Wednesday 25 March 2020

(410) Barrington of Glenstal Castle, baronets

Barrington of Glenstal Castle
This family were established in Limerick as clockmakers and later copper founders and pewterers by 1691. Samuel Barrington (d. 1693), clockmaker, was buried in Limerick Cathedral, where he is commemorated by a monument erected by his son, Benjamin Barrington, who was sheriff of Limerick city in 1714. The strong tradition in the family is that Samuel's father, Francis Barrington (d. 1683), the first member of the family to be buried in Limerick, was a younger son of the Barringtons of Hatfield Broad Oak and came to Ireland as a Colonel in Oliver Cromwell's army (Cromwell being a first cousin of the Hatfield Barringtons). That sounds plausible enough, but unfortunately there seems to be no record of a Francis Barrington in the Cromwellian forces. Sir Francis Barrington (c.1561-1628) of Hatfield did have a son, Francis, but he was a Turkey merchant in London who died in 1660, and his son, also Francis, lived in Aleppo as agent for his father's business and probably predeceased him. So this direct connection to the Hatfield baronets seems, at best, highly unlikely. In 1863, H.J. Hore suggested an alternative connection, through a Captain George Barrington, said to be scion of the Hatfield Barringtons, who is recorded in 1599 as having been granted lands at Coulinaght (Co. Leix). He was probably the father of Alexander Barrington (d. 1635) of Timoge, who in turn was the father of a Francis Barrington, who was an MP in the Irish Parliament and is probably to be identified with the man buried at Limerick in 1683. Again, however, the evidence for a link to the Hatfield family is weak, since no George Barrington is recorded in the relevant generations of their pedigree, and the assertion of a connection relies upon one statement in the Carew papers.

We are on firmer ground with Samuel Barrington's descendants, who remained in Limerick for four generations. His son Benjamin Barrington was an alderman of the city and its sheriff in 1714, and seems to have died about 1733, when his will was proved. His son was another Benjamin Barrington (1697-c.1769), who married Ann Waltho (1700-52) in 1724 and had four sons and three daughters. Ann's mother had been born a Croker, and Benjamin named his eldest son Croker Barrington (1727-71), but although he married he had no issue. The family line was therefore continued by Benjamin's second son, Matthew Barrington, who was baptised in Limerick in 1728 and who Burke's Peerage and Baronetage says died in 1765, leaving an only surviving son, Joseph Barrington (1764-1846), with whom the genealogy below begins.

In the 1790s, Joseph was described as a pewterer, but he was successful enough in business to send three of his sons to study at Trinity College, Dublin and the Kings Inns in Dublin, where they qualified as lawyers. By 1818, when he was aged just thirty, the eldest son, Matthew Barrington (1788-1861) was in a position to lease lands from Lord Carbery, and it was probably always his intention to build a new country house on this property. At this time, his official appointments gave him a regular income which may have been as much as £15,000 a year, so he could afford to build on a generous scale. Knowing of the family tradition of a close link with the Barringtons of Hatfield Broad Oak, he may have hoped that in the event of the death of Sir Fitzherbert Barrington, the 10th baronet of Hatfield, without known heirs (which happened in 1832), his father would be able to claim that title. When this proved not to be the case, he decided instead to lobby for a new grant.
Barrington's Hospital, Limerick, designed by Frederick Darley
and built in 1829-31.
Through his legal work, he was well connected in government circles and he was probably assured of a generally sympathetic response to such a request, but he evidently decided that a piece of prominent philanthropy would help his case, and he therefore put up the majority of the money to build and endow a new hospital in Limerick with his father and brothers. The gift was made in 1829 and Barringtons Hospital opened in 1831: later the same year the desired new baronetcy was conferred (at Matthew's special request) on his father.

