Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 03.djvu/15

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

lished copies of several glees, printed about this time and dedicated to the Earl of Uxbridge, he is called simply 'Mus. Bac. Oxon.;' thus we are entitled to regard his claim to the more distinguished title as at least problematical. In 1810 he was appointed to the post of organist at All Saints', Derby, and finally, in 1824, he accepted a similar situation at Rugeley, where he remained until his death, which took place on 19 Feb. 1847. Since 1839 his duties had been undertaken by a deputy. He produced a large number of compositions, which are now completely forgotten. He is said to have been singularly handsome, with an exceedingly fair complexion; generous, even to the point of improvidence. In his later years the eccentricities, which probably gave rise to a large proportion of his difficulties with the Stafford authorities, increased, and he was moreover afflicted with deafness.

[Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians; Corporation Books at Stafford; Registers at Oxford; Musical World, 17 April 1847.]

J. A. F. M.

BAKER, GEORGE (1781–1851), topographer, was a native of Northampton. While a schoolboy, at the age of thirteen, he wrote a manuscript history of Northampton, and from that time he was always engaged in enlarging his collections. His first printed work was 'A Catalogue of Books, Poems, Tracts, and small detached pieces, printed at the press at Strawberry Hill, belonging to the late Horace Walpole, earl of Orford,' London (twenty copies only, privately printed), 1810, 4to. His proposals for 'The History and Antiquities of the County of Northampton' were issued in 1815. The first part was published in folio in 1822, the second in 1826, and the third, completing the first volume, in 1830. This volume contains the hundreds of Spelho, Newbottle Grove, Fawsley, Wardon, and Sutton. The fourth part, containing the hundreds of Norton and Cleley, appeared in 1836, and about one-third of a fifth part, containing the hundred of Towcester, in 1841. At the latter date, 220 of his original subscribers had failed him, and with health and means exhausted he was compelled to bring the publication to a close. His library and manuscript collections were dispersed by auction in 1842, the latter passing into the possession of Sir Thomas Phillipps. Baker's 'Northamptonshire' is, on the whole, as far as it goes, the most complete and systematic of all our county histories. In the elaboration and accuracy of its pedigrees it is unsurpassed. An index to the places mentioned in the work was published at London in 1868.

Baker, who was a unitarian, took a deep interest in various local institutions, and was a magistrate for the borough of Northampton. He was not married. A sister, Miss {{DNB lkpl|Baker, Anne Elizabeth|Anne Elizabeth Baker]] [q. v.], was his constant companion for more than sixty years. He died at his residence, Mare Fair, Northampton, 12 Oct. 1851.

[Northampton Mercury, 13 Oct. 1851; Northampton Herald, 18 Oct. 1851; Quarterly Review, ci. 1; Gent. Mag. (N.S.) xxxvi. 551, 629; Notes and Queries, 4th series, i. 11, 376, 5th series, iii. 447; Cat. of Printed Books in Brit. Mus.; Addit. MS. 24864 ff. 75, 77, 79, 81, 83, 85, 87; Egerton MS. 2248 ff. 71, 112.]

T. C.

BAKER, HENRY (1734–1766), author, was born at Enfield, Middlesex, 10 Feb. 1734, the second son of Henry Baker, F.R.S. [q. v.], and Sophia, daughter of Daniel Defoe. According to Nichols (Anecdotes of Bowyer, 416), he followed the profession of a lawyer, but in no creditable line. He contributed occasional poetry and essays to periodicals, and in 1756 published, in two volumes, 'Essays Pastoral and Elegiac.' Wilson, in his 'Life of Defoe,' states that he died 24 Aug. 1776, and was buried in the churchyard of St. Mary-le-Strand beside his mother, but the parish register gives the date of his burial as 24 Aug. 1766. According to Chalmers, he left ready for the press an arranged collection of all the statutes relating to bankruptcy, with cases, precedents, &c., entitled 'The Clerk to the Commission,' which is supposed to have been published under another title in 1768. His son, William Baker, born 1763, afterwards rector of Lyndon and South Luffenham, Rutlandshire, inherited the property and papers of Henry Baker, F.R.S.

[Notes and Queries, 2nd series, viii. 94; Nichols's Anecdotes of Bowyer, 416; Nichols's Literary Anecdotes, v. 277-8; Wilson's Life of Defoe, iii. 647; Chalmers's Biog. Dict. iii. 341.]

T. F. H.

BAKER, HENRY, F.R.S. (1698–1774), naturalist and poet, was born in Chancery Lane, 8 May 1698, the son of William Baker, a clerk in chancery. In his fifteenth year he was apprenticed to John Parker, bookseller, whose shop was afterwards occupied by Dodsley, of the 'Annual Register.' At the close of his indentures in 1720, Baker went on a visit to John Forster, a relative, who had a daughter, then eight years old, born deaf and dumb. Although considerable attention had already been given in England to the education of deaf mutes, no method