Reverend Edward Knight Baker1

#14496, (5 January 1805-20 January 1885)
FatherGeorge Baker2 (c 1752-19 Feb 1847)
MotherElizabeth Knight2 (c 1770-)
ChartsWayte Family - descendants
     Reverend Edward Knight Baker may have been born at Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire.3 NOTE: The information on this page is my research to date and is subject to change as I become better informed. I very much welcome any corrections or additional info you might have - my email address is at the bottom of this page - Tim Hill.
+ + + + + + + + + +


He may have been born on 5 January 1805 at Barton-under-Needwood, Staffordshire. However, he may have been born two years later as he was said to have been 78 when he died in 1885.4,5,1 He was the son of George Baker and Elizabeth Knight.2 He was raised in Brereton, Rugeley, Staffordshire.3 At the age of 16 Reverend Edward Knight Baker was indentured to James Leonard by his father for the sum of £40 on 5 January 1821 at Rugeley, Staffordshire. Edward was to later marry James' sister in law.3 At the same time he also took Latin and Greek classes.3

After competing his apprenticeship in 1827 he moved to Bath to become a Congregationalist preacher.3 On 19 November 1827 he was accepted on a limited-term contract to become a printer for the London Missionary Society.6 Edward arrived at Madagascar.7

He was a missionary printer.8 Edward left Madagascar on 24 June 1832 and returned to England with the intention of getting married. This arrangement had been agreed to four years earlier. He arrived back in England the day after Christmas Day.9

He married Ruth Wayte, daughter of Thomas Wayte and Mary (?), on Tuesday, 9 April 1833 (although one source has it being the day after) at Ashby-de-la Zouch, Leicestershire.10,11,1

Apparently, Edward was deaf by the time he was 30. It isn't known to what extent, or how how long it had been this way.12 On the voyage, Edward had worked on his Malagasy to English dictionary, only to have it rejected by a colleague who thought it "rather a work of imagination rather than solid judgement" and accused him of hallucinations that would result in mental illness. Edward eventually published his work in 1845.13

Edward and his wife Ruth arrived at Madagascar on 1 July 1834.14

Almost immediately after his arrival they adopted the son of a Creole trader after the death of his father (the father had rendered many services to the missionaries).15 Reverend Edward Knight Baker and Ruth Wayte moved to Mauritius in September 1836.16 Reverend Edward Knight Baker and Ruth Wayte arrived circa 1845 at Port Adelaide, South Australia.17



[PF1] and Ruth attempted to sell a "small flock of clean sheep, with a run" in Morphett Vale through an advertisment in the newspaper on 28 September 1847.

On 6 November 1848, Edward was recognised as an officiating minister for marriages.18

On 30 August 1849 the foundation stone was laid of the Morphett Vale Union Chapel, and Edward gave a speech on "the principle of Christian freedom from ecclesiastical bondage and State-connexion on which this chapel was proposed to be built".19

By late 1849 Edward was a minister in Morphett Vale, South Australia, ministering once a day to his congregation. Membership of the congregation grew quickly.20

On 4 February 1850 he submitted an article to the newspaper that he thought "belongs ... in its character to the whole religious public". The article was very critical of "water-baptism", especially separatist Baptists. Edward sought to educate us to "preserve sound doctrine — i.e., healthy teaching" and his lengthy article strongly argues that practices of the Baptists are erroneous. Interestingly, he did not use the title 'Reverend' in the letter.
His letter was responded to by an anonymous baptist, also at considerable length.21,22

Thomas Darby and Reverend Edward Knight Baker both signed a passionate letter, published in a newspaper 8 March 1851, against the state financial support of religion - an unusual position for men who were both deeply religious, but perhaps motivated by not wanting to see the influence of the Church of England growing.23 He chaired the Annual Meeting of the regional Congregational Union until 1853.20

On 21 January 1853 he was granted the right to perform marriages in Adelaide.24

In 1854, council rates information indicates that Edward and Ruth owned part section 9, 10, and 20 with a stone dwelling of 8 rooms.25

