Alexander Baring

MP (Whig later Conservative)


Opposed the orders-in-council for 'the restrictions on trade with the United States in 1812'.

Though an important influence on the formation of Peel's free trade principles in the pre-1832 period, Baring became progressively more conservative. Absolutely opposed to parliamentary reform: this led him to ending any Whig affiliation and becoming tory. May 1832 agreed to serve as chancellor of the exchequer in the abortive tory ministry which Wellington formed to block reform and, "in opposing reform, he voted against his brother, his two sons, and his three nephews on the whig benches".

Served in Peel's ministry 1834-1835, as president of the Board of Trade and master of the Royal Mint

Subsequently opposed tory free-trade reform (including Bank Charter Act, 1844). 'To the entire removal of all protection from domestic industry', he advised Peel, 'I have an insuperable objection' (BL, Add. MS 40576, fol. 41; cited by John Orbell, entry for Baring in Oxford DNB).

Defended the planters and generally opposed to rapid abolition of slavery. For example:

House of Commons: 15 May 1823: debate on Fowell Buxton’s abolition motion: stressed that he had no business interests in the West Indies, but dwelt on the practical difficulties and maintained that the sufferings of the negroes had been greatly exaggerated; their condition was ‘in many respects, superior to that of most of the European peasantry’. D. R. Fisher (ed.), The House of Commons 1820-1832 (7 vols., Cambridge, Cambridge University Press for the History of Parliament Trust, 2009), vol. IV.

In 1842 went to America and concluded the Webster-Ashburton Treaty (negotiated by Baring and Daniel Webster):

Treaty between the USA and Great Britain which established:

the northeastern boundary of the USA provided for Anglo–U.S. cooperation in the suppression of the slave trade. Each state agreed to maintain a squadron of at least eighty guns on the coast of Africa for the suppression of the slave trade, and the two governments agreed to unite in an effort to persuade other powers to close all slave markets within their territories. established boundary between Maine and New Brunswick granted the USA navigation rights on the St. John River provided for extradition in enumerated nonpolitical criminal cases 

Elections / Constituences

Taunton Somerset
1806 - 1826 
Callington Cornwall
1826 - 1831 
Thetford Norfolk
1831 - 1832 
Essex Northern Essex
1832 - 1835