John Baker and the Bakers England


We believe the first John Baker descended from either the Bakers of Brookland in Kent, or the Bakers of Bristol, and perhaps both of those families have similar roots.  Brookland in Kent was our long held theory until we came across Bakers with similar geographical roots to Thomas Dale on whose land we first encountered the first John Baker.


Bristol Connection

I took more than a decade of every spare minute to study the background of Governor Thomas Dale.  Because the first Baker ancestor was at Dales Gift on the tip of the Eastern Shore in 1623, I had hoped that the study of Thomas Dale may reveal some insights into the Baker family, and it wasn’t until a decade of in-depth research in Dale that I came across several Baker notations that I set aside for future reference. I had already studied the Bakers of Virginia for two decades before taking on the Thomas Dale research, so the names and places were familiar to me.


As I studied Thomas Dale, I came to realize that as a youth the people around him were all the major players in England's privateering and exploration, the very same people who Queen Elizabeth sent into Ireland in the 1580s to settle plantations in Ireland. A key figure was an Admiral William Wynter and his business partner, no less a character in history than Sir Francis Drake. Wynter was his business partner, had Drake's ships built near his estate in the Forest of Dean, and sent his sons to serve under Drake, who was known as the Dragon to Spanish ships who feared him. In fact, a Thomas Baker of London was asked to be overseer of Drake’s younger brother, Edmund Drake, at the request of Drake’s father’s will on December 26, 1566.  My best guess is that Thomas Baker of London is the brother of Bloody Baker of Sissinghurst. (See below)  Admiral Wynter was a business partner in 1573 with Christopher Baker, son of Thomas Baker, in a wharf and lands they jointly owned at Wapping outside London. William Wynter’s grandson, John Wynter, made an agreement with Richard Baker, son of Thomas Baker, and in 1571 was with crewman William Baker when they had to submit to the Spanish inquisition.  The details are not available but because of privateering, Spanish ships were pulling over English ships and submitting the crew to inquisition techniques to determine religion.


The admiral’s son, Edward Wynter, was Lord of Saint Briavel’s Castle near Wynter’s Lydney Manor, and even nearer to the Throckmorton Clearwell Manor where we located residents Thomas Baker and William Baker. Admiral Wynter mentioned Christopher Baker in his will prepared February 1, 1589. The admiral also mentioned his daughter (Mary Wynter) and her husband, Thomas Baynum in his will.  At his death, Baynum passed his manor of Clearwell Manor to his son-in-law, William Throckmorton in 1609, and William was the brother-in-law of Governor Thomas Dale.  The admiral died from wounds received during the battle against the Spanish Armada, and Christopher Baker was captain of the “Foresight” during that battle.


Thomas Baker of London, overseer will Francis Drake’s brother

| Christopher Baker, “Foresight”              | Richard Baker


The first detachment on the Eastern Shore was established in 1614 at what became known as Smythe Island, named after Sir Thomas Smythe of the Virginia Company.  The detachment commander was William Craddock and the mission was to provide early warning of a Spanish raid on the Jamestown settlement, while boiling sea water in their spare time to extract salt for the colony. Craddock and his surviving men returned to Jamestown, but about 1621 another detachment was established on the Eastern Shore and, suffering fifty percent mortality, our ancestor John Baker, also sometimes written as John Barker, arrived as a replacement with several others for those men that had died the previous eighteen months at the Eastern Shore company plantation.   Baker remained there with his commander, Captain William Eppes until at least 1628, when Eppes was sent to serve as second-in-command at Saint Christopher’s Island in the CARIBBEAN where pirates were a serious problem attacking English shipping. John Baker possibly returned to Saint Christopher’s Island, and / or England, but we next found him across the Chesapeake Bay with several of the men who had served with him on the Eastern Shore in the early 1630s with Captain Francis Eppes, younger brother of Captain William Eppes. By then, John Baker had married an Alyce, but she was already dead.