Although schemes for a new house at Glenstal were under consideration by 1822, nothing was done until about 1836 when a design by William Bardwell was chosen and construction of Glenstal Castle began. All the designs that were considered for the house were in the romantic castle style, and Matthew clearly saw himself as the rightful inheritor of the ancient lineage of the Barringtons, and wanted to project an appropriately baronial image to the world. When he allowed his architect to sign his work with a prominent inscription round one of the towers, 'Bardwell Me Fecit 1839', the figure 8 was deliberately made narrow and spindly so that at first sight the date reads 1139! 

In 1840 Matthew Barrington purchased the freehold of his lands from Lord Carbery, securing his title, although this led to many years of expensive litigation with Carbery, who thought he had got a raw deal. Sir Joseph Barrington died in 1846 and Matthew became the 2nd baronet. His income in later years was more uncertain, being dependent on fees and profits from the railway company speculations that occupied most of his time, and construction work at Glenstal was twice interrupted by a shortage of funds, and was indeed never completed to the original scheme. When he died in 1861, Sir Matthew was succeeded in turn by his two sons, Sir William Hartigan Barrington (1815-72), 3rd bt. and Sir Croker Barrington (1817-90), 4th bt. Sir Croker was a very busy solicitor in Dublin and it is not at all clear that he ever really lived at Glenstal Castle: before he inherited he had a modest house on the estate at Clonkeen, which he may have continued to use in preference to the castle.

Whatever the attractions of feudal lordship had been to Sir Matthew, the Barringtons had always been liberal landlords (Sir Matthew was a friend of Daniel O'Connell) and during the famine time they had treated their tenants more generously than most. Sir Charles Burton Barrington (1848-1943), 5th bt., who inherited in 1890, evidently felt comfortable living at Glenstal, but in 1921 the realities of the Irish struggle for independence came to the gates of Glenstal in the most tragic way when his only daughter was caught up in the IRA ambush of a senior policeman with whom she was travelling, and both were killed. Not surprisingly, Sir Charles responded by moving to England with his family. He offered Glenstal to the Free State government as an official residence for a future president of Ireland, but after serious consideration it was rejected as being too far from Dublin. In 1927 he sold the house to Monsignor James Ryan, who donated it to the Benedictine order, which converted the house into an abbey and school, which has added some further buildings around the site. The family baronetcy passed in turn to Sir Charles's two sons, but since neither of them had surviving male issue, in 2003 it was inherited by a distant cousin living in Canada, who descends from a younger son of the 1st baronet.

Glenstal Castle, Co. Limerick

The house was built for Sir Matthew Barrington, 2nd bt., who bought part of the Limerick estate of Lord Carbery in 1818, and soon afterwards built Barrington's Bridge to link the area to Limerick. During the 1830s, he sought proposals for a castle-style house from the Pain brothers in Limerick, William O'Hara in Dublin, and even Decimus Burton, but rejected their proposals, which were derived from the castle-style houses of John Nash and Sir Jeffrey Wyatville (especially his alterations to Windsor Castle). It seems likely that Barrington wanted something more innovative, or at least more striking. In the end he turned to a minor English architect, William Bardwell (1795-1890) who had been a pupil of George Wyatt and George Maddox before studying in Paris for two years. It is not known how Bardwell came to Barrington's attention, but it was perhaps through his unsuccessful but widely publicised entry for the Palace of Westminster competition in 1835, which was intended to embody all the different styles of medieval architecture from Norman to Tudor. The neo-Norman elements of the design offered the novelty Barrington had felt was missing in the earlier Gothic proposals. The concept evolved through several designs in 1836 but was based on English rather than Irish precedents and is very reminiscent of Thomas Hopper's neo-Norman houses: Penrhyn Castle of 1821-37 in north Wales and Gosford Castle (Co. Armagh)

Glenstal Castle: a perspective drawing of the house proposed by William Bardwell, viewed from the east. Image: Glenstal Abbey

Glenstal Castle: perspective drawing of the house proposed by William Badwell, viewed from the south-west. Image: Glenstal Abbey

