A Methodist family of yeoman and tenant farmers from Corvedale, Shropshire, who in the late 18th century relocated to the Stourport area as iron-founders. Alfred Baldwin (1840-1908) was the youngest of the seven sons of George Pearce Baldwin (1789-1840). His maternal grandfather was the veteran Wesleyan minister, Jacob Stanley. He attended what became the Queen's College, Taunton before joining the family business in Stourport, taking it over from two of his brothers in 1870 and diversifying it. He was also a director of the Great Western Railway and of the Metropolitan Bank. Though successful in business, he was noted for his unworldliness and as a benevolent employer. He had been brought up a Wesleyan, but became a High Anglican. His wife Louisa, one of the Macdonald sisters, was dogged by poor health and devoted much of her time to writing novels and poetry.
In 1892 Alfred was elected MP for Bewdley. He was succeeded in 1908 by his son Stanley Baldwin (1867-1947), created first Earl Baldwin of Bewdley in 1937, who was Prime Minister three times between 1923 and 1937, a period which including the General Strike of 1926 and the abdication of Edward VIII in 1937.