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Baker, John Gilbert (1834 - 1920)



1834 Guisborough, Yorkshire
1836 Bootham School, York
1846 Ackworth School, Pontefract
1851 Market Place, Thirsk
1861 Market Place, Thirsk
1866 Surrey
1871 25 Sydney-villas, Richmond
1881 The Herbarium, Kew
1891 2 Royal Gardens, Herbarium House, Kew
1901 3 Cumberland-row, Kew
1911 3 Cumberland-row, Kew
1920 3 Cumberland-row, Kew



Additional links

Family tree of the Bakers of Yorkshire. link
Dictionary of National Biography link
The Meiosis website provides some useful information. link
The Herbaria @ Home site provides some interesting graphics of his pattern of collecting, etc. link
Chronological list of Baker's plants from the Hull University Herbarium (HLU). link
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Biographical notes

John Gilbert Baker was a Yorkshire-born Quaker, closely associated with the Thirsk Natural History Society. From 1857 the latter society organised a system of botanical exchange until a fire in 1864 completely destroyed Baker's house and business premises. This fire not only consumed his own botanical material but much belonging to the Thirsk Society, John Storey and James Backhouse.

After the fire he spent a short period with Borrer in Sussex before being offered a post as Assistant Curator, at the herbarium, Kew by Sir J. D. Hooker. From his new base he acted with H. Trimen both as an organiser of a new London Botanical Exchange Club and editor of the New Journal of Botany. He remained at Kew for the rest of his life, as keeper from 1890 - 99, publishing extensively.

1834 January 13 : Birth Birth of John Gilbert Baker to John Baker and Mary Baker née Gilbert.
1843 : Ackworth School He atttended Ackworth School, Pontefract for three years. (DNB)
1846 : Bootham School Baker attended the Quaker, Bootham School in York. During some of this time he had charge of the school herbarium.
1860 July 19 : Marriage 11860 July 19: Shields Daily Gazette -
 MARRIAGES. NORTH SHIELDS. - At the Friends' Meeting House, on the 19th inst., John Gilbert Baker, of Thirsk, to Hannah, eldest daughter of Mary Unthank, of Spring Terrace, North Shields.
1863 : Publication North Yorkshire, studies of its botany, geology, climate and physical geography.
(Google Books)
1864 May 10 :
Fire at Thirsk
11864 October 22: The York Herald -
 THE LATE FIRE. - Our botanists, say the Reader, have done a handsome thing. In May last, the business premises and adjoining dwelling-houses of Mr. J. G. Baker and his brother, at Thirsk, were utterly destroyed by fire, the two families barely escaping with their lives, whilst the whole scientific library and herbarium of Mr. Baker became prey of the rapid conflagration. The amount of insurance being small in comparison with the value of the property destroyed, it might have been a long time ere Mr. Baker could have replaced his lost books. This fact becoming known, his scientific friends have raised a subscription, which, we are glad to learn, has been found more than sufficient for replacing the lost books.
1866 : Assistant Keeper John Baker was appointed by Hooker as Assistant Keeper at the Herbarium, Kew.
1877 : Publication Flora of Mauritius and the Seychelles. London (Internet Archive) link
1885 : Publication A flora of the English Lake District. London. (Internet Archive) link
1887 : Publication Handbook of the Fern-allies. London (Internet Archive) link
1888 : Publication Handbook of the Amaryllideae. London. (Internet Archive) link
1889 : Publication Handbook of Bromiliaceae. London. (Internet Archive) link
1892 : Publication Handbook of the Irideae. London. (Internet Archive) link
1902 : Publication 2nd. edition of North Yorkshire produced.
1920 August 16 : Death John Gilbert Baker died at Kew. Probate granted to Edmund Gilbert Baker (his son) and John Stansfield Gayner M.D.

1 Transcription reproduced with kind permission of The British Newspaper Archive

Managed by Richard Middleton; last updated 2016 February 18