William Samuel Baker

Eversholt2 spans the globe again! Andrew Clifton, now of Louisville, Kentucky, but once of Leighton Buzzard, contacted us to say:
I am looking for information about Rev William Samuel Baker … because I own a pair of books with a WSB monogram.  These are a a Greek New Testament Concordance and a Greek Dictionary published in 1830 and 1832.  My grandfather lived in Leighton Buzzard and his habit was to buy used books from the LB market; and it is not much of a stretch to imagine that these books at some point in the early C20 found their way a few miles from Eversholt to LB.  Do you know if anyone has a copy of Rev Baker’s monogram for comparison?

Andrew kindly sent a picture of the monogram:
WS Baker monogram Maybe
WSB was up at Cambridge in the 1850s, presumably studying theology, and Greek would have been a requirement, so maybe he bought some used textbooks. If anyone knows any more about WSB or his books, please contact us, or contact Andrew at clifton.andrew(at)yahoo.com.

William Samuel Baker was Rector of Eversholt from 1861 to 1900. His death was registered in Ampthill registration district in Jul-Sep 1900 at the age of 72, meaning he was born about 1828. Indeed, there’s achristening record for him in Sudbury, Suffolk, on 28 May 1828.

Here’s his record from Cambridge university:
Name: William Samuel. Baker
College: CAIUS
Entered: Michs. 1850
Born: 1828
Died: 1900
More Information: Adm. pens. at CAIUS, Feb. 12, 1850. S. of William, yeoman. B. 1828, at Sudbury, Suffolk. School, Sudbury (Rev. S. R. Mills).Matric. Michs. 1850; Exhibitioner, 1850. Migrated to Clare, Oct. 14, 1851; B.A. 1854; M.A. 1857. Ord. deacon (Bath and Wells) 1854; priest, 1855; C. of Crewkerne, Somerset, 1854-6. Held other curacies, 1856-61. R. of Eversholt, Beds., 1861-1900. Died July 8, 1900, aged 72, at Eversholt. Brother of Edward (1860) and father of William W. C. (1879). (Venn, II. 293; R. F. Scott.)
He was married to Mary. By 1871, they had 5 children under 10 years old, and shared the rectory in Hills End with a cook, parlourmaid, nurse and two housemaids.

William Samuel Baker and several of his family have memorials in the churchyard.

Here he is in Crockford’s Clerical Directory for 1868:
and in 1874:
crockfords 1874
and in 1898:


From the Pall Mall Gazette, 10 Sep 1866:

Baker, wife of Rev. W. S., Eversholt Rectory, Bedfordshire, 7th inst.

From the Pall Mall Gazette, 12 jan 1869:

Baker, wife of Rev W. J., at Eversholt Rectory, Jan. 9.

[and it really does say “W. J.”]

From The Daily News, 5 May 1893:
2nd May, at Eversholt Rectory, Bedfordshire, Mary, the beloved wife of the Rev. William S. Baker, and the last surviving child of the late Rev. John Wing, Rector of Thornhaugh and Wansford, aged 67 years.

