Richard John Baron (22 November 1792 – 18 April 1871). He was the only son from the marriage of Jean Victor Baron and Frances Guise. He was born in St Margaret’s Westminster Parish in London. The Baron family might be of Hugenot extraction.
There is very little information regarding his early life, although it is believed that he lived with his parents for a time in Annonay, France. They had returned to London by 1800, and in 1801, his mother, now a widow, remarried (John Wright). By 1802, she had died, likely in childbirth (John William Wright).
Richard was the recipient of several substantial bequests from his maternal grandparents. On the death of his grandfather Richard Guise, he received a freehold estate in East Smithfield in Middlesex, in 1806. From his grandmother Elizabeth Windham Guise he received £2500 at 3% in 1810.
In his grandmother’s will he was described as a cadet at the College at Woolwich. No doubt because of his financial windfalls, he was able to purchase his commission. He entered the Royal Engineers as a 2nd Lieutenant in 1810. He was 17 years old.
Britain was at war with France (Napoleonic Wars) and according to his service record, he served in the Peninsula from 1813-1814. Following this service he was promptly moved to the Canadas where he stayed from 1814-1817. He would have been a part of the last gasp of the War of 1812, and the ensuing peace. It is not clear where in Canada he served – Upper or Lower Canada.
In 1818 1st Lieutenant Baron married Charlotte Wilhelmina Marguerite Bourtt in Geneva, Switzerland. This date came from his military record, however there is another marriage record which dates from 1824 Paris, France for the same couple. Perhaps they were making sure that their marriage was legal.
From 1824to 1833, the now 2nd Lieutenant was stationed in Bermuda. Major Baron then served in Canada again, from 1838 to 1841, during the period of the Rebellions. Again it is unclear where he served, but it was likely Lower Canada. This would be the last of his foreign service. He was retired in his return at full pay, he continued to be associated with the Royal Engineers. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 1854.
He was a widower when he married his second wife, Mary Hughes, in Brompton Middlesex in 1845. He had no children from either marriage. He died in Kensington, London in 1871.
TNA, RG33/63, Marriages Overseas, Paris France.
TNA, WO/25/3913, Royal Engineers Service Records.
Ancestry.ca – Death Register.
“The Marriage, Baptismal and Burial Records of the Collegiate Church of Abbey of St Peter, Westminster” by John Lemuel Chester, Harleian Society, 1876.
Edinburgh Gazette, 1825.
TNA. PROB 11/1508.
TNA, PROB 11/1440.