Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Baxter, Robert Dudley

BAXTER, ROBERT DUDLEY (1827–1875), political writer, son of Robert Baxter, of the firm of Baxter & Co., parliamentary lawyers, Westminster, was born at Doncaster in 1827, and was privately educated until, at the age of eighteen, he entered Trinity College, Cambridge (October 1845). In 1849 he took the B.A. degree with honours in mathematics and classics. Afterwards he studied for the legal profession, and in 1860 entered his father's firm at Westminster, in which he remained until his death. From an early period he evinced a great love of literature, and at sixteen was writing articles for a local newspaper. He also, at a very early age, exhibited strong political tendencies on the conservative side, and wrote statistical papers in matured life in the same cause, which were valued by both parties. In 1873 Baxter declined an invitation to stand for Westminster, with Mr. W. H. Smith. Early in 1875 his health, which was never robust, gave way, and he died on 20 May of that year, aged 47. His widow published in 1878 a brief and pleasant ‘Memoir’ of him, for circulation amongst his private friends.

He was the author of:

  1. ‘The Volunteer Movement, its Progress and Wants,’ 1860.
  2. ‘The Budget and the Income Tax,’ 1860.
  3. ‘The Franchise Returns and the Boroughs,’ 1866.
  4. ‘The Redistribution of Seats and the Counties,’ 1866.
  5. ‘Railway Extension and Results,’ 1866.
  6. ‘The National Income,’ 1868.
  7. ‘Results of the General Election of 1868,’ 1869.
  8. ‘Taxation of the United Kingdom,’ 1869.
  9. ‘History of English Parties and Conservatism,’ 1870.
  10. ‘National Debts of the various States of the World,’ 1871.
  11. ‘Political Progress of the Working Classes,’ 1871.
  12. ‘Recent Progress of National Debts,’ 1874.
  13. ‘Local Government and Taxation,’ 1874.

He was a member of the Statistical and several other societies devoted to economic researches.

[Memoir by Mrs. Baxter.]

C. W.