The building was designed to be approached from the east, from where it would appear to be quadrangular, although in fact it consists of only two ranges. It is the stage-set for a medieval pageant, designed to suggest a knightly lineage that the Barringtons did not, in fact, possess. Construction seems to have begun in 1837 and the round tower was finished in 1839, but thereafter work proceeded fitfully, with interruptions caused by shortage of funds and legal distractions. Bardwell visited the site in 1840 but was in England most of the time, and supervision was delegated to the clerk of works and the craftsmen on site. The first stoppage occurred in 1840 or 1841, and in 1843 Bardwell provided a new specification and estimate for a somewhat simplified scheme. Work resumed in 1846 or 1847 under the supervision of William Dargan of Dublin, who was probably known to Barrington through his work as a railway contractor. Work stopped again in 1849, leaving the shell of the picture gallery and the drawing room on the south front and the entrance hall behind finished, but with the keep hardly started. In 1853, Barrington made a final effort to complete the castle, paying off Bardwell and turning to Joshua Hargrave of Cork, who proceeded with a limited version of Bardwell's scheme: the planned octagon tower at the western end of the south-west front, and the range linking this to the keep, were omitted, and the plan of the keep was altered to include a dining room.

Glenstal Castle: the south front of the house today. Image: John Armagh.
At first, much of the carved stonework was cut in England by W.T. Kelsey of Brompton (Middx), and send across to Ireland by sea, but in the later phases, local craftsmen from the Limerick area were used and the work became more clearly influenced by Ireland's Romanesque heritage: the change may have been urged by Lord Dunraven, a patriotic antiquarian who was both a business acquaintance of Sir Matthew Barrington and a fellow Limerick resident. The front door is flanked by figures of Henry II and Queen Eleanor, who were such a warring couple that one wonders if they were chosen in ignorance: the Queen holds a scroll on which is inscribed the Irish welcome, Cead mile failte. Some of the doorways inside are copied from identifiable Irish Romanesque sources, such as Killaloe Cathedral and Clonmacnoise. The staircase and the gallery to which it leads are in dark oak, elaborately carved with Celtic motifs, leaves and animals by trainees in a wood-carving school run by the daughters of the house, and dated as late as 1888. 

The Barrington family were liberal landlords (Sir Matthew was a friend of Daniel O'Connell) and were noted for their efforts to provide employment and reduce or cancel rents during the famine years. Although they seem to have been generally popular in the Limerick area, tragedy struck in 1921 when Sir Charles only daughter, Winifred, was killed with a local police inspector in an IRA ambush close to Glenstal: he was the target, she was 'collateral damage' in the chilling modern phrase. Sir Charles clearly decided that the family could not stay in Ireland and he bought a much smaller house near Southampton to which the family decamped in about 1925. He offered Glenstal to the Irish Free State government as an official residence for a future President of Ireland, but not unreasonably this was turned down as being too far from Dublin. The house was sold instead to Monsignor James Ryan for a nominal £2,000, and he gifted it to a Benedictine community at Maredsous in Belgium which wished to open an Irish daughter house. The first monks arrived in 1927 and opened a school as well as starting a monastic community, which was elevated to abbatial rank in 1957. The house continues to fulfil these purposes and is now known as Glenstal Abbey.

Descent: Sir Joseph Barrington (1764-1846), 1st bt.; to son, Sir Matthew Barrington (1788-1861), 2nd bt.; to son, Sir William Hartigan Barrington (1815-72), 3rd bt.; to brother, Sir Croker Barrington (1817-90), 4th bt.; to son, Sir Charles Burton Barrington (1848-1943), 5th bt., who sold 1927 to Monsignor James Ryan, who gave it to the Benedictine order.