Transcript of an article from the Beds Mercury of 13 July 1900


Death of the Rector

Nearly 40 years have come and gone since the Rev. William Samuel Baker undertook the clerical charge of this parish, but now its inhabitants are mourning most sincerely the death of a good Rector and a thoroughly estimable gentleman, who had attained the age of 72. Mr Baker did duty in the beautiful church of St John the Baptist on Ascension Day, and the congregation who then met with him little thought that would be the last time he would audibly minister to the people who loved him so well, though it had been observed that his physical nature had begun to show outward signs of approaching weakness. He went to the Board School on the day following Holy Thursday, but from that date he was not able to be among his parishioners. For six weeks he was entirely laid aside from them, and during that period his bodily strength gradually failed, until his immortal spirit very peacefully entered upon eternal rest, on the morning of last Sunday, the fourth after Trinity, and the seventh since his voice had been heard in the services of the parish church.
The lamented Rector was formerly a scholar of Clare College, Cambridge, where he graduated in 1854 for BA as ninth among the Senior Optimes, and he proceeded to MA in 1857. Mr Baker received the holy orders of a deacon in the Church of England, also in 1854, from the Bishop of Bath and Wells, by whom he was licensed to the curacy of Crewkerne, which he held till 1856, and, meanwhile, in 1855, was advanced to the priesthood by the same prelate. He removed to London in 1856 and was curate of St Stephen’s, Islington, till 1858, when he went to Long Milford, Suffolk, and stayed there until 1861, in the summer of which year he accepted from the Duke of Bedford the benefice of Eversholt, where he spent more than 38 years of his life, and where each of his children was born, except his elder son, the Rev. William Wing Carew Baker, who, like his father, was formerly a Scholar of Clare College. He is now vicar of Ridgmount, and the news of the demise of the rector of Eversholt came, as a painful surprise, upon his parishioners, who join in genuine sympathy with their clergyman and Mrs W W C Baker in their great sorrow. Sunday morning’s service in Ridgmount Church was shortened, no sermon being preached, as the Vicar was stricken down with grief; whilst, in the evening, the Ven. Archdeacon Miller (of Aspley Heath) officiated. Mrs Baker, the beloved wife of the late Rector, and mother of his sons and daughters, who was born November 29, 1825, died on 2 May 1893.
The funeral was quietly carried out on Wednesday afternoon. Deceased’s eldest son, the Rev. William Wing Carew Baker, conducted the entire service; and the other chief mourners were Mr and Mrs L B Woodford and Mr and Mrs Herbert Peto, the two ladies being the late Rector’s daughters; Mr A J V Baker, younger son; Mrs Parken, Miss Baker and Miss Annie Baker, sisters; Rev. Edward Baker, brother; Mrs W W Carew Baker, Mr Vincent Wing, Mr Russell Wing, Miss and Miss Kate Wing, Mr and Mrs Edgar Wing. Mr F Major attended as a faithful servant of many years devotion, and there were also other representatives of the household staff of Eversholt Rectory. Miss Edith Goodman was at the organ, and the choir, under the direction of Mr Wild (the respected master of the Board School), led the singing, within St John’s, of “Brief life is here our portion” and “On the resurrection morning,” together with the solemn chanting of the Psalm appointed from the burial office.
Handel’s “Dead March” in Saul was rendered as the body was borne out of the church into the graveyard, where the rev. gentleman’s remains were interred in a flower-decked tomb beside that of the late Mrs Baker. Mr John Pepper was the undertaker, and on the coffin of highly polished elm with brass furniture was this inscription, “Wm. Samuel Baker, died 8th July, 1900, aged 72 years.” The bearers were choir-men, Messrs F Major, Z Chapman, W C Oakley and Thos. Oakley. Clergy in the Rural Deanery of Fleete were present in surplices: Rev. H H Jebb, RD, rector of Battlesden and Pottesgrove; Rev. Canon Bartlet, Ashley Heath; Rev. R Campbell Connelly, rector of Steppingley; Rev. Canon Lingard Green, rector of Tingrith; Rev. J W Kempe, rector of Hockliffe; Rev. J Parr, rector of Milton Bryant, V R C F Scott, rector of Hulcote and vicar of Salford; Rev. A