He entered the academy of Dr Philip Doddridge at Northampton, became minister of a congregation formed by a fusion of Presbyterians and Independents at High Street Chapel, Shrewsbury (1741), received Presbyterian ordination there (1745), resigned in 1766 owing to ill-health, and lived in retirement at Kidderminster until his death.
Another cadet was Sir John Beauchamp of Holt, minister of Richard II., who was created Lord Beauchamp of Kidderminster (the first baron created by patent) 1387, but beheaded 1388; the barony became extinct with his son in 1400.
The first mention of the cloth trade for which Kidderminster was formerly noted occurs in 1334, when it was enacted that no one should make woollen cloth in the borough without the bailiff's seal.
The interruptions to which his Kidderminster life was subjected arose from the condition of things occasioned by the civil war.
In 1852 he was returned to Parliament for Kidderminster in the Liberal interest.
In 736 lands upon the river Stour, called Stour in Usmere, which have been identified with the site of Kidderminster (Chideminstre), were given to Earl Cyneberght by King 'Ethelbald to found a monastery.
His ministry continued, with very considerable interruptions, for about nineteen years; and during that time he accomplished a work of reformation in Kidderminster and the neighbourhood which is as notable as anything of the kind upon record.
At the Domesday Survey, Kidderminster was still in the hands of the king and remained a royal manor until Henry II.
A similar tribute of general esteem was paid to him nearly two centuries later, when a statue was erected to his memory at Kidderminster in July 1875.
More recent estimates of Baxter are those given by John Tulloch in his English Puritanism and its Leaders, and by Dean Stanley in his address at the inauguration of the statue to Baxter at Kidderminster (see Macmillan's Magazine, xxxii.