Barrington family of Glenstal Castle, baronets

Sir Joseph Barrington, 1st bt.
Barrington, Sir Joseph (1764-1846), 1st bt. Only son of Matthew Barrington (1728-65) and his wife Jane, daughter of John Canter of Ballyvard, born 21 February 1764. He was a coppersmith and pewterer in Limerick by 1797, and seems to have later moved into property development, constructing Barrington's Quay and reclaiming land nearby for housing.  Founder, with his four surviving sons, of the Barrington Hospital in Limerick, which was built at a cost of some £4,000 in 1829-31. The project seems to have been substantially funded by his son Matthew, and in addition to its philanthropic purpose, was part of Matthew's campaign to secure a baronetcy for Joseph, which was rewarded when he was created a baronet, 30 September 1831. He married, 7 August 1787 at St Mary's R.C. Church, Limerick, Mary (d. 1829), daughter of Daniel Baggott of Limerick, bootseller, and had issue:
(1) Sir Matthew Barrington (1788-1861), 2nd bt. (q.v.);
(2) Michael Barrington (b. c.1790), born about 1790; died young;
(3) Daniel Barrington (1792-1842), born 14 October 1792; educated at Limerick and Kings Inns (admitted 1814); Clerk of the Crown in Limerick; married, 22 October 1829, Anne (d. 1892), daughter of Richard Williams of Drumcondra Castle (Co. Dublin) and had issue two sons (from the elder of whom the present baronet is descended) and two daughters; died 5 February 1842;
(4) Honoria Barrington (c.1795-1828), born about 1795; married, 23 July 1827 at St Michael, Limerick, Thomas Lloyd of Limerick; died in childbirth at Limerick, 16 July 1828;
(5) Croker Barrington (1797-1844), born 29 April and baptised at St John, Limerick, 30 April 1797; an officer in the Royal Navy (Midshipman by 1816; Lt., 1825); built Woodville House (later Tivoli) near Barrington's Quay, 1838, at a cost of £1,300; married, November 1840 at St Anne, Dublin, Margaret Emly (d. 1841), daughter of Henry Westropp Ross Lewin of Fort Fergus (Co. Clare) and had issue one son; died at Kilkee, 22 September 1844;
(6) Benjamin Barrington (b. c.1800), born about 1800; died in infancy;
(7) Benjamin Barrington (b. c.1802), born about 1802; died young;
(8) Joseph Barrington (1803-33), born 4 December 1803; died unmarried in Limerick about 3 October 1833;
(9) Samuel Barrington (1806-63), born 6 February and baptised at St John, Limerick, 23 February 1806; educated at Trinity College, Dublin (matriculated 1822; BA 1827; MA 1832) and Kings Inns, Dublin (admitted 1824; called 1828); barrister-at-law; died unmarried, 5 January 1863; administration of goods granted 21 March 1863 (effects under £1500);
(10) Jane Martha Barrington (1808-90), born 7 May and baptised at St John, Limerick, 17 May 1808; married, 10 February 1838 at St Peter, Dublin, Rev. George Edward Deacon (c.1809-86), Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Oxford and later vicar of Leek (Staffs), and had issue six sons; died 15 May 1890 and was buried at Leek; administration of goods granted 3 June 1890 (effects in England, £4,547; and in Ireland, £44);
(11) Mary Anne Barrington (1810-29), baptised at St John Limerick, 23 December 1810; died unmarried, 1829.
He lived in Limerick.
Sir Joseph died 10 January 1846 and was presumably buried in the family vault in Limerick Cathedral. His wife was buried there, 1 November 1829.

