Ashburton, Alexander Baring, Baron, was born in 1774, being the son of Sir Francis Baring, a wealthy London merchant and financier, of German extraction. He succeeded to the baronetcy and headship of the firm in 1810, and entered Parliament as a Whig, but at the passing of the Reform Bill he became a moderate Conservative. In 1834 he joined Peel's ministry as president of the Board of Trade, and on retiring from office next year was made a peer. In 1841 he was sent to America to settle boundary disputes with the United States, and concluded the Ashburton Treaty. He abandoned Peel when that minister changed his views as to the corn-laws, and after the repeal he took no active part in politics. He died in 1848.