Then in 1627, we found an entry that we could never fully explain. A Matthew Craddock and John Fowke were partners with a John Barker (Died 1653), and Barker was married to a Martha Craddock. A Thomas Fowke would later appear in the Baker genealogy. We had encountered the Craddock name much earlier in our Dale research when a William ap Thomas married a Margaret Craddock, and she was the daughter of another Matthew Craddock. William inherited Raglan Castle from his mother, Maud Morley, and his Welsh father, Thomas ap Gwillim ap Jenkin (d 1438). We did a great deal of research on Raglan Castle because it provided one of the two major clues to the ancestry of Thomas Dale.  Raglan passed to son William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke, then his son by the same name, then the daughter Elizabeth Herbert who married Charles Somerset, 1st Earl of Worcester.  From this lineage came the top three individual investors in the Virginia Company, and the Somersets, Earls of Worcester, were the namesake for Maryland's Worcester and Somerset Counties. (See my work on Governor Thomas Dale for more details)


Matthew Craddock

| Margaret Craddock = William ap Thomas = (2) Elizabeth Bluet = James Berkeley

| William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke |                                                                    | James Berkeley of Raglan Castle

| William Herbert, Raglan |             Thomas West, Lord de la Warr                          | Richard Herbert

| Elizabeth Herbert = (1) Charles Somerset (2) =  Elizabeth West |_| Geo West      |William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke

| Henry Somerset = Elizabeth Brown _ Anthony Brown            | Wm West, Lord de la Warr | Henry Herbert

| Mary Brown = 2nd Earl Southampton                                       | Thomas West, Lord de la Warr    |William Herbert #2

| 3rd Southampton #3                                          | Thomas West, Lord de la Warr #1        


Very near Raglan Castle was Clearwell Manor, residence of Dale’s brother-in-law, William Throckmorton, and near there was Lydney Manor, home place of Admiral William Wynter, who was a major player in English naval power, privateering, and exploration. He was a partner with Sir Francis Drake who had his ships built by wood from the Forest of Deane, which surrounded Clearwell Manor. Saint Briavel's Castle, where we located those Bakers, was adjacent to Clearwell Manor. We have more information about our research into the Bakers of Kent in England.


Admiral William Wynter

| Mary Wynter = Thomas Baynum (d1609)

| Cecily Baynum = William Throckmorton

| Baynum Throckmorton sold Clearwell Manor to Horace Vere.


Sir Thomas Smythe, namesake of Smythe Island at the tip of the Eastern Shore, was named as one of the overseers of the will of Governor Dale, and it was Smythe who sent Dale to the East Indies on his last voyage where he died.  Admiral Wynter was also indirectly related to Smythe via marriage.  Our work on the grandson, John Baker, strongly suggests that our Bakers more than likely came from the Bakers and near Bristol.


                              Thomas Langton = Mary Matthews = Andrew Judde

Admiral William Wynter = Mary Langton |  | Customer Thomas Smythe                  Edward Somerset, Earl of Worcester

| Mary Wynter = Thomas Baynum, Clearwell | Edward Wynter= Anne Somerset | Wm Wynter | Thomas Smythe

| Cecily Baynum = Wm Throckmorton, Brother-in-law to Governor Thomas Dale


Shipbuilder James Baker

Henry VIII hired a talented ship builder, James Baker of Culmstock in Devon; to begin building the first English ships of war and his son Matthew Baker joined him in that endeavor.  Henry built them a shipbuilding yard near Wapping.


James Baker, Shipbuilder of Culmstock in Devon

| Matthew Baker (1530=aft 1586) of the Buckland House near Taunton

| John Baker = Elizabeth Lane, Married in 1603 in Cornhill


Bakers of Tenterden

Tenterden is sandwiched between Sissinghurst, Ashford, and Brookland in Kent and the coat of arms of this line begins with a Simon Baker of Feversham, Kent, and his son John Baker of Tenterden, and the grandson Christopher Baker, master of the “Foresight” during the time of the Spanish Armada in 1588.  Christopher’s coat-of-arms was similar to the Bakers of Culmstock in Devon. The Manor of “Heronden” once belonged to John Baker, ancestor of the Bakers of Sissinghurst, and it was one of the manors joined with Tenterden.


Thomas Baker

| Thomas Baker, Feversham Manor

| Simon Baker (1482-)

| John Baker of Tenterden

| Christopher Baker of Tenterden

| George Baker of London = Ann Swaine, d/o William Swaine

| Alexander Baker of London, Justice of Peace for Middlesex, 1634 = Alice Jerviss, d/o Edward

| Frances Baker = Robert Bowles | Douglas Baker = Aron Woodcock | Henry Baker   |Alexander Baker, Clifford’s Inn


Bakers of Sissinghurst

The Baker’s of Sissinghurst were a wealthy family, and Sir John Baker was historically known as “Bloody Baker”.  Apparently his nickname came long after his death as a result of his close association with Bloody Mary, and his participation in the inquisitions against the Protestants. Sir John Baker, Bloody Baker, was an officer of the Romney Brotherhood when he was at the height of his political power. 


