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
Last Edited22 Dec 2021
Headson of Edward and Ruth
Source: Find a Grave Memorial 194312946
     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. Whilst historical facts are not copyright, my writing about these facts are. If you wish to use any text from this site on Ancestry or on any other website, please ask me first - Tim Hill.
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Reverend Edward Knight Baker may have been born at Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire.3 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

At the age of 23 Edward emigrated from England on 2 May 1828 on the "Seppings."7 Edward arrived at Madagascar.8

He was a missionary printer.9 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.10

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. The daughter of a bookseller and printer..11,12,1

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.13

At the age of 29 Edward and his wife Ruth emigrated from Gravesend, Kent, on 28 February 1834 on the "Henry Wellesley."14 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 1845.15

Edward and his wife Ruth arrived at Madagascar on 1 July 1834.16

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).17 Reverend Edward Knight Baker and Ruth Wayte moved to Mauritius in September 1836. It is believed they were fleeing the persecution of Christians on Madagascar.18,19 Reverend Edward Knight Baker and Ruth Wayte arrived circa 1845 at Port Adelaide, South Australia.20



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

On 6 November 1848, Edward was recognised as an officiating minister for marriages.21

Mary Leonard and John D. Darby were married by Reverend Edward Knight Baker on Thursday, 23 November 1848 at the schoolroom, in Morphett Vale, South Australia. John was aged approximately 30 and Mary was aged approximately 32 years old.. A week later in the same place, John's brother Thomas married Jessie Nicholson.22,23,24

Jessie Nicholson and Thomas Darby were married by Reverend Edward Knight Baker on Thursday, 23 November 1848 at Morphett Vale, South Australia. A week earlier at the same place, Thomas' brother John had married Mary Leonard. No parents of the bride and groom attended the ceremony.25,26

A year after the Independents met at Morphett Vale, the congregationalists laid the foundation stone for the Union Chapel on Thursday, 30 August 1849. It was completed in February of the following year for harvest thanksgiving, for a total cost of less than £200. It was intended that this would serve the needs for all the local Presbyterians. Reverend Edward Knight Baker was the initial minister, but had to resign his position four years later due to poor health.27,28

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".29

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.30

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.31,32

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 - what at first glance might seem an unusual position for men who were both deeply religious. However, the Congregationalists lead the fight in South Australia against state aid. They were motivated by not wanting to see the influence of the Church of England grow, but also the Congregationalist ethos of a rejection of organisational hierarchy.33,34,35 He chaired the Annual Meeting of the regional Congregational Union until 1853.30

On 21 January 1853 he was granted the right to perform marriages in Adelaide.36 Reverend Edward Knight Baker and Ruth Wayte attested to the validity of John D. Darby's will on 26 January 1853. To his brother Thomas he left all of his real estate and personal effects, after payment of his debts and funeral expenses. He also stated that his "beloved wife" Mary was to enjoy the "use and benefits" of the property held jointly with his brother Thomas, namely half of Sections 628 and 801, as well as half of the allotments in Albert Town [Alberton] and Carrington Street, Adelaide. This share was to then pass to their children. He also wished Mary to have access to the reaping and winnowing machines along with "all the corn, hay, five horses with harness cart", as well as the leases of sections of 9, 10 and 90 owned by Reverend Edward Baker. John was to die later the same day..37

The will of his wife's niece's husband John D. Darby, was probated on 4 April 1853.37

In 1854, council rates information indicates that Edward and Ruth owned part section 9, 10, and 20 with a stone dwelling of 8 rooms. They were assessed for £56 for holding 140 acres (57 hectares.)38,39

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."40



By 1856, Edward and Ruth 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 (on the south-west corner of what is now Doctors and Panalatinga Roads).38,41 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.42,30

Edward conducted the ceremony for his daughter's wedding to John Edward Tapley, an Adelaide accountant, at Hillside House Others attending the wedding include Ruth Wayte as mother of the bride, Arabella McDonald as mother of the groom and Richard Edward Tapley as father of the groom. on Friday, 25 December 1857 at Morphett Vale, South Australia. John and Ellen went on to have two children together.43,44,45

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.46

Edward, as the father of the bride, along with Ruth may have attended the wedding of Harriet and Reverend Charles Manthorpe, a English Congregational minister, in a Congregational ceremony performed by Reverend Thomas Quinton Stow at her father's house on Thursday, 20 October 1859 at Morphett Vale, South Australia.. Others who may have attended include Sarah Love as mother of the groom and James Symonds Manthorpe as father of the groom. Charles and Harriet went on to have as many as 13 children together.47,1

