Sir Samuel and Lady Baker

Sir Samuel and Lady Baker were married in England and returned to Africa to help put an end to the slave trade. Then they retired to Devon. Then, in 1863, they commissioned a painting by Severino Baraldi of “Samuel Baker (1821-93) and the Discovery of Lake Albert.”


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Sir Samuel and Florence, Lady Baker, a couple of British aristocrats, lived quietly in the English countryside. Some sources say that Florence became the quintessential society lady; others say she kept to herself. Regardless of their personal lives, Florence and Samuel seem to have been contented with their life together until the very end. Samuel died in 1893, while Florence lived until 1916. Both are buried in the family vault in Grimley near Worcester.


Mary Baker was fourteen when she was sold into slavery at a white slave auction in 1859. She met the future Samuel Baker, an English gentleman from a landed family with a passion for hunting. Baker had already lost his first wife, Henrietta, in 1855. Nonetheless, the two of them became very close. After the death of the first wife, Baker became a widow. His second wife, Elizabeth, died in 1865, leaving him with four young daughters.

Barbara Maria Szasz

Barbara Maria Szasz, Lady Baker was born in Hungary, sold into the Ottoman slave trade, and eventually became a mistress of an English explorer. She was born blonde, blue-eyed, and a polyglot. After gaining her freedom, she married a British explorer named Sir Samuel White Baker. Together they explored the continent and became philanthropists, explorers, and advocates of Jewish causes.

Lake Albert

Sir Samuel and Lady Baker’s expedition to Lake Albert took place between 1862 and 1865. Sir Baker was a British explorer and big game hunter who met the explorers James Grant and John Hanning Speke during their expedition. The two traveled to Lake Albert in a dug-out canoe and travelled north to confirm that the Nile flowed south and north from Lake Victoria. The Bakers took about twelve days to complete their journey along the eastern shore of Lake Albert, stopping often to change oarsmen and take provisions.

Journey up the Nile

Florence Baker, a Hungarian who was married to a British explorer and naturalist, set off on a journey up the Nile with Sir Samuel Baker in 1861. The pair were searching for the source of the Nile when they discovered Lake Albert in Uganda. This lake is now named after Queen Victoria’s late husband and can be seen from Baker’s View. Florence and Samuel were buried together in the same graveyard.

Return to Africa with husband to put down slave trade

A famous example of a marriage made in the name of love is that of the lady Baker and Samuel Bak. Florence Baker married a British explorer of the Nile and they had no children. In 1865, Samuel Baker outbid another prospective buyer for Lady Florence, and the couple were married. However, Lady Baker refused to travel with her husband to put down the slave trade. Both of them died in Devon, and their deaths were commemorated in a painting by Severino Baraldi.

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