- Charles Robert Baker
Washington Irving was born on 3 April 1783 in New York City, the year that the Paris Peace Treaty recognized the United States as an independent nation. He was named after the country's hero, George Washington, who—legend has it—placed his hand on the infant's head and blessed him after an Irving maidservant presented the baby to him in a New York City shop. Irving's father, William Irving, was a Scotsman who had amassed the family's substantial fortune by establishing a hardware import and wholesale business with warehouses in New York City and Liverpool. He and his wife, Sarah Sanders Irving, had eleven children, three of whom died in infancy. Washington was the youngest and, by all accounts, the darling of the family, pampered by his four brothers and three sisters and indulged by his parents.