The Bakers of Corve Farm

 The Baker family lived at Corve Farm, Chale, Isle of Wight for over a hundred years, between c1730 to c1840. They were yeoman farmers, rather than tenants, owning, or more likely leasing, the farm and various other properties in the area.    Chale is west of Blackgang Chine - this postcard is looking towards Chale from Blackgang. The main road going down to the the village is Blythes Shute, presumably the location of Blythes Farm where William Baker was living in the 1851 census.
The complicated document "barring the entail" (Document 1 under "David Baker 3") suggests that Corve and Ryall Farms were part of the estate of the Worsley family of Gatcombe House, north of Chale. "Barring the entail" means that property that had been entailed to pass from one generation to another could be released from the arrangement and sold. This document is from 1765 and the Bakers were still at Corve until well after 1800 so I don't know what effect this actually had.

These documents show that the Bakers were connected to a network of families with property in the southern part of the Isle of Wight.


I have found three Bakers on website who might be ancestors. Freshwater is a few miles west of Chale, but there are no Bakers listed in Chale or surrounding villages in the 16th century. 

William Baker  married Julian Smith 24/1565 - the parents of

David Baker christened  4/10/1579 Freshwater IOW

David Baker  christened 1613 Freshwater IOW, Will 1639

If these are ancestors of the Bakers of Chale there must be a generation missing before the first of the definitely identified Bakers.
Before the censuses (from 1851 - as there is no trace of the family in the 1841 census) the dates are from the gravestones in Chale Churchyard, index cards in the Isle of Wight record office and dates from The "Access2Archives" website lists various legal documents which give an idea of the different properties owned (or leased) by the family, and their connections with other local families.
The gravestones are on the left of the path to the church entrance.
David Baker  1

Born  c1664 , who married Ann Woodford 3 Mar 1684 Yaverland (Niton)


Copy of probate of will of Abraham Woodford of Chale, yeoman, dated 13 December 1725  AC 85/89/62   1728 September 9

These documents are held at Isle of Wight Record Office

Contents :
Inter alia
My land in Carisbrooke Field to my nephew David Baker of Whitwell


Document no.3 under "David Baker 3" mentions this property given to David Baker, but then refers to this David Baker as the father of "David Baker 3". In fact Abraham Woodford's nephew was the grandfather of "David Baker 3."

Niton is a village west of Chale. Corve Farm may have been bought by this David Baker. Whitwell is a small village near Ventnor. The record of the wedding is from Niton, which would have been the wife's home parish.

David Baker 2

Born:   c1688

Died: 1759

"David Baker of Corve in this Parish, Yeoman, deceased 26th September 1759, also Sarah, relict of David Baker, died May 3rd 1763" (Chale gravestone)

Married: Sarah Jollif 1713


Probate of will of Sarah Baker of Corve, p. Chale, spinster, dated 15 October 1759. Legacies to "my sisters, Elizabeth, wife of Robert Barkham and Mary, Sarah, Benjamin and Robert Barkham, her children, and Mary, wife of Thomas Moorman and her children, John, Mary, Grace, Sarah, Elizabeth and Thomas Moorman. My brother, David Baker, sole executor"  AC 85/89/63   1764 June 3


Sarah Jollif was probably the daughter of William Jolliffek, known as  Captain Jolliffe (of the militia) of Kingston, the neighbouring farm (and village) to Corve. (see Document 1 under " 3 David Baker"). The Jolliffe's owned extensive property in the area and William Jolliffe is described as "gent" rather than yeoman.