Sir John (Bloody) Baker lived at Sissinghurst Castle in the 1550s in the period when he was the Under Sheriff of London (1520), Recorder of London (1525-1532), Attorney General of England (1536-1540), Under Treasurer and Chancellor of the Exchequer (1540), Privy Councilor (similar to today’s cabinet minister)(1540-1558), and Speaker of the House of Commons (1547-1552).  John first married into the Sackvilles, and his daughter Cecily married Thomas Sackville, the 1st Earl of Dorset, whose family was the overlord of his Mayfield manor.  He entertained Queen Mary at Sissighurst in 1557. As we looked at the Bakers near Brookland, we kept running into other manors that had belonged to the Bakers of Sissinghurst.  Appledore Manor sat outside Brookland, and nine more manors between Appledore and Sissignhurst, which was only twelve miles away! Five of them were around Tenterden.


As the Attorney General, Baker had been pivotal in Henry VIII’s dissolution of monastic and chantry lands.  He received six of the Thomas Wyatt manors when Henry VIII had Wyatt executed.  The VIII left him 200 English pounds (a substantial sum at that time) in his will. He served as a privy councilor for Henry's son King Edward, and then his daughter "Bloody Queen Mary".  Lore has it that he was called "Bloody Baker" because he killed so many Protestants, and the heresy burnings in his diocese where he was the Justice of the Peace were higher than any other in England.  But he probably received the name because of his close association with "Queen “Bloody” Mary" who ordered many protestants burned at the stake across England in they did not once again accept the Catholic religion. 


Sissinghurst Castle lies in the Weald of Kent in an eight-mile wide valley of remarkable fertility and loveliness.  In Elizabethan times it would have been known as Sissinghurst Manor when it had a moat and was twice the size of the current relic.  The name Sissinghurst dates back to at least 1180 when Stephen de Saxingherste was mentioned in connection with the charter of the Cumbwell Priory at nearby Gouldhurst.  By 1305, Sissinghurst was impressive enough for King Edward I to spend the night.  In 1490, Thomas Baker purchased Sissinghurst. The Bakers were then a yeoman family settled in nearby Cranbrook during the reign of Edward III; but Thomas Baker came upon impressive wealth to purchase such a large manor.  Cranbrook was then becoming the lead cloth-making center for England and it retained that reputation for three hundred years.  Many Flemish weavers settled in Cranbrook. As late as 1620, it was fashionable to be dressed in Cranbrook cloth.  Several other families developed prominence such as the Courthopes of Goddards Green, but Sissinghurst remained the oldest and greatest manor of the Weald. 


Strangely, when Thomas Baker died in 1497, or his son Richard Baker died in 1504, there was nothing to indicate they had amassed their fortune in the cloth-making business.  It is known they were devout men, careful with their money, who cared deeply about their families, but would not over indulge them.  Their sons were to make their own way and to share equally in the family wealth at a mature age when they had developed their own professions.  Richard Baker (died 1504) inherited Burwash in Sussex, and Staplehurst and Cranbrook in Kent.  Sissinghurst wasn’t mentioned specifically probably because it was in such disrepair.  It is assumed that his son, third generation John Baker, inherited Sissinghurst while his brothers Thomas, James, and Robert Baker inherited the other properties such as Cranbrook or Burwash. (Burwash is only two villages, four miles from Mayfield.)


John Baker of Sissinghurst

| Thomas Baker of Sissinghurst (D1497)

| Richard Baker of Sissinghurst (D1504)                                                                           | Henry Baker

| Bloody Baker of Sissinghurst        | Robert Baker    | James Baker         | Thomas Baker

| Richard Baker             | John Baker of London            | Margaret Baker = John Selden

| John Baker                       | Richard Baker    | Thomas Baker

| Henry Baker  |John Baker, disinherited   | Richard Baker (debtors prison)


Son Richard Baker

Sir John Baker died on December 23, 1558 and his son Richard inherited Sissinghurst, which was then already quite old, and Sir Richard rebuilt much of the manor. In 1573, Queen Elizabeth spent three nights at Sissinghurst. Elizabeth then went to Hothfield to be entertained by Richard’s sister, the widow Mary Tufton.  Richard presented Queen Elizabeth with a 117 ounce silver-gilt cup.  Several days later, Queen Elizabeth knighted Richard Baker.  Richard, who died in 1594, passed Sissinghurst to his son John Baker who died in 1596. John’s son, Henry Baker, was sheriff of Kent (1604-1605), knighted in 1606, and bought himself a baronetcy in 1611.  Henry died in 1623 leaving three very young sons.  The eldest boy, John Baker, subsequently became sheriff of Kent, but picked the wrong side in the civil war and the family never recovered financially.