Barrington, Sir Matthew (1788-1861), 2nd bt. Eldest son of Sir Joseph Barrington (1764-1846), 1st bt. and his wife Mary, daughter of Daniel Baggott of Limerick, born 21 May and baptised at St Mary's R.C. church, Limerick, 27 May 1788. Educated at Limerick and Kings Inns, Dublin (admitted 1804). Solicitor in Limerick and Dublin; Crown Solicitor in Limerick, 1814-38 and for the Munster circuit, 1832-61; legal and parliamentary adviser to the Great Southern Railway and other railway companies. He succeeded his father as 2nd baronet, 10 January 1846. He was a Whig in politics and had an influential circle of friends, including Daniel O'Connell, and was noted as a humane landlord, who during the famine years cancelled some rents and arrears altogether. He married, 1 January 1814 at St George, Dublin, Charlotte (1796-1858), daughter of William Hartigan of Dublin, physician and professor of anatomy at Trinity College, Dublin, and had issue:
(1) Marian (alias Mary Anne) Barrington (1814-58), born about November 1814; married, 2 September 1841 at Wicklow, Thomas Williams (1810-90), stockbroker (who m2, 29 May 1860 at Ambleside (Westmld), Georgiana (c.1824-81), daughter of T.O. Lees of Monkstown (Co. Dublin), and widow of James Percival Graves), son of Richard Williams of Drumcondra Castle, but had no issue; died 30 April 1858;
(2) Sir William Hartigan Barrington (1815-72), 3rd bt. (q.v.);
(3) Sir Croker Barrington (1817-90), 4th bt. (q.v.);
(4) Elizabeth Ellen Barrington (1818-29), baptised at St Peter, Dublin, 5 August 1818; died young, 28 February 1829;
(5) Charlotte Hartney Barrington (c.1820-61), born about 1820; married, 24 June 1847 at Powerscourt (Co. Wicklow) Henry Barry (c.1808-1900), barrister, of Dublin, son of Robert Barry, and had issue three sons; died at Limerick, 19 January 1861;
(6) Jessy Barrington (c.1821-88), born about 1821; died unmarried, 31 May 1888;
(7) Olivia Barrington (1823-76), baptised at St Peter, Dublin, 17 April 1823; married, 1853, Rt Hon. George Augustus Chichester May (1815-92), Attorney-General for Ireland and later Lord Chief Justice for Ireland, son of Rev. Edward May, and had issue ten children; died 13/15 May 1876;
(8) Josephine Barrington (1826-68), baptised in Dublin, 20 August 1826; married, 17 August 1859 at Abington (Co. Limerick), Hewitt Poole Jellett QC (c.1825-1911), serjeant-at-laws; died 1 February 1868;
(9) Henrietta Victorine Barrington (1833-99), born 8 November 1833 and baptised at St Peter, Dublin, 4 January 1834; married, 15 January 1857 at St Peter, Dublin, William Richard Le Fanu (1816-94), railway engineer, of Summer Hill, Enniskerry (Co. Wicklow), son of Thomas Philip Le Fanu, Dean of Emly, and brother of Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, the author of ghost stories, and had issue eight sons and two daughters; died 29 July 1899.
Sir Matthew bought the estate on which Glenstal Castle was built in 1818 and commenced construction in 1837. Work continued intermittently until his death.
Sir Matthew died 31 March 1861 and was buried in the family vault in St Mary's Cathedral, Limerick; his elder son was granted administration of his goods, 15 July 1861 (effects under £4,000). His wife died 18 November 1858 and was buried in the same place.

Barrington, Sir William Hartigan (1815-72), 3rd bt. Elder son of Sir Matthew Barrington (1788-1861), 2nd bt., and his wife Charlotte, daughter of William Hartigan of Dublin, born 4 October and baptised at St Peter, Dublin, 14 October 1815. Educated at Trinity College, Cambridge (matriculated 1834; BA 1841) and Middle Temple (admitted 1834). JP for Co. Limerick and Co. Tipperary from 1841 and DL for Co. Limerick from 1848; High Sheriff of Co. Limerick, 1846-47. He succeeded his father as 3rd bt., 1 April 1861. He married, 14 March 1859 at St Peter, Dublin, Elizabeth Olivia (1834-1907), second daughter of Henry Darley of Wingfield (Co. Wicklow), and had issue:
(1) Charlotte Jessy Barrington (1866-1951), born in Dublin, 22 August 1866; married, 4 June 1901 at Abington (Co. Limerick), Rev. George Digby Scott (1865-1950), rector of Bray (Co. Wicklow) and Chancellor of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, son of James George Scott, archdeacon of Dublin, and had issue four daughters; died 12 August 1951;
(2) Maria Louisa Olivia Barrington (1868-1947), of Clonshavoy, Lisnagry (Co. Limerick), born 22 August 1868; died unmarried, 19 August 1947; will proved 26 November 1947 (estate £4,940).
Sir William inherited Glenstal Castle from his father in 1861.
Sir William died 14 April 1872; his will was proved 7 June 1872 (effects under £7,000). His widow died 17 May 1907; her will was proved 9 August 1907 (estate £7,265).

