Martha Swinburne (née Baker)

???? - 1809


Daughter and co-heir of John Baker of St Kitts. She married Henry Swinburne, the writer. No will has been found for her but secondary sources show her as dying in 1809.

  1. Henry Swinburne, who died in Trinidad in 1803, has an entry in the ODNB as 'traveller'. The entry identifies Martha Baker as the daughter of John Baker 'of Chichester, solicitor to the Leeward Islands', describing her as a 'wealthy heiress' and says: 'By 1783 Swinburne's wife's property in the West Indies had been ‘devastated and utterly laid waste by the French and Caribs’ (H. Swinburne, Courts of Europe, xx). Swinburne went to the French court and, through the influence of Marie-Antoinette, was granted in compensation the uncultivated crown lands on the island of St Vincent, valued at £30,000. When Pitt imposed heavy taxation upon uncultivated lands throughout the West Indies in an effort to increase cultivation, many owners, including Swinburne, were forced to part with their property and Swinburne raised a mere £6500 for his. He declined to petition the House of Commons against this injustice, but retired to Hamsterley, where he devoted himself to educating his eldest son and daughter (he had four sons and six daughters in all)....In November 1801 he accepted the post of vendue master in Trinidad, and also as commissioner, supervising the successful handover of the West Indian islands of St Croix, St John, and St Thomas to the Danes.'


J. E. Thurgood, ‘Swinburne, Henry (1743–1803)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Sept 2013 [, accessed 20 Sept 2015]

Further Information

Maiden Name
Henry Swinburne
4s 6d

Associated Estates (1)

The dates listed below have different categories as denoted by the letters in the brackets following each date. Here is a key to explain those letter codes:

  • SD - Association Start Date
  • SY - Association Start Year
  • EA - Earliest Known Association
  • ED - Association End Date
  • EY - Association End Year
  • LA - Latest Known Association
1803 [EA] - 1809 [LA] → Mortgage Holder

Shown as mortgagee with others, members of the family of John Baker of St Kitts

Legacies Summary

Cultural (1)

Prints, Drawings and Paintings
There is a print after Richard Cosway of the portrait of Martha Swinburne nee Baker at Wellington, Northumberland, <a... 

Relationships (2)

Daughter → Father
Other relatives
Notes →
Richard Watt Walker eloped with Martha Swinburne's daughter Carolina after her mother's...