F Torry, rector of Marston Moretaine; Rev. F Veasey, vicar of Lidlington. The Ven. Archdeacon Sharpin, rector of Millbrook and rural dean of Ampthill, was among the numerous general congregation; the Rev. A E Love, vicar of Stopsley, and the Rev. E Sutton, vicar of Eaton Bray, were among the surpliced clergy; Mr G M Hipwell, of Caldecote House, and Mr J E Bosworth, of Lidlington Common, showed their respect as former churchwardens; while among the many more present were Miss Hanbury Barclay, Tingrith Manor; Mrs B and Miss K Chernocke Smith, Hulcote Moors; Mr E A Green and Miss Green, of Berrystead; Mr G Keen, churchwarden (with Mr Herbert Peto); Mrs Wild and family, Mrs Major, Mrs J Pepper, Mr Barton, Mr and Mrs Negus, Mr Perkins, Mrs Reddall, Mr and Misses Burges, Misses Thompson, Miss Slade, Mr Humphries, Mr Rupert Wild, Mr Edward Oakley, Miss raynor, Miss Randall, Mrs Rutland (sexton) and Mr John Rutland. The congregation was thoroughly representative, notwithstanding a prevalence of measles among the children of the village. PC Tatman and a constable were there for the County Police.
The floral souvenirs taken to the grave comprised a large Latin cross of choice lilies from the deceased’s sons and daughters, also choice posies by Miss and Miss Annie Baker, together with chaplets and different beautiful mementoes of love and regret: “From the grandchildren at Ridgmount Vicarage.” “From Diana and Margaret.”  “From Helen and Maggie.” “In loving and affectionate remembrance, from Edward.” “Mrs A H Parken, Eversholt Rectory.” “From Rev. and Mrs Montague Parken, Wilton, Salisbury.” “With love and much sympathy; Mrs Ashpitel, Eastfield Lodge, Guildford” (Formerly of Flitwick vicarage). “With much love and sympathy; Colonel and Miss Hanbury Barclay, Tingrith Manor.” “With much love and sympathy; Mrs B and Miss K Chernocke Smith, Hulcote Moors.” “In affectionate remembrance; Mrs Henry Cobbe and the Misses Cobbe.” “From Mr James Peto and family, Woburn Sands.” “With love; Miss Isabella Southey.” “From Miss Wing and Miss Kate T Wing, in affectionate remembrance; Larchfield” (Aspley Guise). “From Mr and Mrs Edgar Wing, with loving sympathy.” “In loving memory, from Mr Charles Kirby, Mary and Charlie.” “A token of respect to our beloved Rector, from Mr and Mrs Burges and family.” “From Mr and Mrs J Pepper and family, with sincere sympathy.” “In memory of our dear master, with sincere sympathy, from the three maids and Mrs Chapman.”
Muffled peels were around St John’s bounds during the evening, under the captaincy of Mr F Major, by Messrs Z Chapman, Albert Thompson, W C Oakley, John Thompson, John Rutland, Laurie Wild, Percy Wild, and William Sherwood.
The Rev. C H Farmer, rector of Blunham, it was stated, is expected to preach on Sunday.
The late Rev. W S Baker was generously interested in all that concerned his parish and its residents. He was Chairman of the Trustees of Parochial Charities, and these passed a resolution of condolence with the bereaved family, at a meeting, on Tuesday evening, at the Green Man Inn, kept by Mr Arthur W Shillingford, a respected public official, who has just been warmly welcomed on his return from the war front in South Africa, where he has been serving,under Lord Roberts, as a reservist of the Royal Engineers. The Rector, now so deeply mourned, could not see Mr Shillingford, but sent to him an expression of congratulation and kind regards on his safe coming back to Eversholt. He was invalided home from Bloemfontein, and on Wednesday he and Mrs Shillingford were busy and obliging in serving the requirements of their hostelry. Mr Baker was also Chairman of the School Board and of the Parish Council. His immediate predecessor in the living was, we believe, the Rev. Henry Matthew, who followed the Rev James Reed, BD, who died in January, 1843, after having being rector of Eversholt for 32 years, and after having held the appointment of chaplain to Kings George III, George IV, and William IV, and to Queen Victoria. During the late Mr Baker’s incumbency, in 1864, the church was completely restored at the hands of the late Sir Gilbert Scott, costing about £3000.

William’s will appears in the probate index.

Baker the reverend William Samuel of Eversholt-rectory Bedfordshire clerk died 8 July 1900 Probate Northampton 30 August to the reverend William Wing Carew baker clerk
Effects £2080 11s 6d

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