Barrington, Sir Croker (1817-90), 4th bt. Younger son of Sir Matthew Barrington (1788-1861), 2nd bt., and his wife Charlotte, daughter of William Hartigan of Dublin, born 12 July and baptised at St Peter, Dublin, 22 July 1817. Educated at Trinity College, Dublin (admitted 1834) and Kings Inns, Dublin (admitted 1833); admitted a solicitor, 1838. He was in partnership with his father in the firm of Barrington, Son & Jeffers (later Barrington & Sons) of Dublin, and acted for the Great Southern and Western Railway Company, the County Limerick Grand Jury, and the Earls of Limerick and Dunraven; he was appointed Clerk of the Crown for the Munster circuit, 1846. DL for Co. Limerick. He succeeded his elder brother as 4th baronet, 14 April 1872. He was a freemason from 1878. He married, 12 April 1845 at St Peter, Dublin, Anna Felicia (1822-73), eldest daughter of John Beatty West MP, and had issue:
(1) Caroline Felicia Barrington (1846-1915), born in Dublin, 29 April 1846; married, 11 July 1870 at Grangegorman (Co. Dublin), William Young Donnelly (1844-88), land agent and secretary to the Lord Chief Justice of Ireland, son of William Donnelly, barrister-at-law, of Auburn House, Malahide (Co. Dublin), and had issue two sons and one daughter; died 17 February 1915; administration of goods granted 28 June 1915 (estate £3,912);
(2) Sir Charles Burton Barrington (1848-1943), 5th bt. (q.v.);
(3) Olivia Maria Barrington (1849-1921), born 26 December 1849 and baptised at St Stephen, Dublin, 6 February 1850; married, 13 June 1871 at St Stephen, Dublin, Rev. Lewen Burton Weldon (1840-1914), rector of Holy Trinity, Weymouth (Dorset), 1890-1914, youngest son of Sir Anthony Weldon, 4th bt. of Kilmorony (Co. Kildare), and had issue two sons and three daughters; died 15 April 1921; will proved 16 June 1921 (effects £917);
(4) Croker Barrington (1851-1926), born 1851; educated at Rugby and Trinity College, Dublin (BA 1874) and Kings Inns, Dublin (called 1876); barrister-at-law; admitted a solicitor, 1883, and was in partnership with his father; built the Red House at Barrington's Bridge, but lived latterly at Exmouth (Devon); married, 7 October 1890, Florence Jane (d. 1935), youngest daughter of John Bayly of Debsborough (Co. Tipperary) and had issue two sons and two daughters; died 24 June 1926; administration of his goods was granted 18 November 1926 (estate £7,752);
(5) Mercy Barrington (1853-1931), born 19 November 1853; married, 10 August 1884 at Abington (Limerick), The Hon. George Wright, a judge of the High Court in Ireland, second son of T.R. Wright of Fern Hill (Co. Cork), and had issue one son and three daughters; died 20 November 1931; administration of goods granted 21 March 1932 (estate £183);
(6) William Matthew Barrington (1855-83), born 23 July 1855; educated at Trinity College, Dublin (BA 1877); admitted a solicitor, 1878; died at Lyon (France), 10 June 1883;
(7) Jessy Frances Barrington (1857-1929), born 7 June and baptised at St Stephen, Dublin, 8 July 1857; married, 29 January 1889 at Abington (Limerick), George Henry Pentland (1849-1932) of Black Hall, Drogheda (Co. Louth), barrister-at-law, son of George Henry Pentland, and had issue one son and one daughter; moved to England in about 1923 and was buried at Shalford (Surrey), 9 November 1929;
(8) John Beatty Barrington (1859-1926), born 18 July and baptised at St Stephen, Dublin, 26 August 1859; educated at Charterhouse and Trinity College, Dublin (BA 1882); land agent in Limerick, who acted for his father and later his brother, and also for the Earl of Limerick; JP for Co. & City of Limerick and Co. Tipperary; High Sheriff of Co. Limerick, 1912; a member of Limerick County Council; served in First World War with Anglo-Gallic Ambulance Corps, 1915-19 (Legion d'honneur; Croix de Guerre) and was subsequently President of the Limerick branch of the British Legion; married, 2 August 1887 at Nenagh (Co. Tipperary), Catherine Charlotte (1865-1937), eldest daughter of John Bayly of Debsborough (Co. Tipperary) and had issue one son and two daughters; died in Dublin, 16 December 1926; will proved 7 April 1927 (estate £12,955);
(9) Anna Josephine Barrington (1861-1947), born in Dublin, 4 August, and baptised at St Stephen, Dublin, 18 October 1861; married, 3 June 1891, John Naper George Pollock (1861-1905) of Mountainstown (Co. Meath), and had issue one son; also adopted a daughter; lived later at Portavo, Donaghadee (Co. Down); died 2 July 1947; will proved 8 February 1949 (estate in Northern Ireland £2,581 and in England £2,181);
(10) Rose Henrietta Barrington (1866-72), born in Dublin, 1 April, and baptised at St Stephen, Dublin, 24 May 1866; died young, 17 July 1872.
Sir Croker inherited Glenstal Castle from his father in 1872. In 1876 he held 9,400 acres in Co. Limerick. He lived chiefly in Dublin, where his town house was at 6 Fitzwilliam Square North.
Sir Croker died at Glenstal, 4 July 1890, and was buried at Mount Jerome Cemetery, Dublin; his will was proved 4 September 1890 (estate £14,560). His wife died 7 June 1873.

