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|Current region||Germany, United Kingdom|
|Place of origin||Groningen|
The Baring family is a German and British family of merchants and bankers. In Germany the family belongs to the Bildungsbürgertum, whereas in England it belongs to the aristocracy.
The family's earliest known ancestor is Peter Baring (or Petrus Baring), who was a burgher of the city of Groningen, then a semi-independent city-state that was part of the Holy Roman Empire and the Hanseatic League, now part of the Netherlands, around 1500. Peter Baring's son Franz Baring (Franciscus Baringius) became the first Lutheran bishop of Lauenburg in what is now Lower Saxony in Germany from 1565. The current family in Germany and England is descended from Franz Baring. In the Electorate of Hanover, the Baring family belonged to the upper bourgeoisie, the so-called Hübsche Familien (from höfisch, courtly, associated with the court), which comprised the third elite class after the nobility and the clergy.
The English branch of the family is descended from Franz Baring (1657–1697), a professor of theology in Bremen. He was the father of Johann Baring (1697–1748), who moved from his hometown Bremen to Exeter in England to take up an apprenticeship at a wool-exporting company in 1717. Over the years Johann Baring, who was later also known as John, built a small fortune as a wool merchant. His sons Francis Baring and John Baring moved to London, where they founded the John and Francis Baring Company, commonly known as Barings Bank, in 1762. Barings Bank became one of the leading London merchant banks, and collapsed in 1995. Francis Baring was the father of Sir Thomas Baring, 2nd Baronet, who was the father of Alexander Baring, 1st Baron Ashburton. Sir Francis Baring, 2nd Baronet, was also the father of Henry Baring and the grandfather of Edward Baring, 1st Baron Revelstoke, and Evelyn Baring, 1st Earl of Cromer.
Arnulf Baring (1932–2019) was a member of the branch of the family resident in Germany.
Peerages and titles
- Baron Ashburton (created 1835)
- Baron Northbrook (created 1866)
- Viscount Baring and Earl of Northbrook (created 1876, extinct 1929)
- Baron Revelstoke (created 1885)
- Earl of Cromer (created 1901)
- Baron Howick of Glendale (created 1960)
Additionally, two baronetcies have been created for the family (in 1793 and 1911), the Baring baronets.