Mr Richard Baines 1 (Greaser) was born in Dublin, Ireland around 1854 2, the son of Lawrence Baines 3, but little else is known about his background or early life.
He was married in St Anthony's Roman Catholic Church in Liverpool on 26 November 1879 to Sarah Curran (b. circa 1855), herself the daughter of Irish migrants John and Mary Curran. His address at the time was given as 60 Adelaide Street.
Richard and Sarah had five surviving children: Lawrence Curran (b. 1881), Richard (b. 1882), John Curran (b. 1884), Mary (b. 1887) and Daniel Curran (b. 1891). The family appear on the 1891 census residing at 75 Olivia Street, Walton, Liverpool and Richard is described as a marine fireman.
Baines seemingly came to England as a young man in search of work, first appearing on ships' crew manifests as early as 1877, records that display an illustrious career. In 1877 he was working as a fireman aboard City Of Chester and seemingly spent a few years aboard that ship and by 1882 was working aboard City of Richmond. By the close of 1884 he had earned his living aboard at least three ships, including Aurania, City of Rome and Augustine and 1886 shows him serving aboard two, America and Lanfranc whilst the following year he would be aboard Servia. By 1890, when serving aboard City of New York, Baines was working as a greaser and made several voyages aboard that ship but by 1893 had shifted to the Southwark and was again working as a fireman, specifying his address on one voyage as 205 Arlington Street, Liverpool.
Sometime prior to 1900 Baines and his family relocated and settled in Southampton but he would continue to serve on ships operating out of Liverpool, including Custodian and Kildorary Castle. He became a widower in 1900 when his wife Sarah died aged 44.
Perhaps without family nearby to care for his children he was forced to continue to work at sea, leaving his offspring to fend for themselves. They were shown on the 1901 census as residents of an address in Sholing, 19 Defender Road, with his second son, 18-year-old Richard (an apprentice ship's plater) being the man of the house. His elder son Lawrence also worked at sea as a storekeeper and they served aboard several ships together; 1901 saw Richard serving aboard Canada and Lake Erie and by 1906 he was working on Empress of Britain. In 1907 he began a career as a greaser aboard Majestic and his final recorded ship out of Liverpool was in 1910 aboard Camillo.
Baines' daughter Mary was married at age 17 to Alexander MacIntosh, a seaman; by the time of the 1911 census they were residents of 9 Union Place, Southampton with their two children, Eupehmia (b. 1907) and William (b. 1909) and she would go on to have two more children, Alexander (b. 1912) and Herbert (b. 1914).
His youngest son Daniel was shown on the same census as a Private in the 1st Battalion Dorset Regiment located at Alma Barracks, Blackdown, Hampshire.
His son Richard, a boiler maker plater, lived with his wife Florence Beatrice, née Hurst (b. 1885) and two children, Rosina Florence (b. 1906) and Richard (b. 1908) at 1 Princess Cottage on Short Street, Southampton; they would go on to have a further five children: Alice (b. 1911), John (b. 1913), Daniel (b. 1916), Lawrence (b. 1918) and Florence (b. 1922).
His son Lawrence was married in 1908 to Lillian Wells (b. 1889) and had four children: Lilian Maud (b. 1909), Lawrence (b. 1910), John (b. 1911) and Kathleen (b. 1915) and their 1911 address was 51 Porchester Road, Woolston.
The whereabouts of his son John is not clear although it is possible he died at an early age 4.
When he signed on to the Titanic on 6 April 1912 Baines gave his local address as 9 Union Place, Southampton, the home of his daughter Mary. His previous ship had been the St Paul and as a greaser he could expect monthly wages of £6, 10s.
Richard Baines was lost in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified.
The final whereabouts of most of Baines' children is unknown although judging by various marriage records of their own children, etc, it can be surmised that they largely remained in Southampton; his son Richard died there in 1944.
- Spelling varies across records; variations include Baines, Banes and Baynes, possibly also Behan.
- Exact age unclear; when he joined Titanic he claimed to be 54. The 1891 census places his age as 36 whilst early crew manifests also place his time of birth around 1854/1855. Some later crew records place his year of birth as around 1862.
- Father named as Lawrence in marriage record. Richard was possibly the son of Laurence Behan/Baines and Rose Murray. This Richard was baptised on 12 August 1855 in Lucan, Dublin but it is not clear if they are the same person.
- Present on the 1901 census he was described as a rivet catcher; a John C. Baines, b. circa 1885; died 1917 in Auckland, Durham. Whether this is the same person is not known.