Son John Baker of Cranbrook and London

Most of the Bakers of Sissinghurst are buried at the parish church of Cranbrook, near Sissinghurst.  We found it interesting that the namesake and eldest son, John Baker, did not inherit Sissinghurst but rather his brother Richard Baker.  There was no mention of it in the Sissinghurst records, but other records revealed that son John Baker had been disinherited.  The disinherited son, John Baker of Cranbrook, had been originally granted the adjoining estates of Staplehurst Manor and Lovehurst Manors just north of Sissinghurst.  This John Baker was better known as John Baker of London.  He married Catherine Scott, the daughter of Sir Reginald Scott who was the captain of the castle in Calais under Henry VIII. Reginald’s son married Elizabeth Baker, Bloody Baker’s daughter. 


The son of the disinherited John Baker was Richard Baker (1568-1644), better known as the author and Chronicler of the Kings.  Richard was also a Member of Parliament for Oxfordshire and died the year after writing his Chronicles in debtors prison after spending ten years as a prisoner there.  Sir Richard Baker was a contemporary of Shakespeare and avid fan of the theater, also writing Theatrum Redivium, or the Theatre Vindicated.

Sir Richard Baker (1568-1644/5) entered Hart Hall, Oxford University, as a commoner in 1584 and is said to have left without taking a degree, studied law in London and afterwards traveled in Europe. In 1593 he was chosen Member of Parliament for Arundel, and in 1594 received his MA. In 1597 he was elected to parliament for East Grinstead. In 1603 James 1st knighted him and by 1620 he was High Sheriff at Oxfordshire where he owned some property. Soon afterwards he married the daughter of Sir George Mainwaring of Shropshire. He assumed responsibility for some debts of his wife's family; his Oxfordshire property was seized in 1625.  'Quite penniless, he took refuge in the Fleet prison in 1635 and was still in confinement when he died.’ It was probably this son, Richard Baker that served in the Low Countries.  Clearly the father and son had committed some act or lived the life of luxury in London before being disinherited and getting into debt.  Richard’s son Sampson was the ancestor of a line of Bakers that settled in New England. 


John Dudley = Elizabeth Berkeley

| Jane Dudley = Thomas Mainwaring                                   | Edmund Dudley = Joyce Tiptoft

| Jon Mainwaring                                                                | Edward Dudley = Cecily Willoughby

| Richard Mainwaring                                                           | John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland  | Eleanor = Chs Somerset

| Arthur Mainwaring                  “Bloody Baker” of Sissinghurst | Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester

| George Mainwaring                      John Baker|                      

| Margaret Mainwaring = Richard Baker |




One of the more interesting Baker families that came to America was that of John Baker of the manors of “Benehurst” and afterwards Mayfield, Battle, Morehouse, and Ducking who appears to descend from Bloody Baker because Mayfield was once a Bloody Baker manor, but I have never been able to prove the relationship.  John Baker of Mayfield lived across the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay from the first John Baker of the Eastern Shore and they seemingly are related, but the connection has never revealed itself.


Michael Baker of Battle was the father of sons Thomas Baker and John Baker.  Son Thomas Baker, barrister, of Battle, married Mary Engram, daughter of Thomas Engram of Goodneston Manor and Priscilla Honeywood, daughter of John or Robert Honeywood.  Their daughter Mary married Robert Brook whose son Baker Brook was a major player at Saint Marys City after marrying Ann Calvert, daughter of the governor. Robert Brook’s first wife was Mary Mainwaring, daughter of Reverend Roger Mainwaring.