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.48

In 1868 Edward was assessed for £25 for holding 40 acres (16 hectares.)49

Edward and Ruth seem to have taken in a number of destitute children.50

Edward, as the father of the bride, along with Ruth may have attended the wedding of Ellen and Charles Mosse Sprigg, a farmer marrying for the second time, in a Congregational ceremony conducted by her sister's husband Reverend Charles Manthorpe at Glenelg Congregational Church on Wednesday, 2 September 1874 at the Adelaide suburb of Glenelg.. Others who may have attended include . Charles and Ellen went on to have just one known child together.51,52 Edward and Ruth lived at Morphett Vale, South Australia. They were apparently in this 8 room stone house from their arrival in 1845 until their death 40 years later.53

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..1,54,55 His body was interred at Bain's Cemetery in January 1885 at Morphett Vale, South Australia. He is buried in the same plot as his wife..30,56,57

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 £250.58

Timeline

DateEventPlace
Family
Birth-CandidateBurton upon Trent, Staffordshire3
1805Birth-CandidateBarton-under-Needwood, Staffordshire4,5,1
2
1810Note memo onlyBrereton, Rugeley, Staffordshire3
1821ApprenticedRugeley, Staffordshire3
Note memo only3
1827Note memo only CR CRBath3
1827Note memo only6
1828Emigratn-newEngland7
Immigratn-newMadagascar8
Occupation9
1832Note memo onlyMadagascar10
1833MarriageAshby-de-la Zouch, Leicestershire11,12,1
1834Note memo only CR CR13
1834Emigratn-newGravesend, Kent14
Note memo only15
1834Immigratn-newMadagascar16
Note memo only17
1836Move-newMauritius18,19
1845Immigratn-newPort Adelaide, South Australia20
1847Note memo only CR CRMorphett Vale, South Australia
1848Note memo only CR CR21
1849Note memo only CR CRthe Union Chapel, in Morphett Vale, South Australia27,28
1849Note memo only CR CRMorphett Vale, South Australia29
1849Note memo only CR CRMorphett Vale, South Australia30
1850Note memo only CR CR31,32
1851Note memo only CR CR33,34,35
1853Note memo only30
1853Note memo only CR CRAdelaide36
1854Note memo only CR CR38,39
1854Quotation type 340
1856Note memo only CR CR38,41
1857Note memo only42,30
1859Note memo only CR CRMorphett Vale, South Australia46
1864Note memo only CR CR48
1868Note memo only CR CR49
Note memo only CR CR50
ResidenceHillside House, in Morphett Vale, South Australia53
1885DeathMorphett Vale, South Australia1,54,55
1885BurialBain's Cemetery, in Morphett Vale, South Australia30,56,57
1885Quotation type 24
1885Probate-new58

