Baynes, John (DNB00)

BAYNES, JOHN (1758–1787), lawyer and miscellaneous writer, was born at Middleham in Yorkshire in 1758, and educated at Richmond grammar school in the same county, under the Rev. Dr. Temple. Proceeding to Trinity College, Cambridge, he graduated B.A. in 1777, gaining one of Dr. Smith's prizes for philosophy and the first medal for classics. In 1780 he took his M.A. He was admitted to Gray's Inn in 1778 or 1779, and read law with Allen Chambre. In 1779 he was elected a fellow of Trinity, and remained one till his death. Besides practising as a special pleader, Baynes turned his attention to politics, and like his tutor, Dr. Jebb, became a zealous whig. He joined the Constitutional Society of London, and took an active part in the meeting at York in 1779. At the general election of 1784 he supported the nomination of Wilberforce for Yorkshire, and inveighed against the late coalition of Portland and North. Shortly before his death Baynes, with the junior fellows of Trinity, memorialised the senior fellows and master on the irregular election of fellows, but they were only answered by a censure. The memorialists appealed to the lord chancellor as visitor of the college, and the censure was removed from the college books. Baynes contributed political articles to the London ‘Courant.’ He wrote (anonymously) political verses and translations from French and Greek poems; specimens of these are published in the ‘European Magazine’ (xii. 240). He is mentioned by Dr. Kippis as supplying materials for the ‘Biographia Britannica.’ The archæological epistle to Dr. Milles, dean of Exeter, on the poems of Rowley is generally ascribed to Baynes, because it passed through his hands to the press; but he emphatically disclaimed the authorship. He intended to publish a more correct edition of Coke's ‘Tracts,’ but he died before his time in London from a putrid fever, on 3 Aug. 1787, and was buried by the side of his friend Dr. Jebb in Bunhill Fields.

[Gent. Mag. lvii. 742, 1012; Life of Dr. Jebb, pp. 13–16; Biographia Britannica, ed. Kippis, art. ‘Creech.’]

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