About Richard Baker
"Richard Baker (-1698)
Richard Baker came to the colony of South Carolina in 1680 from Barbados. At one point he was a member of the Assembly and an assistant judge. His plantation was called Archdale Hall and was from a land grant from Charles II, King of England to Richard Baker.
The following entry is from Agnes Leland Baldwin's First Settlers of South Carolina 1670-1700 (Easley, SC: Southern Historical Press, 1985), p. 11:
Baker, Richard (Esquire, Assistant Judge)
Arrived before 22 July 1692 with Edward, William, Richard, Jane, Hannah, and Elizabeth Baker. Was a member of Commons House of Assembly. There may have been two Richard Bakers here at this time, or Baker may have arrived in 1681 alone then returned with his family in 1694.
The following entry for Richard Baker is in Walter B. Edgar and N. Louise Bailey, Biographical Dictionary of the South Carolina House of Representatives Volume II The Commons House of Assembly 1692-1775 (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1977), p. 46:
BAKER, RICHARD (d. 1698). Father of WILLIAM BAKER; grandfather of RICHARD BAKER (d. 1752) and JOSEPH CANTEY (d. 1763); father-in-law of WILLIAM CANTEY.
Richard Baker immigrated to South Carolina from Barbados. On 23 March 1681 he received a grant for 297 acres on the Ashley River. This grant was confirmed 12 May 1697, and on the same day he was granted another 400 acres on the Ashley. He was elected to the Third Assembly (1696-1697) from Berkeley and Craven and served one term. He and his wife Elizabeth had seven children: William, Edward, John, Elizabeth, Richard, Jane (m. William Cantey), and Hannah (m. John Palmer). Richard Baker died between 28 January 1698 when he signed his will and 24 July 1698 when it was proved.
Third Assembly Berkeley and Craven 1696-1697
He was married to Elizabeth Wilson (1630-1734). The following death notice for Elizabeth Wilson is reprinted in A. S. Salley's Death Notices in the South-Carolina Gazette 1732-1775:
On Saturday, Aug. 13, 1734 (Tuesday) died near Ashley River in the 104th year of her age, Mrs. Elizabeth Baker, her maiden name was Elizabeth Wilson, she was born in a town called Chirton, (Wiltshire Co.) the 18th day of Oct. 1630; she lived in England 27 years, in Barbadoes 23, and in Carolina 54 years. She had 12 children, two of them being alive yet; 25 Grand children and 43 great grand children, and the same day she died one of her great grand daughters, the spouse of Col. Latimer, was delivered of a child.
The following is an abstract of Richard Baker's will from Caroline T. Moore's edition of Abstracts of the Wills of the State of South Carolina 1670-1740 (1961):
Richard Baker, Esq. Wife: Elizabeth, executrix. Sons: Edward, "this house and plantation," and other lands; William and John. Dau: Elizabeth, cattle numbered with those my son Richard Baker left her. Sons-in-law: John Palmer and Wm. Canty. Wit: Wm. Canty, James Hulbert, Wm. Baker, Edward Baker.
D: 28 Jan. 1697/8. P: 24 July 1698. R: nd. p. 68. 1851
Richard Baker died in 1698 in South Carolina."
Archdale Hall Plantation – North Charleston – Dorchester County
* Location – Ashley River, North Charleston, St George Parish, Dorchester County
Original plantation lands were located off Dorchester Road (SC 642) in what is today Archdale Subdivision.
* Origin of name – Possibly named after Sarah Archdale Baker, mother of the first Richard Baker to immigrate to the Carolinas from Barbados
* Other names – Baker-Bohun House
* Current status – The land has been developed into Archdale Subdivision. The ruins of the plantation house are owned by the Archdale Civic Association and can still be seen in the neighborhood.
Note: There were several owners of Archdale Hall named Richard Baker. To distinguish who is who a I, II, III, etc. has been added after each name.
* 1681 – Earliest known date of existence
On October 5, Richard Baker (I) received his first land grant on the Ashley River. His land was between "the land of Thomas Butler to the Eastward and the land of Daniel Smethwick to the Westward" (Smith, p. 127).
Richard Baker (I) immigrated to the Carolinas from Barbados sometime in 1680. He came with his wife, Elizabeth, and their five children: Edward, William, Richard, Jane, and Hannah (Zierden, p. 20).
* 1682 – In March, Richard Baker (I) was issued another grant consisting of 297 acres on the Ashley River (Smith, p. 127).
It is believed that Richard Baker (I) built a house on the property shortly after the first grant of land. It was probably a small frame structure with a brick courtyard in front (Zierden, p. 1 & 19).
* 1683 – In April, Richard Baker (I) was issued two more land grants.
The first grant was for 200 acres initially granted to Daniell Smethwick and "by him deserted." The second grant was also for 200 acres and was initailly granted to Robert Smethwick on January 26, 1678. He also deserted his land (Smith, p. 127).
* 1694 – Richard Baker (I) was granted another 420 acres for settling in the Carolinas. The records do not state where the land was located (Zierden, p. 20).
The Lords Proprietors of Carolina promised every man a grant of land as an incentive for settling in the new area. Richard Baker (I) received his grant along with additional acreage for every person in his family that arrived with him. It is not known why it took so long for the Baker family to receive their grant.
* 1696-1697 – Richard Baker (I) served one term in the Third Assembly as a representative from Berkeley and Craven Counties (Zierden, p. 21).
* 1698 – Richard Baker (I) died. In his will he left Archdale Hall to his eldest son, Edward. However, Edward must have died because William, another son, became the owner of Archdale Hall (1698 Will).
Click here to read a copy of the will.
William Baker made Archdale Hall his permanent residence. He and his wife, Susanna Rowsham Baker, raised their four children on the plantation. For whatever reason, Richard Baker (I) did not want William to marry Susanna. He entered a caveat against the marriage in 1692. However, this did not stop the couple from marrying (Zierden, p. 21).
(A caveat is a legal term for a formal notice filed with a court or officer to suspend a proceeding until filer is given a hearing.)