Thomas Baker of Battel (heir) (Time of Edward IV)

| Henry Baker of Battel (Time of Henry VII) (eldest son of Thomas Baker)

| John Baker of Duckings in Withyham (time of Henry VIII)

| John Baker of Battel, eldest son =Elizabeth Isted (D/O John or Richard Isted of Morehouse in Mayfield)

| Michael Baker

| John Baker = Kath Offley     | Thomas Baker = Mary Engram                                         | Lawrence Baker

| John Baker  | Charles Baker | Robert Baker    | John Baker  | Mary Baker = Robert Brook

                                                                                         | Baker Brook = Ann Calvert


John Baker of Mayfield, wife Katherine Offley, seems to have inherited his manor in Mayfield from his grandmother, Elizabeth Isted of Morehouse in Mayfield as his other properties were from the ancient Bakers of Battle.  John Baker of Mayfield, now of Lynnhaven, Virginia was alive in 1553, and his father was John Baker of Mayfield, an investor in the Virginia Company. John Baker of Mayfield first married Katherine, the daughter of the very wealthy Robert Offley, merchant of London. Baker’s sister-in-law married his Virginia neighbor, Adam Thorogood.  His wife’s aunt, Adria Osbourne, married Thomas Harris of Neck of Land on the upper James.  John Baker of the Eastern Shore Muster also married a niece of that same Thomas Harris.  Therefore, Adria Harris was the aunt of the wives of both John Baker of the Eastern Shore and John Baker of Mayfield. 


After Katherine Offley died, John Baker of Mayfield remarried Elizabeth Rivers, and on March 22, 1653/1654, John Baker's statement of November 15, 1653 was recorded in which he said that he was John Baker of Lynnhaven, a singleman, and his statement said that his father (deceased) was John Baker who was married at Saint Martins in the Field to Elizabeth also deceased. John Baker's grandson, James Baker, in his 225-acre land patent in 1702 mentioned his grandfather John Baker of Lynnhaven and his 175 acres on the Hampton River.  English records do not reflect John Baker of Lynnhaven having a male heir, but Virginia records point to this James Baker, wife Elizabeth Carter, of Norfolk.


In 1645, John Baker patented 175 acres extending to the Southampton River, and it joined 50 acres, which had belonged to Nicholas Brown who reassigned to this John Baker. Baker mentioned that his grandson was James Baker, and in 1702 grandson James Baker mentioned that this land was on Hampton River. Nicholas Brown was with Adam Thorogood in the muster of Edward Waters in 1622.


John Baker of Mayfield's wife's sister married neighbor Captain Adam Thorogood who was the son of Reverend William Thorogood of Norwich, Norfolk. Adam came to Virginia as a young man of the age of fourteen in the ship Charles in 1621. He was an indentured servant in the 1624 muster of Lieutenant Edward Waters who had returned from his assignment on Bermuda.


John Baker of Mayfield had a cousin also named John Baker whose sister Mary Baker married Robert Brook (1602-1655) of White Church in Hants, a man who went off to Maryland and created a place for himself in Maryland history as a military leader, and his son Baker Brook married Ann Calvert, daughter of Maryland Governor Leonard Calvert. Meanwhile, White Church appeared as an important location in our study of Sir Thomas Dale because it was the home of William Shrimpton, one of two persons named by Lady Dale in her 1640 will to inherit Dale’s Virginia properties. 


1 John Baker of Battel in County Sussex (Time of King Edward III, 1375)

1 Simon Baker of Battel (heir) = Joane (M1387) (Time of Richard II)

1 John Baker of Battel (heir) (Time of Henry IV)

1 John Baker of Battel (heir) (Time of Henry VI)

1 Thomas Baker of Battel (heir) (Time of Edward IV)

1 Henry Baker of Battel (Time of Henry VII) (eldest son of Thomas Baker)

1 John Baker of Duckings in Withyham (time of Henry VIII)

1 John Baker of Battel, eldest son =Elizabeth Isted (D/O John or Richard Isted of Morehouse in Mayfield)

1 Michael Baker of Battel and Mayfield, eldest son =Jane Morbred (D/O John Morbred)

1 John Baker of Benehurst, afterwards Mayfield =Katherine Ofley of London =(2) Elizabeth Rivers (D/O Sir John Rivers, Chalford

| Anne Baker =Edward Warnets | Elizabeth Baker =Richard Gibbs | Robert Baker | Charles Baker  | John Baker, eldest son


Lieutenant Colonel Adam Thorogood and the Yeardleys

Adam Thorogood was the eight son of William Thorogood from Kingsland County in Norfolk, England. His mother was Anne Edwards (D/O Henry Edwards) of Norwich, England.  Adam Thorogood died in 1639, and his widow remarried next neighbor John Gookin, son of neighbor and Puritan activist, Daniel Gookin (died 1632) who came to Virginia in 1621. The Gookins were from Ripple Court in Kent, England, but had an estate in Ireland. Their business was importing and raising cattle in Virginia. Daniel and his wife Mary Byrd had four children: Richard, Edward, John, and Daniel (1612-1680). Young Daniel's Puritan fervor had him ousted from Virginia and we found him in Boston and Ann Arundel County, Maryland. John Gookin passed and Sarah Offley Thorogood remarried Francis Yeardley, son of Governor George Yeardley.