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, Stafford, Staffordshire, England, 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, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, 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, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, 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.
  8. [S865] Gwyn Campbell David Griffiths and the Missionary “History of Madagascar” p.115, 691.
  9. [S865] Gwyn Campbell David Griffiths and the Missionary “History of Madagascar” p.94.
  10. [S865] Gwyn Campbell David Griffiths and the Missionary “History of Madagascar” p.120, 326, 786.
  11. [S542] The Staffordshire Advertiser, Stafford, Staffordshire, England, Saturday 20 April 1833 p.3.
  12. [S865] Gwyn Campbell David Griffiths and the Missionary “History of Madagascar” p.786.
  13. [S865] Gwyn Campbell David Griffiths and the Missionary “History of Madagascar” p.862.
  14. [S865] Gwyn Campbell David Griffiths and the Missionary “History of Madagascar” p.129, 789.
  15. [S865] Gwyn Campbell David Griffiths and the Missionary “History of Madagascar” p.129, 163.
  16. [S865] Gwyn Campbell David Griffiths and the Missionary “History of Madagascar” p.129, 327.
  17. [S865] Gwyn Campbell David Griffiths and the Missionary “History of Madagascar” p.789.
  18. [S865] Gwyn Campbell David Griffiths and the Missionary “History of Madagascar” p.214, 336.
  19. [S1303] Kelly Dyer, Manuscript, 2021 p.18.
  20. [S865] Gwyn Campbell David Griffiths and the Missionary “History of Madagascar”.
  21. [S244] The South Australian Register, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, 1848 'NOTICE.', South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), 18 November, p. 2, viewed 14 March, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article48729329
  22. [S7] South Australia, Marriage Certificate, Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages Vol. 40 p.367.
  23. [S239] The Adelaide Times, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, 27 Nov. 1848 p.2.
  24. [S1303] Kelly Dyer, Manuscript, 2021 p.158.
  25. [S239] The Adelaide Times, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, 27 Nov 1848 P.2 Col. C.
  26. [S1303] Kelly Dyer, Manuscript, 2021 p.160.
  27. [S1304] Flickr (https://www.flickr.com) https://www.flickr.com/photos/82134796@N03/49576466932.
  28. [S1306] Robert James Randall Donley The Golden Harvest - A History of the Southern Vales 1836-1880 p.217.
  29. [S244] The South Australian Register, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, 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
  30. [S865] Gwyn Campbell David Griffiths and the Missionary “History of Madagascar” p.872.
  31. [S244] The South Australian Register, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, 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
  32. [S244] The South Australian Register, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, 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
  33. [S244] The South Australian Register, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, "Address on State Grants for Religious Purposes" 08 Mar 1851 p.4.
  34. [S1305] The Victorian Web (https://victorianweb.org/) The Congregationalists - https://victorianweb.org/religion/larsen5.html
  35. [S1306] Robert James Randall Donley The Golden Harvest - A History of the Southern Vales 1836-1880 p.216.
  36. [S244] The South Australian Register, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, 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
  37. [S1311] South Australia, Will and Probate Records www.familysearch.org, (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:7Q8P-7MPZ : 26 September 2019), John Darby, 26 Jan 1853; citing Will, South Australia, Australia, Probate and Administration Books, Supreme Court of South Australia, Adelaide; FHL microfilm 103140258.
  38. [S1042] E-mails from Pat Allen Cheryl Anderson to Tim Hill, 2018- 'Fwd: Hillside House' - 11 Jul 2018, 17:44.
  39. [S1306] Robert James Randall Donley The Golden Harvest - A History of the Southern Vales 1836-1880 p.360.
  40. [S243] The Adelaide Observer (later The Observer), Adelaide, South Australia, 1854 'VOLUNTARYISM.', Adelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904), 22 July, p. 10, viewed 24 April, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article158098250
  41. [S1303] Kelly Dyer, Manuscript, 2021 p.214.
  42. [S243] The Adelaide Observer (later The Observer), Adelaide, South Australia, 1857 'MARRIAGE ACT.', Adelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904), 18 April, p. 8, viewed 24 April, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article158117010
  43. [S865] Gwyn Campbell David Griffiths and the Missionary “History of Madagascar” p.876 (the year stated is incorrect).
  44. [S244] The South Australian Register, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, 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
  45. [S1152] Lavender Blue - The Tapleys (http://www.louisenordestgaard.com/Tapleys.html) RichardEdward Tapley 1811 to 1891 (http://www.louisenordestgaard.com/…).
  46. [S243] The Adelaide Observer (later The Observer), Adelaide, South Australia, 1859 'PENOLA.', Adelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904), 30 April, p. 3, viewed 24 April, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article158127185
  47. [S321] The South Australian Advertiser, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, 1859 'Family Notices.', The South Australian Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1858 - 1889), 26 October, p. 2, viewed 2 May, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1198547
  48. [S244] The South Australian Register, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, 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
  49. [S1306] Robert James Randall Donley The Golden Harvest - A History of the Southern Vales 1836-1880 p.321.
  50. [S1306] Robert James Randall Donley The Golden Harvest - A History of the Southern Vales 1836-1880 p.244.
  51. [S244] The South Australian Register, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, 1874 'Family Notices.', South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), 5 September, p. 4, viewed 15 March, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article39813915
  52. [S865] Gwyn Campbell David Griffiths and the Missionary “History of Madagascar” p.876.
  53. [S653] The City of Onkaparinga - Local Studies Online (http://www.onkaparingacity.com/libraries/localstudies/…) http://onkaparingacity.com/libraries/localstudies/…
  54. [S244] The South Australian Register, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, 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
  55. [S966] Manuscript note by William John Anderson (for exact place of death).
  56. [S466] Find a Grave (http://www.findagrave.com) Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/194312946/… : accessed 17 December 2021), memorial page for Rev Edward Knight Baker (unknown–20 Jan 1885), Find a Grave Memorial ID 194312946, citing Morphett Vale Bains Cemetery, Morphett Vale, Onkaparinga City, South Australia, Australia ; Maintained by TanKris (contributor 49742925) .
  57. [S592] Australia Cemeteries (http://www.australiancemeteries.com/) Morphett Vale - Bains Road Cemetery (http://www.australiancemeteries.com/sa/onkaparinga/…).
  58. [S321] The South Australian Advertiser, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, 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