Barrington, Sir Charles Burton (1848-1943), 5th bt. Eldest son of Sir Croker Barrington (1817-90), 4th bt., and his wife Anne Felicia, eldest daughter of John Beatty West MP, born 6 February 1848. Educated at St Columba's College, Rathfarnham, Rugby School, 1864-66, and Trinity College, Dublin (matriculated 1867; BA 1870 MA 1877). He had a lifelong love for, and engagement with, sport, and was an accomplished rower and rugby player. He is credited with being 'the father of Irish rugby', since, with R.M. Wall of Trinity College, Dublin, he adapted the rules of rugby union established at Rugby School for the Irish game and captained the 1st XV of Trinity College, 1867-70. As an oarsman, he rowed for Trinity over several years, and he and his brothers William, Croker, and John represented Dublin University Boat Club victoriously at the Philadelphia International Centennial Regatta in 1876; he was one of the founders of Limerick Boat Club, 1870, and was said still to row occasionally (but only in fine weather) in Hampshire in his 90s. He was DL and JP for Co. Limerick, High Sheriff of Co. Limerick, 1879, and was appointed Hon. Col. of Limerick City Artillery, Southern Division in 1901. In 1915, aged 67, he drove a field ambulance in France, for which he was awarded an MBE, 1919. A Unionist in politics, he was involved in peace efforts during the Irish independence struggle. He was a freemason and was Provincial Grand Master of North Munster. He succeeded his father as 5th baronet, 4 July 1890. He married, 14 February 1895 at All Saints, Margaret St., London, Mary Rose (1868-1943), youngest daughter of Sir Henry Hickman Bacon, 11th bt., and had issue:
(1) Winifred Frances Barrington (1897-1921), born 5 July 1897; died unmarried when she was killed in an IRA ambush of a Royal Irish Constabulary inspector with whom she was travelling, 14 May 1921;
(2) Sir Charles Bacon (k/a Pat) Barrington (1902-80), 6th bt., born 6 June 1902; educated at Eton; nurseryman and company director; succeeded his father as 6th baronet, 12 August 1943; lived at Barrihurst, Cranleigh (Surrey); married, 7 August 1930, Constance Doris (1902-92), daughter of Ernest James Elkington of London, and had issue two daughters; died 30 November 1980; will proved 10 February 1980 (estate £226,132);
(3) Sir Alexander Fitzwilliam Croker (k/a Fitz) Barrington (1909-2003), 7th bt., born 19 November 1909; educated at Shrewsbury School and Christ Church, Oxford; company director, 1932-39; served in Second World War with Intelligence Corps, 1939-42 (PoW, 1942-45); manager in the publishing industry, 1946-72; succeeded his elder brother as 7th baronet, 1980; died unmarried aged 93 on 6 February 2003; will proved 11 September 2003; on his death the family baronetcy passed to a descendant of the second son of the 1st baronet, living in Canada.
Sir Charles inherited Glenstal Castle from his father in 1890. Following the murder of his daughter, he moved his family to Fairthorne Manor, Botley, which was sold to the YMCA in 1946. He offered Glenstal Castle to the Irish Free State Government as an official residence for a future President of Ireland, but after serious consideration the offer was rejected, and the house was sold for a nominal £2,000 to Monsignor James Ryan, who donated it to the Benedictine community at Maredsous (Belgium), which wished to found an Irish daughter house.
Sir Charles died aged 95 on 12 August 1943; administration of his goods was granted to his elder son, 3 December 1943 (estate £15,980). His wife died 1 March 1943 and was buried at Botley (Hants); her will was proved 25 June 1943 (estate £49,983).

