Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Baker, Henry (1734-1766)

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.