Bingham Baring, 2nd Baron Ashburton
The Lord Ashburton
1 March 1845 – February 1846
|Prime Minister||Sir Robert Peel|
|Preceded by||Sir Edward Knatchbull|
|Succeeded by||Thomas Babington Macaulay|
|Died||23 March 1864 (aged 64)|
The Grange, Hampshire
|Political party||Whig (to 1837)|
Tory from 1837
|Spouse(s)||(1) Lady Harriet Montagu|
m. 1823; d. 1857
(2) Louisa Stewart-Mackenzie
m. 1858; wid. 1864
|Alma mater||Oriel College, Oxford|
Background and education
William Bingham Baring was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in June 1799, the eldest son of the politician and banker Alexander Baring, 1st Baron Ashburton (1773–1848), and his wife Ann Louisa (died 1848), daughter of William Bingham. He was educated at Oriel College, Oxford, where he graduated in classics in 1821. He received a Master of Arts in 1836 and an Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law in 1856.
Baring sat as Member of Parliament for Thetford between 1826 and 1830 and 1841 and 1848, for Callington between 1830 and 1831, for Winchester between 1832 and 1837 and for Staffordshire North between 1837 and 1841. He was elected as a Whig in 1832 and 1835, and from 1837 as a Tory. He served under Sir Robert Peel as Joint Secretary to the Board of Control from 1841 to 1845 and as Paymaster-General, with a seat in the Cabinet, from 1845 to 1846. In 1845 he was sworn of the Privy Council. In 1848 he succeeded his father in the barony and entered the House of Lords.
Baring was a member of the Canterbury Association from 27 May 1848. He was a commandeur of the Légion d'honneur, awarded for his services to commerce. He served as captain in the Hampshire Yeomanry Cavalry. In 1853, he was appointed to be a Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Southampton. In 1854 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. One of his on-going legacies is the National Rifle Association's competition for the Ashburton Shield which was donated by Lord Ashburton in 1861.
Lord Ashburton married as his first wife, Lady Harriet Mary Montagu, eldest daughter of George Montagu, 6th Earl of Sandwich, on 12 April 1823. Their only child, Alexander Montagu Baring (1828–1830), died as an infant. Lady Harriet is well known for inspiring the devotion of Thomas Carlyle, to the great dismay of his wife Jane Welsh Carlyle. Lady Harriet died on 4 May 1857, aged 51.
Lord Ashburton married as his second wife Louisa Caroline Stewart-Mackenzie, youngest daughter of James Alexander Stewart-Mackenzie, on 17 November 1858. They had one daughter, the Hon. Mary Florence, (named after Florence Nightingale) born on 26 June 1860 at Bath House, Piccadilly, London (a site now occupied by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority), who married William Compton, 5th Marquess of Northampton. Lord Ashburton died at The Grange, Hertfordshire, in March 1864, aged 64.
He was succeeded in the barony by his younger brother, Francis. Lady Ashburton subsequently had an intimate relationship with the sculptor Harriet Hosmer. Lady Ashburton died in London in February 1903, aged 75.
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- Kenneth J. Fielding, David R. Sorensen (ed) Jane Carlyle: newly selected letters, Ashgate, 2004, pp. xiv–xvi.
- Sherwood, Dolly, Harriet Hosmer: American Sculptor 1830-1908, University of Missouri Press, Columbia, 1991 p. 266.
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- Surtees, Virginia (2004). "Baring [née Stewart-Mackenzie], Louisa Caroline, Lady Ashburton (1827–1903)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/50780. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Bingham Baring