Charing Cross

The most interesting claim we found, was somehow related to either debtor’s prison Richard Baker, the grandson of “Bloody” Baker, or John Baker of Mayfield.  A John Baker of Virginia claimed that as a child he had been deprived of his property at Benefield and Charing Cross and sent to Virginia, forced to sign over estate to the late Francis Laude, a cooper in Virginia.  John Baker of Benehurst was also John Baker of Mayfield.  Charing Cross was then, and is today, one of the wealthiest land locations in England, and this young man had been railroaded when he was just a young lad, which could have happened if his father was in debtor’s prison, especially if the prize was a fortune in real estate.


Bakers of New England

1 John Baker of Battel in County Sussex (Time of King Edward III, 1375)

1-1 Simon Baker of Battel (heir) = Joane (M1387) (Time of Richard II)

1-1-1 John Baker of Battel (heir) (Time of Henry IV)

1-1-1-1     John Baker of Battel (heir) (Time of Henry VI)

1-1-1-2 Christopher Baker of Tenterten

1-1-1-2-1 George Baker =Ann Swanie ==Ann French

1-1-1-2-1-4 Alexander Baker (1611-1688) (roper) =Elizabeth (M1632)

(To Boston from London. Sailed to colonies on the ELIZABETH & ANN in 1635

1-1-1-2-1-4-1 Elizabeth Baker (B1632) =Thomas Watkins

1-1-1-2-1-4-2 Christiana Baker (B1637) =Simon Roberts

1-1-1-2-1-4-3 Alexander Baker (B1636)

1-1-1-2-1-4-4 Samuel Baker (B1638)

1-1-1-2-1-4-5 John Baker (B1640)

1-1-1-2-1-4-6 Joshua Baker (B1642 -1717) New London, Ct =Hannah

1-1-1-2-1-4-6-1 John Baker (1681-1750) =Comfort

1-1-1-2-1-4-6-2 John Baker

1-1-1-2-1-4-6-3 Ephraim Baker

1-1-1-2-1-4-6-4 Mary Baker =Joseph Allen

1-1-1-2-1-4-6-4-1 General Ethan Allen

1-1-1-2-1-4-6-5 Remember Baker (1711-1732) =Tamer Warren

1-1-1-1-4-6-1-4-1 Remember Baker (1737-1775) Roxbury, Ct.  Captain of the Green Mountain Boys under Ethan Allen.  Moved to Arlington, VT in 1764.  A millright, killed by indians near St. Johns Canada.

1-1-1-2-1-4-6-2 Hannah Baker (B1644) =John Alger

1-1-1-2-1-4-6-3 William Baker (B1647)

1-1-1-2-1-4-6-4 Benjamin Baker (B1653)

1-1-1-1-4-6-5 Joseph Baker (B1655)

1-1-1-1-4-6-6 Josiah Baker (B1658)


The Bakers of Battle

These are the oldest Bakers in the region of Kent and explain the large concentration of Bakers in Sussex and Kent.


| Gilbert de Baker (circa 1160), possibly married into the family of Saxenhurst.

|| John de Baker (circa 1200)



||||| Haman Baker (circa 1300)

|||||| Thomas Baker of Sissinghurst,

||||||| John Baker of Sissinghurst, Edward III

|||||||| Simon Baker of Sissinghurst


1 John Baker of Battel in County Sussex (Time of King Edward III, 1375)

1-1 Simon Baker of Battel (heir) = Joane (M1387) (Time of Richard II)

1-1-1 John Baker of Battel (heir) (Time of Henry IV)

1-1-1-1     John Baker of Battel (heir) (Time of Henry VI)

1-1-1-2 Christopher Baker

1-1-1-2-1 George Baker =Ann Swanie ==Ann French

1-1-1-1-1 Thomas Baker of Battel (heir) (Time of Edward IV)

