Leeds MPs

BAYNES, Adam (1622–1670) Parliamentarian soldier.

Having fought at Adwalton Moor and Marston Moor, he became a captain in General John Lambert’s Parliamentary army in 1646. The new Commonwealth Government issued writs for a general election and Leeds was granted a Parliamentary seat for the first time. In 1654 Baynes was chosen as a candidate on a platform for reforming the 1626 charter. Despite bitter opposition from Francis Allanson and Martin Iles, who claimed Baynes was an ‘atheist and schismatic’, he was elected on 14 July 1654 and thus became the first member of Parliament for Leeds. He supported the small clothiers and he endorsed their struggle to be allowed to work on Sundays. Dissatisfied in the way Parliament behaved, Cromwell called a second election. Baynes was again returned on 20 August 1656. It was said he was ‘much accquainted with the pasadges & transactions thereof’. Leeds lost its seat in 1658 and Baynes became MP for Appleby the following year. For further reading see D. Hirst,‘The fracturing of the Cromwellian alliance: Leeds and Adam Baynes’, 108, English Historical Review (1993); D. Scott, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography online edition (Oxford, 2014).