This will reveals other local family connections through Sarah Baker nee Jolliffe's sisters

David Baker

Born: c1729

Died: 1795

"David Baker of Corve, who departed this life August 9th 1795, aged 66" (Chale gravestone)

Married: Ann Brown, born c 1741 on 8th March 1766

"Ann, wife of David Baker of Corve, who departed this life January 13th 1826 aged 85 years (Chale gravestone - same stone as David Baker d 1795)


Deed to declare uses of a final concord for barring the entail  AC 95/48/8   4 Apr 1765

These documents are held at Isle of Wight Record Office

Upon two third parts of the manors of Beauchamp & Cains Court and the capital messuages and farms called Beauchamp Farm and Cains Court Farm, also Urrys tenement, Normans tenement, Buddle Farm in occ. of William Broman, Hoads otherwise Howards, late in occ. of Robert Guy, William Broman & William Harvey, Jobsons tenement, Taylors, Blakes and Norths, Wellhouse & Howards, Haynes's tenement and lands belonging, heretofore in possession of Alice Lock. Lands called Orchards alias Froglands, Trills otherwise Eades two tenements, Dunkinsons, Boyce's tenement heretofore in poss. of David Boyce, Blakes Close, heretofore in tenure of Francis Snudden, parcel of land called Urrys in occ. of [blank] Blyth and in the yearly rents, dates and services issuing due and payable thereon.
Also 2/3rds of the manor of Kingston and of the capital messuage called Kingston Farm in ps. of Kingston and Shorwell now in occ. of Jacob Jolliffe and of Dungewood Farm in the same parishes in occ. of James Lowe and of Atherfield Farm and Tuttons in the same parishes, both in occ. of James Russell and of Corve and Ryall Farms in the parishes of Shorwell, Kingston and Chale in occ. of David Baker and of Stroud Green and Days Farms in the p. of Chale in occ. of Thomas Hinton and of Ivy House in the parishes of Shorwell and Kingston in occ. of William Sivier and of 2 farms called Harts and Byles [at Rookley] in the parish of Godshill, now in possession of [blank] Hayden, which two third parts were left to (1) by her aunt, Jane Meux, deceased.
(1) Dame Elizabeth Worsley, widow and relict of Sir Edward Worsley, late of Gatcombe House, deceased.
(2) Rev. Francis Worsley of Chale, I.W. deceased
2 copies of final concord enclosed.


Counterpart lease for 13 years for parcel of meadow ground called Hobb's Close, p. Carisbrooke, near adjoining to Carisbrooke Common Field (1½a.) now in possession of (2)  AC 85/89/65   1773 March 13

These documents are held at Isle of Wight Record Office

(1) David Baker, p. Chale, yeoman
(2) Joseph Stark, p. Carisbrooke, yeoman


Absolute assignment of lease for remainder of term of 1,000 years  AC 85/89/66   1780 July 5

These documents are held at Isle of Wight Record Office

Granted by John Miller of Chichester, Esq., to Robert Woodford, then of Carisbrooke, yeoman of 3 acres land in Hobb's Close on north and south parts and at east end and 1a. in the common field at the upper and s.w. corner of the west end of Hobbses Close, abutting on land of the p. Carisbrook on south, a hedge on north, Hobbs Close on east, and the land then of Richard Harvey and in occ. of Daniel Gustard on west and also 1 acre in Carisbrooke Field at the upper and south west corner of the said west end of Hobbs's Close, abutting on the close on the east, the land of said Richard Harvey, then late in occ. of Daniel Gustard on west, the land of John Bull, merchant, then late in occ. of Octavian Ballard, decd., on south and the land of Mary Serle, widow, then late in occ. of Daniel Gustard on north, all within the parish of Carisbrooke and formerly in occ. of one John Dicker. Also assignment of lease for 1,000 years dated 10 October 1698 from John Bull of City of London, merchant, to Abraham Woodford of Chale, yeoman, of parcel of ground in Hobbs's Close adjoining the common field of Carisbrooke, which Abraham Woodford left to his nephew David Baker, deceased, father of David Baker, party hereto
(1) David Baker of Chale, yeoman
Elizabeth Barkham of St. Helens, widow
Thomas Moorman of Chale, husbandmen
John Moorman of Chale, husbandmen
Only children of Thomas Moorman of Chale, husbandman and Mary his wife (late Mary Baker, spinster)
John Perry of Newport, gardener
Ann his wife, formerly Ann Baker, spinster, which David Baker, Elizabeth Barkham, Mary Moorman and Ann Perry, with Sarah and Grace Baker, both decd., were the only children of David Baker, late of the parish of Chale, yeoman, intestate
(2) Richard Bassett of Newport, surgeon and apothocary


These documents suggest that the Bakers had rights over various other properties at different times. Document 1 mentions Corve and Ryall Farms in the occupation of David Baker, and that they extend into the neighbouring parishes of Shorwell and Kingston and the others refer to land in Hobb's Close, Carisbrooke, that Abraham Woodford had passed on to his nephew David Baker.

