|Francis Edward Noel-Baker (1920-2009)|
The Bakers were a Quaker family for generations. Philip's father, (Joseph) Allen Baker, was born in Canada, where the family had emigrated from Ireland in 1819. In the late 1870's Allen Baker was sent by his father to England to take charge of a newly established branch of the family engineering business, Baker & Sons, of which he became chairman in 1892 on the death of his father. In 1879 they set up business in Finsbury but the trade expanded and, in 1890 a move was made to a large, newly built engineering works in Hythe Road, Willesden, where it remained for the next 43 years. As Quakers, the Baker family tried to run a model business taking a paternal interest in the welfare of their workforce and introducing schemes such as shorter working days, encouraging employees to participate in health and insurance plans and fostering a relaxed approach on the shop floor, perhaps to the detriment of profits. The company had interests in Britain, Canada, Australia and the USA. In Britain, Allen Baker married the deeply religious Scotswoman Elizabeth Balmer Moscrip, whose family lived at Morebattle, in Roxburghshire, a Border village seven miles from Kelso, through which the railway passed along the valley of the Tweed. Philip was the sixth of the couple's seven children.
|Philip and Irene Noel-Baker during World War I,|
when their romance began
[Image from An Isle of Greece: the Noels in Euboea]
During the First World War he served with the Friends' Ambulance Unit in France and in Italy, where he was awarded medals for bravery and met Irene Noel, who was working as a nurse. She was a friend of Virginia Woolf, and the daughter of Frank Noel, the British owner of a Greek estate, Achmetaga (today Prokopi) on the island of Euboea (today, Evia). The Achmetaga estate had been purchased from its Turkish owner in 1832 by Edward Noel, who had been educated at the agricultural school of Hofwyl near Bern in Switzerland which had been founded by Emanuel von Fellenberg, a leading educationalist in Europe, whose aim was to bring, through agriculture, rich and poor people closer together. Inspired by these ideas, and in the wake of the great wave of philhellenism that had passed through Europe following the 1821 Greek War of Independence against the Ottoman occupiers of Greece, Edward Noel together with von Fellenberg's youngest son, Fredrick, traveled to Greece in 1832 with the hope of contributing to the betterment of the lot of impoverished Greek peasants by creating an agricultural school in Greece along the lines of Hofwyl. The acquiring of the estate on Euboea, where they envisioned establishing the school, was bedeviled by the then Greek Government's policy concerning privately-owned land; both Edward and Fredrick fell ill from malaria which was endemic in northern Euboea, and Frederick died. But then in partnership with another school fellow from Hofwyl, Karl von Müller, and with the support of Edward's cousin Anne Isabella, Lady Byron (later 11th Baroness Wentworth) and others, the resuscitation and working of the Achmetaga estate eventually went ahead. The family has been in continuous possession of the estate for over 175 years, and a detailed history--An Isle of Greece: The Noels in Euboea--was written and published by Barbro, the second wife of Francis Noel-Baker, in 2000. When Irene Baker inherited the estate from her father Frank Noel in 1919, her husband Philip adopted the surname Noel along with his own, and by the 1940s, he hyphenated his surname as Noel-Baker, which his descendants have adopted to the present day.
|Achmetaga in the 1870s|
|Philip, Baron Noel-Baker|
Since Philip's five years as a life peer occurred within the large gap between the 1970 105th edition of Burke's Peerage and the 1999 106th edition, the Noel-Bakers do not appear in that series. There is an entry for Baron Noel-Baker in the 1980 edition of Debrett's Peerage. It is very scanty on genealogical details (it completely overlooks Francis Noel-Baker's first marriage, for example), so hopefully the information below will serve as a helpful addition to the 1980 account in Debrett's.
FRANCIS EDWARD NOEL-BAKER of Kandili, Prokopi, Evia, Greece, M.P. Brentford & Chiswick 1945-50; Swindon 1955-69, b. 7 Jan. 1920 Kensington, London; d. 25 Sept. 2009 Kandili, only son of Philip John, Baron Noel-Baker of Derby and Irene Noel (1878-1956, descended from Edward III - see A21 below); m. 1st 1 Aug. 1947 House of Commons Crypt, Westminster, London (divorce 1955), as her 1st husband[*1], ANN LAVINIA SAUNDERS, b. 1928, dau. of Hilary Aidan St George Saunders of Broad Oak (1898-1951) and his 2nd wife Joan Wilhelmina Bedford (1902-1984), and had issue, two sons; m. 2nd 26 July 1957 Swindon, Wiltshire, BARBRO KRISTINA SONANDER, b. 1924 Norrköping, Östergötland, Sweden; d. 2004 Kandili, dau. of Josef Karl Sonander, engineer, and had further issue, two sons and a daughter.
