BARRY, Hon. Richard (c.1720-87), of Marbury, Cheshire.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1747 - 1761

Family and Education

b. c.17201, 2nd s. of James Barry, 4th Earl of Barrymore [I], by his 3rd w. m. 4 May 1749, Jane da. and h. of Arthur Hyde of Castle Hyde, Ireland, 1s.

Offices Held

Lt. R.N. 1740, cdr. 1745.


In 1743-4, Barry, though a lieutenant in the navy, acted as his father’s secretary in the negotiations between the English Jacobites and the French, and was employed rallying supporters ‘in London and Westminster’.2 In January 1744 he was sent by his father to join the French expedition against England which was being prepared at Dunkirk, with a view to using his experience as a British naval officer to assist the French in effecting a landing on the English coast. At Dunkirk he met and formed a close friendship with the Young Pretender who, according to Marshal Saxe, the commander of the French expedition, ‘regarde sans cesse le fils de my Lord Barrymore qui a une très jolie figure, mais qui me parait être une innocente victime des idées de son père; ce qui ne m’est de nulle ressource’.3

After the abandonment of the expedition Lord Barrymore wrote to Newcastle, 1 Dec. 1744, to inquire about Barry’s prospects of promotion:

When I had last the honour to pay my respects ... I asked your Grace whether you thought it proper that my son should quit the service in the navy ... You were so good as to tell me you did not think it proper at that time ... I saw Lord Winchilsea who told me he ought to continue in the service and that he would take care no injustice be done to him in the course of preferment, but matters turned out otherways and several have been made captains that were his juniors. I do not trouble your Grace with this in the least to incumber you with the advancement of a person that may be obnoxious but to prevent any malicious insinuations on me or him if he quits the service.4

Newcastle replied advising Barry to remain in the navy, and on 11 Apr. 1745 he was promoted commander.

During the Forty-five Barry was sent to Derby with promises of support from his father and Sir Watkin Williams Wynn but arrived two days after the Young Pretender had left.5 This seems to have closed his naval career; in 1746 one of his father’s supporters at Wigan observed: ‘I can’t perceive he’ll go any more to sea. He does not know what he’ll do, neither does his father’.6

In February 1747 Barry visited the Young Pretender at Avignon with a message from his father.7 On his return he had ‘a very narrow escape ... he fell into the sea getting out of the ship into a little boat pursued by a man-of-war’.8 Returned for Wigan on his father’s interest in 1747, he was described by the 2nd Lord Egmont:

Bred a Jacobite, but an extreme idle man and will attend little. He will live chiefly in Ireland. He has lately married the daughter of Mr. Hyde, knight of the shire for the county of Cork, a true Whig and a worthy man, a relative and friend of mine. What influence this may have on him I know not.

On which Frederick, Prince of Wales, commented: ‘Will I daresay be with us, so old Wills [i.e. chief justice Sir John Willes] assures me’.

Continuing to correspond with the Young Pretender9 Barry was probably present when the Prince met his English supporters in London in September 1750.10 Re-elected unopposed in 1754, he did not stand again.

He died 23 Nov. 1787.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. Under standing naval instructions the minimum age for lt. was 20. Jas. Barry's 1st s. was b. 25 Apr. 1717, his 4th 28 July 1725.
  • 2. Memo. of 25 Oct. 1743, Stuart mss 253/51; Sempill to the Pretender 8 June 1744, ibid. 257/95.
  • 3. 28 Feb. 1744, J. Colin, Louis XV et les Jacobites, 148.
  • 4. Add. 32703, ff. 449-51.
  • 5. See BARRY, Jas. and WILLIAMS, Watkin.
  • 6. Geo. Winstanley to Sir R. Bradshaigh, 5 May 1746, Rylands, Crawford mss.
  • 7. Mahon, iii. 277.
  • 8. Stuart mss 281/156.
  • 9. Ibid. 310/43.
  • 10. Ibid. 310/116; Sir H. Mann's despatch, quoted by Lord Mahon in The Times, 29 Dec. 1864.