Thomas Hervey Baber was born on the 29th of September 1777 at Slingsby Parsonage in Yorkshire.  This imposing three storey grey stone house still stands immediately behind the church in this small village on the edge of the North York Moors. He was the second son of Thomas and Elizabeth Baber.
Thomas’s maternal family was called Berriman, and it would appear that her family probably originated from the village of Slingsby  or the surrounding area as many of the tombstones and monuments in the churchyard carry the Berriman family name.
Thomas’s father was a solicitor who had trained at the Temple in London. However we know very little about Tom’s father’s career.Possibly it was a change in his career that caused the family to moved south to Stamford in Lincolnshire  during 1780.
In 1782 his parents moved on again to London. Leaving Tom and his elder brother Henry to stay behind in Stamford at Mr Broughton’s school. During 1784 Henry and Tom left the school and travelled on down the Great North Road to London to rejoin their parents.
It is possible, but not certain that Tom went with his elder brother to St Paul’s school in London, for a short while. The family initially lived in New Ormond Street for a short period leading up to 18th September 1789 when they moved to Red Lion Street in Clerkenwell. 
Red Lion Street, Clerkenwell, London.
Thomas went to Haileybury, which was the East India Company College for aspiring Civil Servants. When Tom was seventeen his childhood home broke up, when his parents separated on the 9th of September 1794. Unfortunately we do not know the cause of the breakdown of his parent’s marriage, but eventually his parents became reconciled when Mrs Baber rejoined her husband in Newbury in March 1800. Whatever caused the rift, his brother Henry later recorded that on September the 16th 1794 the boys moved to a new house at 9 Great Shire Lane. 
Eighteen months later in 1796, Tom petitioned to join the East India Company. His file contains the following certificate showing: -
It would appear that Tom had been given additional training in book keeping with a view to his becoming a Writer in the East India Company, and following his uncle Edward Baber’s career. His uncle who had been Secretary to Warren Hastings in Calcutta, and who rose to become head of the Provincial Council in Murshidabad was most probably his sponsor. Tom’s "bond & cover" document signed before his entry into the East India Company was dated 12 April 1796. 
One can only imagine the excitement and anxiety that must have accompanied the arrangements being made for Tom’s departure for India half way around the world at the height of the war with France.
What I wonder were his mother’s thoughts?
By 1796 she was living in Greenwich,  probably to be nearer to Tom’s younger brother James  who was at that time studying at the Woolwich Academy to be an Indian army officer.
Tom set out shortly afterwards for India. His brother Henry Baber wrote in July 1796 that he: -
The East India Company maintained a depot on the Isle of Wight in which recruits were assembled before joining the convoys of East Indiamen setting out for India.
In 1798 Henry wrote in his diary: -
As Henry’s diary only records major events in Henry’s life, one is left wondering how often he otherwise wrote to his brother.
Tom’s younger brother James was also appointed to be a cadet in the East India Company service at Madras in January 1798, and sailed in the HEICS Good Hope commanded by Captain Hilton on the 14th of April 1798.
Tom had sailed to Bombay, where he appears to have rapidly found his feet. Leaving England in August 1796 it would have taken the ship about four months to reach India, arriving in the New Year 1797
On February 7th 1798 Henry records that his father had received the following letter from his brother: -
It would appear that within months of his arrival in Bombay, Thomas was sent down the coast to Calicut.
 Greenwich, A seaport and the site of the Royal Naval Hospital situated on the River Thames several miles downstream of the City of London. Two miles from Woolwich where most Artillery and Engineer offices were trained, including many aspiring cadets destined for the East India Company.
 James Hervey Baber. (1780 to 1819) Served in the East India Company rising to become a Major in the Madras Infantry, he was invalided 30th April 1819, and died on the 27th November 1819. His wife was born in 1795.
 Henry Hervey Baber’s Memoranda..
 Henry Hervey Baber’s Memoranda..