Issue of Francis Edward and Ann Lavinia (Saunders) Noel-Baker:
1) EDWARD PHILIP NOEL-BAKER of Notting Hill, b. 1948.
2) MARTIN HILARY JOHN BYRON NOEL-BAKER, b. 25 July 1951; d. 30 Nov. 1990, leaving issue, one daughter.
|Michael Chance (b. 1955)|
Issue of Francis Edward and Barbro Kristina (Sonander) Noel-Baker:
3) PHILIP FRANCIS NOEL-BAKER of Kandili, travel agent, b. Aug. 1958, has two sons.
4) IRENE IDA NOEL-BAKER, psychologist, translator, poet, b. 1960; m. 1991 London, MICHAEL EDWARD FERGUSON CHANCE, CBE, countertenor and founder The Grange Festival, b. 7 March 1955 Penn, Buckinghamshire, and has issue, one son and one daughter.
5) (JOSEPH) ALLAN FREDERICK NOEL-BAKER of Marlow, Buckinghamshire, financial public relations, b. 1962; m. 31 May 1997, LOUISE SEYDLITZ, b. 1966, dau. of Slawomir Seydlitz of Harefield, and has issue, one son and one daughter.
|Ann (née Saunders) Noel-Baker|
[*1] Ann (née Saunders) Noel-Baker m. 2nd 1956 Buckinghamshire, John H. B. Irving, b. 1924. Ann's father Hilary Saunders was the co-author, with John Palmer (both men publishing their collaborative fiction using the pseudonym Francis Breeding), of four novels, the best known being The House of Dr. Edwardes (1927), which was adapted in 1945 into the Alfred Hitchcock film Spellbound. Saunders also was the librarian of the House of Commons from 1946-1950. Footage of Ann's first wedding to Francis Noel-Baker can be viewed, here.
Through his mother, Francis Noel-Baker has six lines of descent from Edward III. The three through Lionel, Duke of Clarence are as follows.
Edward III had a 2nd surviving son:
A1) Lionel of Antwerp, 1st Duke of Clarence (1338-1368) m. 1) Lady Elizabeth de Burgh (1332-1363, descended from Edward I), and had
A2) Lady Philippa Plantagenet of Clarence (1355-1377) m. Edmund Mortimer, 3rd Earl of March (1352-1381), and had
A3) Lady Elizabeth Mortimer (1371-1417) m. 1) Sir Henry 'Hotspur' Percy (1364-1403), and had
A4) Lady Elizabeth Percy (c.1395-1437) m. 1) John, 7th Lord Clifford (1388-1422, descended from Edward I), and had
|Wentworth/Clifford impalement in the Great Hall at Hampton Court Palace|
A6) Sir Henry Wentworth of Nettlestead (1448-1499) m. 1) Anne Say (c.1448-aft.1489), and had a son A7 and a dau C7 (see below)
A7) Sir Richard Wentworth of Nettlestead (by 1480-1528) m. Anne Tyrell (descended from Edward I), and had
A8) Thomas, 1st Baron Wentworth of Nettlestead (1501-1551) m. Margaret Fortescue (b. 1504, descended from Edward III), and had a son A9 and a dau B9 (see below)
A9) Thomas, 2nd Baron Wentworth of Nettlestead (1525-1584) m. 2) Anne Wentworth (d. 1571, descended from Edward I), and had
|1st Earl of Cleveland -|
see Generation A11
A11) Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Cleveland (1591-1667) m. 1) Anne Crofts (see B12 below), and had
A12) Anne, 7th Baroness Wentworth of Nettlestead (1623-1697) m. John, 2nd Baron Lovelace of Hurley (1634-1670), and had
A13) Hon. Margaret Lovelace (1642-1671) m. Sir William Noel, 2nd Baronet of Kirkby Mallory (c.1640-1675, descended from Edward III), and had
A14) Sir John Noel, 4th Baronet of Kirkby Mallory (1667-1697) m. Mary Clobery (c.1672-1751), and had
A15) Sir Clobery Noel, 5th Baronet of Kirkby Mallory (1694-1733) m. Elizabeth Rowney (c.1695-1743), and had
A16) Edward Noel, 1st Viscount Wentworth of Wellesborough (1715-1774) m. Judith Lamb (1725-1761), and had
A17) Thomas Noel, 2nd Viscount Wentworth of Wellesborough (1745-1815) = Anna Caterina van Loo (c.1750-1781), and had
A18) Rev. Thomas Noel of Kirkby Mallory, illegit. (1775-1853) m. 1) Catherine Smith (see C16 below), and had
|Francis Edward 'Frank' Noel|
- see Generation A20
A20) FRANCIS EDWARD 'Frank' NOEL of Achmetaga, b. 31 July 1844 Leamington Priors, bap. 4 Sept. 1844 All Saints Church, Leamington Priors; d. 28 Sept. 1919 Achmetaga, bur. there; m. 26 Feb. 1876 St Stephen Kensington, London (divorce c.1885)[*3], EDITH ELLEN VINER, bap. 8 Aug. 1856 All Saints Church, St John's Wood, Middlesex; bur. 19 Aug. 1893 St Peter Church, Turnham, Buckinghamshire, yst dau. of Thomas Viner, coffee merchant, of Ceylon & Wavendon Lodge, Woburn, Buckinghamshire (c.1808-1884) and Emma ---, and had
