Johann Baring

Johann Baring (born 15 November 1697 in Bremen, died 1748 in West Country), later anglicised to John Baring, was a German-British merchant. He came to England in 1717 as an immigrant, as the apprentice of a wool merchant. His decision to settle permanently in England started the Baring family on the road to becoming one of the leading family banking firms in the world.

Early life

Johann Baring was born in Bremen, one of the old Hanseatic cities of northern Germany. He was the posthumous son of Franz Baring (1657-1697), a professor of Theology in Bremen, who died aged forty only a few weeks before Johann was born, by his wife Rebecca Vogds, the daughter of one of Bremen's leading wool merchants. Following the early death of Johann's father, he was brought up by the Vogds family.

Move to England

At the age of twenty Johann was sent to England to learn the wool trade in Exeter, Devon. Originally having planned to return to Bremen after his apprenticeship, he decided to stay in England, where he obtained citizenship in 1723 and Anglicised his first name from Johann to John.

Marriage and progeny

John married Elizabeth Vowler (1702–1766), the daughter of a prosperous Exeter grocer, who brought with her a large dowry of £20,000 and business sense to match that of her new husband. By Elizabeth he had the following progeny, 4 sons and 1 daughter:

Johann Baring's descendants include Diana, Princess of Wales and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge.


By 1737 the Barings moved from the City of Exeter and purchased as their country residence Larkbeare House,[5] (a substantial 16th century house a fragment of which survives at no. 38 Holloway Street, Exeter, having been largely demolished by 19th century road-widening[6]) and thirty seven acres of land, then just outside the city. Adjacent to Larkbeare was the estate of Mount Radford, which was later the family's residence.[7] Shortly before his death John purchased Lindridge House, Bishopsteignton, near Exeter.


By the time of John's death aged fifty-one, the Barings were one of the wealthiest families in the West Country.


  1. Vivian, p.425
  2. Vivian, Lt.Col. J.L., (Ed.) The Visitations of the County of Devon: Comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564 & 1620, Exeter, 1895, pedigree of Gould, pp.418-432, p.418
  3. Vivian, pp.425-6
  4. John Dunning
  6. Pevsner, Nikolaus & Cherry, Bridget, The Buildings of England: Devon, London, 2004, p.425
  7. Pevsner, p.425

External links

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