Florence Barbara Maria (née von Sass), Lady Baker (1841-1916), Traveller in Africa; second wife of Sir Samuel White Baker
Sitter in 4 portraits
Born Florence Barbara Maria Finnin von Sass, possibly in Romania, her Eastern European parents were killed when she was seven. At seventeen she was about to be sold in an Ottoman slave market in Hungary when an English widower, Sam Baker, rescued her. Together they travelled to Africa in 1861, searching for the source of the River Nile. The Bakers reached Luta N'Zige, the secondary source of the Nile, which they called Lake Albert . In 1865 they made a journey to Britain to marry. Queen Victoria would never accept Florence at court, although Sam received a knighthood. Their second African journey from 1870-3 reported on the Nile slave trade. Returning to Britain, Florence outlived Sam by twenty-three years.