On 22 July 1854 a letter he wrote was published in the Adelaide Observer where he defended the pribnciple of voluntary support of christian ministers. He said, in part:
"The free appropriation of 'private means of their own' by ministers, in preference to becoming Government functionaries, is only a further instance of the beneficial operation of spontaneous religious effort."26



By 1856, they had sold the majority of their land (Section 20) retaining a fifth, 40 acres. Part of Section 10 was leased to her niece, the widow Mary Darby.25 He relinguised his authority to solemnise marriages April 1857 after a severe fall from a horse, but remained in good health for almost another 30 years.27,20 Edward, as the father of the bride, along with Ruth attended Ellen Masters Baker and John Edward Tapley's wedding on Friday, 25 December 1857 at Morphett Vale. They were married at her parent's residence.. John was an accountant from Adelaide.28,29

On 10 April 1859 he delivered "an impressive sermon" at a special service to celebrate the fourth anniversary of John Knox's church in Morphett Vale, South Australia.30

On 18 November 1864 he wrote a long letter to the newspaper in support of emigration from the island of Bourbon to northern Australia, giving many reasons why he felt this would be a success based on his experience in Mauritius. The letter was reprinted two days later.31 Edward and Ruth lived at Hillside House, in Morphett Vale, South Australia. They were apparently in this 8 room stone house from their arrival in 1845 until their death 40 years later.32

Edward died on 20 January 1885 at Morphett Vale, South Australia, at age 80 at his residence. His wife was to die less than 6 months later..1,33,34 His body was interred at Bain's Cemetery in January 1885 at Morphett Vale, South Australia.20,35

Edward was memorialised in a short obituary on 27 January 1885:
"The Late Rev. E. Baker.— A correspondent has sent us the following interesting particulars relating to the life of the above named gentleman, the notice of whose death was published a few days ago :— ' The late Rev. Edward Baker was born on January 5, 1805. He was for several years a missionary in Madagascar, where he printed the first Bible in the Malagash language. When the persecution of the Christians arose he left the island and retired to Mauritius, where he resided for some years, and became English editor of a French and English journal called the Sentinelle. He exerted him self in Christian work for the good of the English and American sailors frequenting the port. He obtained from Government the use of an old ship, which he fitted up for the use of holding religious services every Sunday for their benefit. He was frequently engaged by the English Government in translating the negotiations between the two Governments of England and Madagascar. On his arrival in the colony, about forty years ago, the Rev. E. Baker took up his abode in Morphett Vale, and soon became associated with the Revs. T. Q. Stow, J. B. Austin and R. W. Newland (of Encounter Bay), and Mr. J. Stephens (of the Register and Observer), all of whom have preceded him to their final rest. After his settlement here he undertook for a short time the pastorate of a small Church in Morphett Vale, where he held morning services, and in the afternoon at Happy Valley. The deceased gentleman was the author of a Malagasy dictionary and grammar, and translated for the Bishop of Mauritius the English Prayer-book into the Malagasy language."4