David Baker 4

Born: before 1785

Died: April 17th 1837

"In memory of David Baker, late of Corve, who died April 17th 1837" (Chale gravestone)

Married: Jane, died 1851

"In memory of Jane, wife of the late David Baker, who died Nov 29th 1851, aged 65 years" (Chale gravestone)

Son: William (see below)

Daughters: "Jemima and Jane, daughters of David and Jane Baker Died Nov. 20th 1835 (Chale gravestone - presumably died at birth - the mother   was 49!)

"Ellen Elizabeth Baker, daughter of David and Jane late of Corve who died May 20th 1846 aged 11 years."

This is the David Baker who built the barn which still survives (at least did in 1993) at Corve as it has a stone marked "DB 1814".

By the 1841 census Corve Farm was occupied by a family called Smith and the Bakers have temporarily vanished. As "David Baker 4" had died in 1837 it seems likely that the farm had been sold around the time of his death, but there   is no clue why. By 1851 the family is at Blythes Farm, which must have been near the main road into Chale from Blackgang Chine. They have two servants living with them so at that point there is no obvious sign of a decline in the family fortunes.

David Baker's widow Jane would have been alive at the time of the 1851 census but I have not been able to trace   her.

William Baker

Born:   c1818, Chale. (His age varies by several years in the censuses.)

Died:  Sometime between 1881 and 1891 censuses

Married: Charlotte (-) born 1828, Chillerton, IOW

Son: DAVID (See below)

Daughter: Ellen

Grandson: James C Baker b1866, Southampton   - who could be an illegitimate son of Ellen.

At some point the Bakers left Corve Farm. When David (3) died William was 19. David's gravestone reads "late of Corve" so it could be the family had left Corve before he died.

1851 Census:

Blythes Farm, Chale, IOW

William Baker (aged 36) - Farmer

Charlotte Baker (aged 24) - Wife

Ellen Baker (aged 4) - Daughter

Issac Blitcher (aged 22) - servant

Ann Woodford (aged 18) - servant

By 1861 William was no longer a farmer but a gardener:

1861 Census:

Rosecliff Lodge, Bonchurch

William Baker (aged 46) - Gardener

Charlotte Baker (aged 34) - Wife

David Baker (aged 8) son, born Chale.

Rosecliff was the home of Edward Frere, an agriculturalist. Rosecliff House itself  is no   longer there, probably a victim of the landslips in the Landslip Forest at Bonchurch. There is still a house called Rosecliff Lodge which we stayed in, as a holiday cottage, in 1986, not knowing of the family connection. The present lodge is probably of more recent date.

1871 Census:

Binstead (near Newport IOW)

William Baker (aged 56) - Labourer

Charlotte Baker (aged 44)   - Wife

James C W Baker (aged 6) - Grandson (possibly son of Ellen, who would have been 18 when he was born)

By this time their son, David Baker 5, was working as groom/coachman at Kenward House, Yalding, Kent, where he met and married Jane Haisman.

1881 Census:

Nelson St, 2 Belgrave Terrace, Ryde IOW

William Baker (aged 63)

Charlotte Baker (aged 53)

James C Baker (grandson) (aged 16) - Telegraph Messenger

(and 4 lodgers and a visitor)

This is presumably a lodging house.


1891 Census:

Alice Rd, Aldershot

Charlotte Baker (aged 64, born Chillerton IOW) "living on her own means."

David Baker

Born: c1852 Chale, IOW

Died: c1930

Married:   Jane Haisman (later called Prebble) born 2nd My 1852, Yalding Kent.

(See separate document about David and Jane Baker)