BARRINGTON, Robert (c.1595-1640), of Hatfield Bury and Lacheleys, Steeple Bumpstead, Essex

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



Family and Education

b. c.1595, 2nd s. of Sir Francis Barrington* (d.1628) and Joan, da. of Sir Henry Cromwell alias Williams† of Hinchingbrooke, Hunts.; bro. of Sir Thomas*.1 educ. G. Inn 1613.2 m. 18 July 1620 (with 1,000 marks),3 Dorothy, da. of Thomas Eden I* of Ballingdon, Essex, wid. of Walter Barrett of Sudbury, Suff., 2s. (1 d.v.p.) 1da.4 d. 26 Feb. 1640.5 sig. Rob[er]t Barrington.

Offices Held

Commr. sewers, Essex 1628, Mdx. 1639;6 j.p. Saffron Walden, Essex 1634-d.7


The Barringtons and their kinsmen made up one of the largest extended family groups in the 1628 Parliament, presided over by Sir Francis, a renowned Forced Loan refuser, who was re-elected knight of the shire for Essex. Barrington had acquired the manor of Lacheleys, 18 miles north of his ancestral home, by marriage to a sister-in-law of Sir Edward Barrett*.8 He joined his eldest brother, Thomas, as Member for Newtown in the Isle of Wight, where the family owned extensive property.9 During the Parliament he corresponded regularly with his mother, occasionally helping to smooth relations between her and his brothers.10 In common with the family’s puritan outlook, religious concerns are the dominant theme of Barrington’s parliamentary activity; on 23 Apr. 1628 he was among those ordered to consider the subscription bill, and on 12 May he was added with his brother to the committee to prepare a report on recusants.11

Shortly after the start of the second session, on 28 Jan. 1629, Barrington informed his mother that the House had unanimously resolved to make religion its ‘main business and first in agitiation’. He added that ‘many excellent speeches were made both yesterday and this day in the cause of religion against both Popery and Arminianism’, and entreated her prayers for ‘this so weighty business, the success whereof is and will be the foundation of our happiness or misery’.12 However, by 9 Feb. he complained that ‘there is yet little done in Parliament’, and apologized for having no time to write to his wife: ‘I thank God the confidence I have in her takes away the care that might otherwise trouble me in the great employment I now am in’.13 His last committee (12 Feb.) was for a revived Essex estate bill, with which his brother had already been involved in the first session.14 Two days later he was granted four days’ leave of absence, and may not have returned before the end of the Parliament on 2 March.15

Barrington seems to have played no further part in public affairs. Shortly before his death he made a disastrous investment of £800 in voyages to New England.16 He died on 26 Feb. 1640 and was succeeded by his infant son Thomas.17 None of his direct descendants entered Parliament.

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Virginia C.D. Moseley / Rosemary Sgroi


  • 1. Barrington Letters ed. A. Searle (Cam. Soc. ser. 4. xxviii), 27, 254.
  • 2. GI Admiss.
  • 3. Soc. Gen., Sudbury All Saints par. reg.; C142/450/72.
  • 4. C.F.D. Sperling, ‘Ballingdon Hall and the Eden Fam.’, Trans. Essex Arch. Soc. n.s. xviii. 170-1; PROB 11/187, f. 360v.
  • 5. C142/603/109.
  • 6. C181/3, ff. 253v, 272; 181/5, f. 143.
  • 7. C231/5, p. 134; C181/4, f. 174; 181/5, f. 117v.
  • 8. Morant, Essex, ii. 354; PROB 11/132, f. 341.
  • 9. Procs. 1628, vi. 157.
  • 10. Barrington Letters, 46-48, 50-54, 81.
  • 11. CJ, i. 887b, 896b.
  • 12. Barrington Letters, 50-1.
  • 13. Ibid. 53-4.
  • 14. CJ, i. 929a.
  • 15. Ibid. 930a.
  • 16. Eg. 2650, f. 354.
  • 17. C142/603/109.