A21) IRENE NOEL, b. 26 July 1878 Achmetaga; d. 8 Feb. 1956 Belgravia, London, bur. St James Churchyard, Heyshott, Sussex; m. 12 June 1915 Crabbet Park, Surrey, PHILIP JOHN BAKER [later NOEL-BAKER], Baron Noel-Baker of Derby, b. 1 Nov. 1889 Brondesbury Park, Brent, Middlesex; d. 8 Oct. 1982 Belgravia, bur. St James Churchyard, Heyshott, yr son of (Joseph) Allen Baker of Brondesbury Park, M.P. (1852-1918) and Elizabeth Balmer Moscrip (1849-1930), and had issue,
A22) FRANCIS EDWARD NOEL-BAKER, M.P. (1920-2009 - see details above)
|Frances Isabella 'Fanny' (née Doyle) Noel (1819-1845)|
[Image from An Isle of Greece: the Noels in Euboea]
|Edith (née Viner) Noel (1856-1893) |
[Image from An Isle of Greece: the Noels in Euboea]
[*3] The marriage of Edith and Frank Noel disintegrated rather dramatically amidst their quiet rural existence at Achmetaga. Edith was a dozen years younger than her husband, and had enjoyed the busy social scene back in England. She succumbed to the charms of the married Apostolos Papadopoulos, who had bought Dafnonda, the neighbouring estate to Achmetaga. Papadopoulos was a compulsive gambler and a playboy who never allowed a pretty woman to pass unnoticed, and was left to his own devices by his philanthropic wife. Edith Noel's affair with him resulted in a son, whom she bore in Paris and named Jim de la Haye. Edith returned to England, was formally divorced from Frank Noel, saw her children infrequently and died in 1893 in insolation, socially disgraced, at the young age of 37. The Viners were a successful mercantile family and her father Thomas Viner had established a coffee plantation in Ceylon, returning to England in the mid-19th century with the fortune he had made from it. There are no apparent lines back to Edward I in his ancestry. I'm unable to further identify Edith's mother Emma. It appears she and Thomas Viner had married in Ceylon, but the register books for the relevant period have not survived. Edith had only two children with Frank Noel before her affair, separation and divorce--daughter Irene Noel-Baker, and a son, Byron Viner Basil Noel (1880-1959).
|Crofts Coat of Arms|
[Or, three bulls' heads, cabossed sable]
B9) Anne Wentworth (c.1523-1575) m. John Poley of Badley Hall (d. 1589), and had
B10) Susan Poley (c.1545-1604) m. Thomas Crofts of West Stow Hall (c.1540-1612, descended from Edward I), and had
B11) Sir John Crofts of Little Saxham Hall (c.1565-1628) m. Mary Shirley (d. 1649, descended from Edward I), and had
B12) Anne Crofts (c.1593-1638) m. Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Cleveland (see A11 above)
C7) Margery Wentworth (c.1478-1550) m. Sir John Seymour of Wolf Hall (c.1474-1536), and had
C8) Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, Lord Protector (c.1500-1552) m. 2) Anne Stanhope (c.1510-1587, descended from Edward III), and had
C9) Lady Elizabeth Seymour (1550-1602) m. Sir Richard Knightley of Fawsley Hall (1533-1615, descended from Edward I), and had
C10) Sir Seymour Knightley of Norton (1580-1640) m. Dorothy Bedell (d. 1633), and had
C11) Anne Knightley (c.1620-1699) m. Dr. Jonathan Holled of Cottingham (1612-1680), and had
C12) Rev. Knightley Holled of Barby (c.1650-1700) m. Anne Mayne (d. 1730), and had
C13) Anne Holled (c.1680-1766) m. John Smith of Leire (1672-1742), and had
C14) Knightley Smith of Leire (c.1710-1740) m. Darell Jervis (1713-1740), and had
C15) Holled Smith of Normanton Turville Hall (1732-1795) m. Elizabeth Grace (1738-1786), and had
C16) Catherine Smith (1773-1832) m. Rev. Thomas Noel of Kirkby Mallory (see A18 above)
The next post will examine the Edward III descents of Muriel Jane Baird, wife of Byron Noel, maternal uncle of Francis Noel-Baker.