Papers, Domestic Series, 1649–67.] P. E.