John Baylor III was a wealthy planter and one of the most significant importers and breeders of thoroughbred horses in pre-Revolutionary America. The son of a slave dealer described byas “the greatest merchant in our country,” Baylor was educated in England and, upon his return to , granted land along the Mattaponi River, where he built his estate, Newmarket. He represented Caroline County in the (1742–1752; 1756–1765) and on the county court before falling out of political favor in a dispute over how best to oppose the Stamp Act (1765). Baylor’s deepest passion was elite horseflesh and it nearly bankrupted him. By the mid-1750s, he had given up racing and was instead importing, at great expense, a dozen or more of the colony’s best thoroughbreds, which attracted the mares of , among others, for breeding. In 1764, he purchased the thoroughbred Fearnought for the unprecedented price of a thousand guineas, and it became Virginia’s premier breeding horse, whose genes were prized even into the twentieth century. Baylor, however, sank into debt and died at Newmarket in 1772 after a long illness.