Baines was born around 1504 at Knowsthorpe in Yorkshire. Educated at St. John's College, Cambridge, he was ordained priest at Ely in 1519. He came out against Hugh Latimer, and opposed Henry VIII's divorce from Catherine of Aragon, being incited to the latter by John Fisher.
He was the author of the work Compendium Michlol (also with the Hebrew title, Ḳiẓẓur ha-Ḥeleḳ Rishon ha-Miklol), containing a Latin abstract of the first part of David Ḳimḥi's Hebrew grammar, and dealing methodically with the letters, reading, nouns, regular and irregular verbs, prefixes and suffixes (Paris, 1554).
In 1554, Baines returned to England and was consecrated as Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, on 18 November 1554.
He vigorously opposed the Protestant Reformers, and features largely in Foxe's Book of Martyrs, conducting many examinations with his Chancellor, Anthony Draycot. His chancellor was involved, for instance, in the burning of a young blind woman, Joan Waste, for heresy in Derby. He was one of the eight defenders of Catholic doctrine at the Westminster Conference of 1558/9.
On the accession of Elizabeth I of England, he was deprived of his bishopric (21 June 1559) and committed to the care of Edmund Grindal, the Protestant Bishop of London, becoming one of eleven imprisoned bishops (researches of G. Philips support a theory that, though nominally a guest, Baines was in fact a strict prisoner). His captivity lasted until 18 November 1559, when, in the words of fellow Roman Catholic John Pitts, Baines "died an illustrious Confessor of the Lord".
- Prima Rudimenta in linguam Hebraicam (Paris, 1550)
- Compendium Michol, hoc est absolutissimæ grammatices Davidis Chimhi (Paris, 1554)
- In Proverbia Salomonis (Paris, 1555).
- Nicholas Sanders, Report to Cardinal Moroni, 1561 (Cath. Record Soc. Pubs., 1905), I
- John Pitts, De Angliae Scriptoribus (1623)
- Charles Dodd, Church History (1688), Pt. III, ii, art. 3
- Charles Henry Cooper, Athenæ Cantabrigienses, 1,202
- Joseph Gillow, Bibl. Dict. Eng. Cath. (London, 1885)
- Thomas Edward Bridgett and Thomas Francis Knox, Q. Eliz. and the Cath. Hierarchy (London, 1889)
- G. E. Phillips, Extinction of the Ancient Hierarchy (London, 1905)
- Johann Christoph Wolf, Bibliotheca Hebrœa, i. 308.
- Bayne, Baynes, Banes; Rudolphus, Rudolph, Rodolph, Rodolphus Baynus.
- "Baynes, Ralph (BNS517R)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
- Richard Rex, The Theology of John Fisher (1991), p. 176.
- History – Hardwick village Archived 29 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine
- Peter Marshall, Religious Identities in Henry VIII's England (2006), p. 232.
- The Circulation of Knowledge in Humanist Europe – CNRS Web site – CNRS
- http://www.hrionline.ac.uk/johnfoxe/apparatus/person_glossaryB.html, under Ralph Bayne.
- John Foxe's Book of Martyrs Archived 16 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine
- Blind Joan (22) Is Executed Archived 20 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine, HeadlineHistory.co.uk, accessed February 2009
- Bishops | British History Online
- Ralph Baines, article in the Catholic Encyclopedia
- Source, Jewish Encyclopedia
- Works by or about Ralph Baines in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
|Catholic Church titles|
| Bishop of Lichfield
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Singer, Isidore; et al., eds. (1901–1906). "Baynus (Bayne), Rudolphus". The Jewish Encyclopedia. New York: Funk & Wagnalls. This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Ralph Baines". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.