1-1-1-1-1-1 Henry Baker of Battel (Time of Henry VII) (eldest son of Thomas Baker)

1-1-1-1-1-1-1 John Baker of Duckings in Withyham (time of Henry VIII)

1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1 John Baker of Battel, eldest son =Elizabeth Isted (D/O John or Richard Isted of Morehouse in Mayfield)

1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1 Michael Baker of Battel and Mayfield, eldest son =Jane Morbred (D/O John Morbred)

1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1 John Baker of Benehurst, afterwards Mayfield =Katherine Ofley of London ==Elizabeth Rivers (D/O Sir John Rivers of Chafford County Kent)

1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-2 Thomas Baker, second son

1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-2 Elizabeth Baker =Thomas Haye

1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-3 Mary Baker =John Gilbert

1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-4 Dorothy Baker =John Porter

1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-5 Thomas Baker of Battle, Barrister (called John Baker in Visitation of 1634) =Mary Engham (D/O Sir Thomas Engham of Goodneston, County Kent & Priscilla Honywood (D/O Robert Honywood)

1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-5-1 John Baker

1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-5-2 Priscilla Baker

1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-5-3 Mary Baker =Robert Brooks (1602-1655) of White Church, County Hants

1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-5-3-1 Thomas Brooks

1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-5-3-2 Baker Brooke = Ann Calvert (D/O Gov. Leonard Calvert of Md)

1-1-1-1-1-1-1-2 Robert Baker of Groombridge in Kent  & Gilderidgehouse in Withyham, second son = Anne Fowle (D/O Anthony Fowle of Roterfield)

1-1-1-1-1-1-1-3 Henry Baker, third son =Angela Bray = Ruth

1-1-1-1-1-1-1-3-1 Henry Baker (1609-1697) Justice of Peace, Isle of Wight = Sarah

1-1-1-1-1-1-2 Thomas Baker, second son

1-1-1-1-1-2 Richard Baker of Adam Atwells in County Kent

1-1-1-1-1-2-1 John Baker of West Peckham

1-1-1-1-1-2-1-1 George Baker of West Peckham

1-1-1-1-1-2-1-1-1 Thomas Baker of Adam at Wells in the parish of Peckham

1-1-1-1-1-2-1-1-2 John Baker, second son

1-1-1-1-1-2-1-1-2-1 John Baker, eldest son

1-1-1-1-1-2-1-1-2-2 Thomas Baker, second son


Baker of Brookland

As we began to research his roots, it appeared that John Baker (born approximately 1604) of the company plantation commanded by Captain William Eppes on the Eastern Shore could be a relative of Captain Eppes.  John Baker of Brookland married Joanne Eppes of nearby Lydd, both villages in the Romney Marsh.  She was the daughter of Thomas Eppes Senior and Ellen Brown, and we believe John Baker was their grandson.  John and Joanne Baker had six children in 1580, three were very young, and Thomas Baker was the eldest and his sister Thomasine Baker was the second child.  No doubt their grandfather had been Thomas Baker of Brookland.


Joanne’s father was the son of Alan Eppes of Lydd, and it was his son, her uncle, John Eppes who moved to Ashford in Kent and fathered military captains William Eppes and Francis Eppes. The younger brother, Captain Francis Epes, born in Ashford on May 14, 1597, who came to Virginia aboard the “Hopewell” in 1624 and within two years subsequently became the key military commander for the upper James River.


After his older brother, Captain William Eppes left the colony and became second in charge at Saint Christopher’s Island, John Baker and others from the Eastern Shore plantation resettled on land adjacent to Francis Eppes on land we know today as City Point in Hopewell on the James River. This was an area that had been somewhat settled before the great massacre of 1622 and given up afterwards.  Francis Eppes and the men he invited were the vanguard to once again claim these abandoned lands.   John Baker was one of the experienced men who joined Eppes, actually first patenting land-adjoining Eppes before moving a little upriver in the Curls and patenting land on Turkey Island. 


