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THÉ HONOURABLE AND RIGHT REVEREND
SHUTE BARRINGTON, LL. D.
LORD BISHOP OF DURHAM,
CONTEMPORÁRÝ Biography, however useful in recording facts for which posterity may be grateful, cannot be wrought up with that glow of colouring, which gives narrative interest, and renders it delightful, without bringing upon the Author the suspicion of being actuated by motives of another kind, than the love of candour and truth. Eulogium upon purest and most exalted living characters will by the generality be represented as gross flattery; and though they will admit that the object of it is worthy of praise, yet, according to their frigid notions of propriety, that praise should be withheld till the solemn knell excites the enquiry, “what manner of man he
was ? "
To avoid, therefore, the censure of such fastidious critics, we reluctantly restrain that inclination we have often felt to delineate, as far as lay in our fceble powers, such characters as the living age reveres, and future generations will admire.
Of the dignified Prelate, whose portrait is given at the head of this volume, it would be highly gratifying to us were we enabled to present to our readers a copious memoir; but as this is not in our power, we must content ourselves with giving only a few particulars.
John SHUTE BARRINGTON, the first Viscount of the name,
and a Nobicman of distinguished public spirit, piety and learning, left at his death, in 1734, six sons; five of whom have risen to eminence, in the service of their country, and in their respective professions.
William Viscount Barrington, the eldest son, distinguished himself, not only by his political talents, but for the excellence of his heart, and the suavity and urbanity of his manners.
He successively filled the offices of Secretary of War, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Treasurer of the Navy, and Postmaster General. Francis, the second son, died young. Major-General John Barrington, the third son, commanded at the reduction of Guadaloupe, and died in 1764. Daines, who died in 1801, was à Welch Judge, and his various writings will confer honour on
His name as a learned antiquary and an ingenious naturalist. The memory of Admiral Samuel Barrington, the fifth son, stands honourably recorded in naval history, by many actions of eminent skill and bravery, especially at the reduction of St. Lucia in 1778 ; when, with a very small force, he repulsed the French Admiral D'Estaing with twelve ships of the line.The only one surviving of these sons is the respectable Bishop of Durham, the father of the present Episcopal Bench, who was born about the year 1784, received his education at Eton school, and removed from thence to Merton college, Oxford. In November 1756 he entered into holy orders; about which time che completed his degrees in arts. In the preceding Summer he was appointed by the Vice Chancellor to reconcile the scientific members of the University to the introduction of the arts, upon the celebrated donation of the Pomfret marbles. This he did in a speech delivered in the theatre to a very numerous auditory, which received it with much approbation. At the accession of his present Majesty he was appointed one of the Chaplains in Ordinary, and in 1762 was installed 'Canon of Christ Church. In 1769 he was promoted to the Bishopric of “Landaff, and soon after distinguished himself in his senatorial capacity by a bill to prevent adultery, by prohibiting the criminal parties from marrying. So just a measure, and one called for by the increase of a most enormous evil in all ranks of life, one should have supposed could hardly be resisted, even by the vicious, without a blush; yet with regret we must record, that
the Bill, after having passed the House of Lords without a division, was lost in the House of Commons.
In 1782 his Lordship was transplanted to the see of Salisbury, the cathedral of which city, and the Episcopal palace, owe all their present renovated beauty to his exertions, taste, and munificence. On the death of Bishop Thurlow, in 1791, he was
removed to his present elevated station ; where it can only be said, that, as in each preceding diocese, he has always watched over his Clergy with the tenderness of a parent and the vigilance of an “overseer of Christ's flock.” In this place it peculiarly behoves us to mention the laudable caution, taken by his Lordship, in examining into the characters and abilities of candidates for holy orders: and we believe that he is the first Bishop who has particularly required some knowledge of Hebrew in those who are to be admitted to the Priesthood. It would be extremely unjust were we to omit, even in this rude etching, the powerful exertions made by his Lordship in promoting the objects of that most beneficent institution, “ The Society for bettering the Condition of the Poor.” In all the widely extended branches of that patriotic institution, of which he has from the first continued the President, he has taken unwearied pains. He was one of those who formed and arranged that institution, and he has invariably been a most active promoter of its measures ; some of the most useful plans stated in their reports having originated in his zeal and benevolence. He is also an active member of many of the benevolent institutions of the metropolis ; too many to be enumerated in this brief epitome: his publications in the line of his profession are three public sermons ; · four charges to his Clergy, and a letter addressed to the Clergy of the Diocese of Salisbury. Thus attending alike to the bodily and spiritual infirmities of mankind, in imitation of his great Master, the head of the Church and Bishop of Souls, who, while on earth, distinguished himself by “ preaching the Gospel,” and by administering relief “to the poor, leaving us an example that we should follow his steps.”
His Lordship was first married to Lady Diana, daughter of Charles Duke of St. Albans, who died in 1766. In 1770 hę was married to his second wife, Miss Guise, daughter of Sir John Guise, Bart. On the death of her brother, Sir William Guise, she came into possession of the estates of her antient and