Alexander Baring

27th Oct 1774 - 13th May 1848

Claimant or beneficiary


Politician and financier, created 1st Baron Ashburton 10/04/1835. Member of the Privy Council from 1834.

Second son of Sir Francis Baring, 1st Baronet (1740-1810) and of Harriet, daughter of William Herring. His grandfather John Baring (1697–1748) emigrated from Germany and established the family in England.

Brought up in his father's business; became partner at Hope & Co., Amsterdam bank founded c.1720 and with, among other things, important West Indian connections. Marriage in 1796 of Alexander’s sister, Dorothy, 3rd daughter of Sir Francis Baring, 1st Baronet (1740-1810) to Pierre Cesar Labouchere, partner in the firm helped to join the two firms of Barings and Hope.

Alexander sent to the USA for various land deals and formed wide connections with American houses. In 1810, by his father's will, he became head of the family firm. In 1811, when Henry Hope died, he merged the London offices of Hope & Co. into Baring Brothers & Co.

Politically: see Political legacies

Trustee of the British Museum and of the National Gallery; Privy Councillor; D.C.L. He published, besides several speeches, An Enquiry into the Causes and Consequences of ... Orders in Council (1808), and The Financial and Commercial Crisis Considered (1847).

Children of Alexander and Anne Louisa Bingham: Hon. Anne Eugenia Baring (died 8 March 1839), married Humphrey St John Mildmay; Hon. Harriet Baring (3 May 1802 – 2 January 1892), married Henry Thynne, 3rd Marquess of Bath; Hon. Louisa Emily Baring (d. 23 March 1888); Hon. Lydia Emily Baring (d. 28 December 1868); Alexander Baring (2 May 1810 – 12 March 1832); Bingham Baring, 2nd Baron Ashburton (1799–1864); Francis Baring, 3rd Baron Ashburton (1800–1868); Hon. Arthur Baring (8 October 1818 – 16 February 1838); Hon. Rev. Frederick Baring (31 January 1806 – 4 June 1868), married on 24 April 1831 Frederica Ashton.

Portrait, a Mezzotint, is by Charles Edward Wagstaff (Engraver, 1808-1850) after Sir Thomas Lawrence, published 1837. From the National Portrait Gallery: NPG D7396

The portrait (c.1810) by Sir Thomas Lawrence which this was based on is in the possession of ING Barings, London and is reproduced in the entry for Baring in the Oxford DNB.


T71/887 British Guiana claim no. 2282 (Spring Garden) shows the counterclaim by the then current partners of Barings. Alexander Baring had formally withdrawn from the partnership in 1830. T71/879 St Kitts claim nos. 206, 336 and 724.

John Orbell, ‘Baring, Alexander, first Baron Ashburton (1773–1848)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2004); online edn, Jan 2008 Oxford DNB accessed 06/08/2012;  William D. Rubinstein, Who were the rich? A biographical dictionary of British wealth-holders Volume Two 1840-1859 (MS) reference 1848/6; D. R. Fisher (ed.), The House of Commons 1820-1832 (7 vols., Cambridge, Cambridge University Press for the History of Parliament Trust, 2009), vol. 4. Contemporary obituaries include Gentleman's Magazine (July 1848), pp. 89-91 though this says nothing of his West India interests or attitudes to slavery.

Further Information

Anne Louisa: daughter of US statesman William Bingham, of Philadelphia, 23 August 1798
William Bingham Baring, 2nd Baron Ashburton (1799-1864), Francis Baring, 3rd Baron Ashburton (1800-1868), Harriet (1802-1892), Louisa Emily (1804-), Frederick (1806-1868), Caroline (1808-),Alexander (1810-1832), Lydia Emily (1814-1868), Arthur (1818-1838)
Wealth at death
Banker and politician
Oxford DNB Entry

Associated Claims (4)

£3,421 16s 4d
Other association
£2,243 17s 2d
£2,422 14s 5d
£2,004 7s 10d

Legacies Summary

Commercial (2)

Senior partner
Baring Brothers
Merchant Banker  
Hope & Co.

Cultural (3)

British Museum...... 
National Gallery...... 
Council member
University of London (University College, London)...... 
notes →
Statement by the Council of the University of London, Explanatory of the Nature and Objects of the Institution (London, Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green / John Murray,...

Political (2)

office →
President of the Board of Trade and Master of the Royal Mint
Dec 1834 - April 1835
Whig later Conservative 
election →
Taunton Somerset
1806 - 1826
election →
Callington Cornwall
1826 - 1831
election →
Thetford Norfolk
1831 - 1832
election →
Essex Northern Essex
1832 - 1835

Relationships (8)

Father → Son
Father-in-law → Son-in-law
Uncle → Nephew
Uncle → Nephew
Son → Father
Business associates

Addresses (2)

82 Piccadilly, London, Middlesex, London, England
The Grange, Alresford, Hampshire, Wessex, England