His will was probated in May 1885. It had a value of £250.36

Family

Ruth Wayte (c 1802-9 Jun 1885)
Children

Citations

  1. [S864] E-mails from Carole Knight Baker to Tim Hill, 2015- 'Re: WAYTE families query' - 10 March 2015 at 14:49.
  2. [S542] The Staffordshire Advertiser, Saturday 20 March 1847 p.8.
  3. [S865] Gwyn Campbell David Griffiths and the Missionary “History of Madagascar” p.690.
  4. [S244] The South Australian Register, 1885 'THE STRANGERS' FRIEND AND CHARITY ORGANIZATION SOCIETY.', South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), 27 January, p. 4, viewed 18 March, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article44552320.
  5. [S244] The South Australian Register, 1885 'Family Notices.', South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), 22 January, p. 4, viewed 18 March, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article44545147 for age at death.
  6. [S865] Gwyn Campbell David Griffiths and the Missionary “History of Madagascar” p.691.
  7. [S865] Gwyn Campbell David Griffiths and the Missionary “History of Madagascar” p.115, 691.
  8. [S865] Gwyn Campbell David Griffiths and the Missionary “History of Madagascar” p.94.
  9. [S865] Gwyn Campbell David Griffiths and the Missionary “History of Madagascar” p.120, 326, 786.
  10. [S542] The Staffordshire Advertiser, Saturday 20 April 1833 p.3.
  11. [S865] Gwyn Campbell David Griffiths and the Missionary “History of Madagascar” p.786.
  12. [S865] Gwyn Campbell David Griffiths and the Missionary “History of Madagascar” p.862.
  13. [S865] Gwyn Campbell David Griffiths and the Missionary “History of Madagascar” p.129, 163.
  14. [S865] Gwyn Campbell David Griffiths and the Missionary “History of Madagascar” p.129, 327.
  15. [S865] Gwyn Campbell David Griffiths and the Missionary “History of Madagascar” p.789.
  16. [S865] Gwyn Campbell David Griffiths and the Missionary “History of Madagascar” p.214, 336.
  17. [S865] Gwyn Campbell David Griffiths and the Missionary “History of Madagascar”.
  18. [S244] The South Australian Register, 1848 'NOTICE.', South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), 18 November, p. 2, viewed 14 March, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article48729329.
  19. [S244] The South Australian Register, 1849 'LOCAL INTELLIGENCE.', South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), 8 September, p. 2, viewed 14 March, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article50247930.
  20. [S865] Gwyn Campbell David Griffiths and the Missionary “History of Madagascar” p.872.
  21. [S244] The South Australian Register, 1850 'To those amongst whom I have been preaching "the Gospel of the grace of God.".', South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), 7 February, p. 3, viewed 9 May, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article38436061.
  22. [S244] The South Australian Register, 1850 'ER BAKER AND THE BAPTISTS.', South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), 16 February, p. 4, viewed 9 May, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article38443929.
  23. [S244] The South Australian Register, "Address on State Grants for Religious Purposes" 08 Mar 1851 p.4.
  24. [S244] The South Australian Register, 1853 'MARRIAGE LICENCES.', South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), 21 January, p. 3, viewed 24 April, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article38463767.
  25. [S1042] E-mails from Pat Allen Cheryl Anderson to Tim Hill, 2018- 'Fwd: Hillside House' - 11 Jul 2018, 17:44.
  26. [S243] The Adelaide Observer (later The Observer), 1854 'VOLUNTARYISM.', Adelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904), 22 July, p. 10, viewed 24 April, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article158098250
  27. [S243] The Adelaide Observer (later The Observer), 1857 'MARRIAGE ACT.', Adelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904), 18 April, p. 8, viewed 24 April, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article158117010
  28. [S865] Gwyn Campbell David Griffiths and the Missionary “History of Madagascar” p.876 (the year stated is incorrect).
  29. [S244] The South Australian Register, 1857 'Family Notices.', South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), 31 December, p. 2, viewed 15 March, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article49210027.
  30. [S243] The Adelaide Observer (later The Observer), 1859 'PENOLA.', Adelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904), 30 April, p. 3, viewed 24 April, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article158127185
  31. [S244] The South Australian Register, 1864 'TO THE EDITOR.', South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), 26 November, p. 6, viewed 27 April, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article39119313.
  32. [S653] Webpage The City of Onkaparinga - Local Studies Online (http://www.onkaparingacity.com/libraries/localstudies/…) http://onkaparingacity.com/libraries/localstudies/…
  33. [S244] The South Australian Register, 1885 'Family Notices.', South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), 22 January, p. 4, viewed 18 March, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article44545147.
  34. [S966] Manuscript note by William John Anderson (for exact place of death).
  35. [S592] Website Australia Cemeteries (http://www.australiancemeteries.com/) Morphett Vale - Bains Road Cemetery (http://www.australiancemeteries.com/sa/onkaparinga/…).
  36. [S321] The South Australian Advertiser, 1885 'The Advertiser WEDNESDAY, MAY 27, 1885.', The South Australian Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1858 - 1889), 27 May, p. 4, viewed 18 March, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article36307137