The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Baker, Hon. Richard Chaffey

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Baker, Hon. Richard Chaffey, C.M.O., M.L.C., M.A., eldest son of the late John Baker, of Morialta, South Australia, and Isabella (Allan) his wife, was born at North Adelaide in 1841, and educated at Eton, and at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. (Mathematical Tripos) in 1864, and M.A. in 1870. Mr. Baker, who is a member of the legal firm of Baker & Barlow, of Adelaide, became a student at Lincoln's Inn in Jan. 1861, and was called to the bar in June 1864. He entered the Legislative Assembly of South Australia as member for Barossa in 1868, and represented that constituency till 1871. He was Attorney-General in the Ministry of the late Captain Hart from May 1870 to July 1871, when he resigned. He also held office in Mr. Colton's Cabinet as Minister of Justice and Education from June 1884 to June 1886. In the latter year Mr. Baker was sent to England as the representative of the Australian colonies to negotiate with the Imperial Government, in connection with the renewal of the expiring mail contracts. He succeeded in obtaining some important concessions, and was created C.M.G. in 1886, in recognition of his services. Mr. Baker, who has been a member of the Legislative Council since 1877, was elected to act as one of the representatives of South Australia at the Federation Convention in Sydney in March 1891, and distinguished himself by his championship of the state rights of the smaller colonies. He was married at Glenelg, S.A., to Katherine Edith, daughter of Richard Bowen Colley.