Cousin John Eppes (Circa 1560- 1603) of Brookland had a son named John Eppes (1602-1626) who left his land in 1626 to Katherine Baker, daughter of Robert Baker of Brookland. Witnesses were Robert Baker and Richard Baker of Brookland. His other cousin, William Eppes (1554-1595), had his will witnessed by Lawrence Baker of Brookland.  {[It is interesting that Michael Baker of Mayfield had a son named Lawrence Baker.]  This is more than likely Lawrence Baker (Born November 21, 1570) to John Baker of Brookland and his wife Jane.  We would speculate that his grandfather was Lawrence Baker of Brookland who married Christian Boone on April 22, 1554.  Richard Baker of nearby New Romney, who died in 1579, was the father of a John Baker.  Stephen Baker had requested to be buried at the altar of Saint Michaels in New Romney in 1527. Old Romney was adjacent to New Romney and the two had been the home of a citizen group called the Romney Brotherhood whose members included in 1489 a Clement Baker (Will 1516), and Sir John “Bloody” Baker of Sissinghurst in 1549.  Sir John Baker owned a manor in the village adjacent to Brookland called Appledore Manor.  The Romney Brotherhood also included the Ayers family; John Ayers in 1559, Thomas Ayer in 1560, and John Ayers in 1566.  The daughter of the 1st John Baker would marry Virginia Company member Thomas Eyre whose name was listed in Virginia Company meetings as Mr. Ayers!  The unusual name John Eves was mentioned, and this name was mentioned in the will of the grandson of the 1st John Baker.


We discovered a will extract written on September 1, 1589 by John Baker of New Romney who was a member of the parish of Saint Nicholas in Brookland.  This was the same parish of William Eppes (1506-1580), the great uncle of Captain William Eppes of the Eastern Shore muster, and he requested in his will that he be buried at Saint Nicholas.  William Eppes was the town warden of Dover, a Member of Parliament, and Speaker of the Cinque Ports.  It was in his will that so many of the family names mentioned were the same ones we saw later on the Eastern Shore such as Robyns (Lydd), Wilkok, Stringer, Ayers, Clarke, Glover, Hammon and Berry.  Other names associated with that parish; William Barker married Joanne Sellinge in 1572, and Edward Baker married Amy Barnes in 1624. Thomas Baker (W1728) devised for benefit of poor out of rents formerly belonging to Mr Eps, lands in Old Romney and Midley. Land described as belonging to the Widow Coats. (Halsteds Vol 3-528)


Ten miles southwest of Brookland was Ewhurst where Perriton Manor was transferred from Sir John “Bloody” Baker to Baronet Nathaniel Powell according to Vol. 3 of Halsteds.  Captain Nathaniel Powell of Virginia was a cousin by marriage to Lady Dale, the wife of Sir Thomas Throckmorton, and Powell’s land, now known as Merchants Hope owned by William Barker and adjacent to Richard Baker’s plantation.


Captain William Eppes’ cousin Joanne Eppes married John Baker of Brookland, and they had six children; Thomas Baker, Thomasine Baker, and Margaret Baker and three others whose names were not mentioned, all born before 1580.  We think one of them was Lawrence Baker previously mentioned.  Lawrence Baker of Stone, two miles west of Brookland, married Elizabeth Bere in 1578.


Brookland, Tenterten, Cranbrook (Sissinghurst), and Mayfield are all fairly close together, apart by about 3 or 4 miles each.


By the time of his death, John Baker was a fairly large landowner on the James River, and lived on a plot of land that we would later know as Shirley Plantation.  Richard Baker, most likely a younger brother, lived at his own Bakers Plantation just downriver on the southern side of City Point.  The death of both men was not reported, but something major happened in the lives of these men and their families were dispersed in the colonies.  In Richard’s case, it appears that he was part of a Quaker settlement that was completely destroyed.  John Baker’s happened before that, about 1655, and most of his children reappeared back on the Eastern Shore.  Son Hugh Baker appears to have inherited nothing from his father except perhaps the first fifty acres he was awarded for his work on at the Eastern Shore muster.  But by the third generation, two of the sons suddenly had come into some moderate wealth, almost at the same time.  Possibly, there had been a reversal in the family fortunes.


In addition, there seems to have been a strong connection between this John Baker and a group of Bakers that appeared early in Maryland, first at Kent Island and then on the western shore of Maryland.  In 1664, two Hugh Bakers died, one near Old Plantation Creek, son of John Baker of the Eastern Shore plantation, and a Hugh Baker of Maryland.  Both widows remarried and moved, with their husbands, to Gargatha in Accomac, Virginia after Daniel Jennifer and his wife, Anne Toft began developing that area.  Before coming to Accomac, Daniel Jennifer sold his tavern in Saint Marys City to a John Baker who later became sheriff of that county.