Sir George Baker (1722–1809), Bt

Image credit: Royal College of Physicians, London

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Sir George Baker (1722–1809), Bt, was a well-respected and leading physician. His most important discovery was that the use of lead in cider manufacture in his native Devon was the cause of high rates of colic in the county. This discovery lead to an awareness of the dangers of lead in food contamination, and as a result the use of lead was later banned in water pipes.

Baker had a successful practice in London, where one of his patients was the famous painter and founder of the Royal Academy, Sir Joshua Reynolds. Baker became a fellow of the Royal Society and the Royal College of Physicians, London, where he later became president. He also worked as physician to George III and Queen Charlotte. He attended the king during the time of his mental illness from 1788, recommending that the king visit Cheltenham to take the waters of the spa there.

Royal College of Physicians, London



Sir George Baker (1722–1809), Bt




oil on canvas


H 76.2 x W 62.9 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

gift from Sir Frederick Baker, 1825

Work type



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