John Baring, 7th Baron Ashburton

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Lord Ashburton in the robes of a Knight Companion of the Order of the Garter

John Francis Harcourt Baring, 7th Baron Ashburton, KG KCVO DL (born 2 November 1928) is a British merchant banker and former chairman of British Petroleum (BP). Lord Ashburton also sat on the boards of Jaguar Cars, Dunlop Rubber and Royal Insurance.


He was the oldest son of Alexander Baring, 6th Baron Ashburton, KG, and Doris Mary Thérèse Harcourt.

His maternal grandparents were Lewis Harcourt, 1st Viscount Harcourt and Mary Ethel Burns, daughter of Walter Hayes Burns of New York City.

Marriages and children[edit]

First marriage[edit]

On 25 November 1955, Baring married Susan Mary Renwick. She was a daughter of Robert Renwick, 1st Baron Renwick and his first wife Dorothy Mary Parkes. They had four children:

  • Lucinda Mary Louise "Lucy" Baring (20 October 1956 - ). Married Michael John Wilmont Malet Vaughan, son of John David Malet Vaughan, 8th Earl of Lisburne. They have three children called Emma, Sophie and Edward.
  • Mark (Francis Robert) Baring (17 August 1958 - ). Married Miranda Caroline Moncrieff. They have four children called, in age order Aurea, Fred,Patrick and Flora.
  • Rose Theresa Baring (7 December 1961 - ). Married Barnaby Hugh Rogerson. They have two daughters called Molly and Hannah.
  • Alexander Nicholas John "Zam" Baring (15 February 1964 - ). Married Lucy Caroline Fraser, daughter of General David William Fraser. They have four children called Olive, William, Anna and Alfred.

Lord Ashburton and his first wife received a divorce in 1984.

Second marriage[edit]

Following his divorce, Lord Ashburton remained single for three years. In 1987, he married Sarah Cornelia Spencer-Churchill, a daughter of John George Spencer-Churchill and Angela Mary Culme-Seymour. Her paternal grandparents were John Strange Spencer-Churchill and Lady Gwendoline Theresa Mary Bertie. John Strange Spencer-Churchill was a son of Lord Randolph Churchill and his wife Jennie Jerome. He was also a brother of Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. The second Lady Ashburton is a director of Borderline [1] and has three children from a previous marriage. These are Peregrine Crewe, Emma Crewe (married to Nicholas Vester, they have two children Cleo and Scarlet) and Bel Crewe (who has two children Jack Badger and Molly Megan).

Lord Ashburton has no children from his second marriage.


Lord Ashburton received his education at Eton College and Trinity College, Oxford.

He has served in the board of directors of several companies. The following list may not be complete:

  • He was a director of Trafford Park Estates from 1964 to 1977.
  • He was a director of Royal Insurance from 1964 to 1982.
  • He was a director of Pye Holdings from 1967 to 1979.
  • He was Chairman of the Board of the Barings Bank from 1974 to 1989. The Bank had been founded by his ancestor Francis Baring in 1762.
  • He was invited several times [2] to the annual meeting of the Bilderberg Group.
  • He was a director of Dunlop Holdings from 1981 to 1984.
  • He was a director of BP from 1982 to 1992.
  • He was a director of the Bank of England from 1983 to 1991.
  • He was a director of the Barings public limited company from 1985 to 1989.
  • He was Chairman of the Board of BP from 1992 to 1995.

Titles and honours[edit]

He succeeded to the Barony of Ashburton on 12 June 1991, and became a Knight of the Garter in 1994 - one of the rare cases where both father and son were appointed to this Order.



Arms of John Baring, 7th Baron Ashburton
Coat of Arms of John Baring, 7th Baron Ashburton.svg
Baron since 1991
A coronet of a Baron
A five rays star Erminois between two wings Argent.
Mantling Or and Azure.
Azure a fess Or charged with a cross patée fitché in chief a head of bear proper and muzzled and gorged Or.
On either side a bear proper muzzled gorged Or, a chain affixed thereto passing between the forelegs and reflexed over the back also Or, the bear charged on the shoulder with a cross patée fitchée also Or.
Latin: Fortitude under difficulties
The Order of the Garter circlet.[1][2][3][4]


  1. ^ , Ashburton Baron (UK, 1835), Cracroft's Peerage [Altered tinctures]. Retrieved 19 December 2013
  2. ^ Image of correct arms (right) St George's Chapel. Retrieved 19 December 2013
  3. ^ House of Baring. European Heraldry [Correct tinctures]. Retrieved 19 December 2013
  4. ^ Crest of the Baron Ashburton. Heraldic Sculptor. Retrieved 19 December 2013

External links[edit]

Court offices
Preceded by
Nicholas Henderson
Lord Warden of the Stannaries
Succeeded by
The Earl Peel
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Alexander Baring, 6th Baron
Baron Ashburton