Barrington, John Saute
published viscount born
BARRINGTON, JOHN SAUTE, FIRST VISCOUNT, a nobleman distinguished for theological learning, was the youngest son of Benjamin Shute, merchant, and was born at Theobald, in Hertfordshire, in 1678. He received part of his education at the University of Utrecht ; and, after returning to England, studied law in the Inner Temple. In 1701 he published several pamphlets in favour of the civil rights of Protestant dissenters, to which class he belonged. On the recommendation of Lord Somers, he was employed to induce the Presbyterians in Scotland to favour the union of the two kingdoms, and in 1708 he was rewarded for this service by being appointed to the office of commissioner of the customs. From this, however, he was removed on the change of administration in 1711 ; but his fortune had, in the meantime, been improved by the bequest of two considerable estates, - one of them left him by Francis Barrington of Tofts, whose name he assumed by Act of Parliament, the other by John Wildman of Becket. Barrington now stood at the head of the dissenters. On the accession of George I. he was returned member of parliament for Berwick-upon-Tweed ; and in 1720 the king raised him to the Irish peerage, by the title of Viscount Barrington of Ardglass. But having unfortunately engaged in the Harburg lottery, one of the bubble speculations of the time, he incurred the disgrace of expulsion from the House of Commons in 1723, - a punishment which was considered greatly too severe, and was thought to be due to personal malice on the part of Walpole. In 1725 he published his principal work, entitled Miscellanea Sacra, or a _Yew Method of considering so much of the History of the Apostles as is contained in Scripture, in an Abstract of their History, an Abstract of that Abstract, and four Critical Essays, 2 vols. 8vo, - afterwards reprinted with additions and corrections, in 3 vols. Svo, 1770, by his son, the bishop of Durham. In the same year he published An Essay on the Several Dispensations of God to Mankind. He was the author of various other tracts, chiefly on subjects relating to religious toleration. He died in 1734. Of his large family four were distinguished.
The eldest, WILLIAM WILD3IAN, second Viscount Barrington (born 1717, died 1793), held important Government offices. From 1755 to 1761 he was secretary at war, from 1761 to 1762 chancellor of the exchequer, from 1762 to 1765 treasurer of the navy, and from 1765 to 1778 secretary at war again. He resigned in that year, receiving a handsome pension. In 1782 he held office for a short time as postmaster-general The Hon. DAINES BARRING/ON, the third son, born in 1727, was a distiugished antiquary and naturalist. He was educated for the profession of the law, and after filling various posts, was appointed a Welsh judge in 1757, and afterwards second justice of Chester. He never rose to much eminence at the bar, but he showed his knowledge of the law as a subject of liberal study by a valuable publication, entitled Observations on the Statutes, chiefly the more ancient, front Magna Charta to 21st James I. cap. 27, with an Appendix, being a proposal for new-modelling the Statutes, 1766, 4to, a work which has a high reputation among historians and constitutional antiquaries. In 1773 he published an edition of Orosius, with Alfred's Saxon version, and an English translation with original notes. His Tracts on the Probability of reaching the North Pole, 1775, 4to, were written in consequence of the northern voyage of discovery undertaken by Captain Phipps, afterwards Lord Mulgrave. In them he has accumulated a variety of evidence favourable to his own opinion of the practicability of attaining the object in which that voyage had failed ; and it is not improbable that his views and arguments had some effect in determining the Government at a later period to renew the attempt. Mr Barrington's other writings are chiefly to be found in the publications of the Royal and Antiquarian Societies, of both of which he was long an assiduous member, and of the latter vice- president. Many of these were collected by him in a quarto volume entitled- Miscellanies on various Subjects. 1781. Among the most curious and ingenious of his papers, are his Experiments and Observations on the Singing of Birds, and his Essay on the Language of Birds. He died on the 14th March 1800, and was buried in the Temple church.