Open main menu

The Baring family is a German and British family of merchants and bankers. In Germany the family belongs to the Bildungsbürgertum, whereas in England it belongs to the aristocracy.

Coat of Arms of John Baring, 7th Baron Ashburton.svg
Current regionGermany, United Kingdom
Place of originGroningen


The family's earliest known ancestor is Peter Baring (or Petrus Baring), who was a burgher of the city of Groningen, then a semi-independent city-state that was part of the Holy Roman Empire and the Hanseatic League, now part of the Netherlands, around 1500. Peter Baring's son Franz Baring (Franciscus Baringius) became the first Lutheran bishop of Lauenburg in what is now Lower Saxony in Germany from 1565. The current family in Germany and England is descended from Franz Baring. In the Electorate of Hanover, the Baring family belonged to the upper bourgeoisie, the so-called Hübsche Familien (from höfisch, courtly, associated with the court), which comprised the third elite class after the nobility and the clergy.

The English branch of the family is descended from Franz Baring (1657–1697), a professor of theology in Bremen. He was the father of Johann Baring (1697–1748), who moved from his hometown Bremen to Exeter in England to take up an apprenticeship at a wool-exporting company in 1717. Over the years Johann Baring, who was later also known as John, built a small fortune as a wool merchant. His sons Francis Baring and John Baring moved to London, where they founded the John and Francis Baring Company, commonly known as Barings Bank, in 1762. Barings Bank became one of the leading London merchant banks,[1] until it collapsed in 1995. Francis Baring was the father of Sir Thomas Baring, 2nd Baronet, who was the father of Alexander Baring, 1st Baron Ashburton. Sir Francis Baring, 2nd Baronet, was also the father of Henry Baring and the grandfather of Edward Baring, 1st Baron Revelstoke, and Evelyn Baring, 1st Earl of Cromer.

Arnulf Baring (1932–2019) was a member of the branch of the family resident in Germany.

Since the early 19th century, the Baring family maintained close relations with the Berenberg family of bankers.[2]

Peerages and titlesEdit

The Baring family is one of the most ennobled in the United Kingdom, where several family members were made peers and baronets. The family has held the following peerages:

Additionally, two baronetcies have been created for the family (in 1793 and 1911), the Baring baronets.


Family treeEdit


  1. ^ Ziegler, Philip (1988). The Sixth Great Power: Barings 1762–1929. London: Collins. ISBN 0-00-217508-8.
  2. ^ Tanja Drössel, Die Engländer in Hamburg 1914 bis 1945, pp. 107–108.