Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Baines, Matthew Talbot

BAINES, MATTHEW TALBOT (1799–1860), politician, was the eldest son of Edward Baines, of Leeds, author of the 'History of Lancashire,' and was born 17 Feb. 1799. He obtained a scholarship at Trinity College, Cambridge, and graduated in 1820 as a senior optime. lie was called to the bar in 1825, and, after practising with success on the northern circuit, was, in 1837, appointed recorder of Hull, and in 1841 became a queen's counsel. In 1847 he entered parliament as member for Hull, which he continued to represent until 1852, when he was chosen for Leeds. Under Lord Russell's administration he became, in 1849, president of the poor-law board, and he held the same appointment in Lord Aberdeen's ministry. After Lord Palmerston acceded to power m 1855, he was appointed chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster, with a seat in the cabinet. Though not a brilliant debater, his solid talents won for him high consideration, and his firmness, impartiality, and special knowledge of the forms of the house pointed him out as a probable occupant of the speaker's chair, had not ill health caused his retirement from public life in April 1859. He died 22 Jan. 1860.

[Gent. Mag., 3rd series, viii. 302; Annual Register, cii. 386.]

T. F. H.

Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), p.12
N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line

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439 ii 12 Baines, Matthew T.: for Lord Russell's read Lord John Russell's