Principal sources

Burke's Peerage & Baronetage, 2003, pp. 276-77; H. Janssens de Varebeke, 'The Barringtons of Limerick',  North Munster Antiquarian Journal, Vol. VIII, 1956, No. 3; M. Tierney & J. Cornforth, 'Glenstal Castle, Co. Limerick', Country Life, 3 October 1974, pp. 934-37; M.D. McGarry, 'Creating a noble past: the design of Glenstal Castle, 1836-61', Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, 2006, pp. 39-49

Location of archives

Barrington of Glenstal Castle, baronets: some papers are understood to be preserved in the library of Glenstal Abbey.

Coat of arms

Argent, three chevronels gules, a label of three points vert, a canton of the second, charged with a trefoil, slipped or.

Can you help?
  • I should be most grateful if anyone can provide photographs or portraits of people whose names appear in bold above, and who are not already illustrated.
  • As always, any additions or corrections to the account given above will be gratefully received and incorporated.

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 25 March 2020.


  1. Nick, please may I have your email address?

    1. To contact me by email please use the contact form in the right-hand side bar. Your message will reach me as an email to which I can then reply. I don't publish my email address online in an effort to reduce spamming.

  2. The Hatfield connection of George Barrington and his son John is stronger than you indicate. Amy Barrington's two volume study of the family contains more information including your reference to Carew which is rather persuasive if you see the document, and a referenced acknowledgement by Sidney that John Barrington was of his family--Sidney's grandmother was a Hatfield Barrington. George was probably a cadet member of the Hatfield line and probably the grandson of Nicholas Barrington who died in 1477. There is a significant line of male Barringtons in Canada who are descended from Captain George and his son Captain John. A DNA comparison test with the Barringtons in Hatfield would be dispositive, though that line may have ended and the name adopted by the Shute Family meaning access to a grave would be required absent some improvements in DNA testing. The arms traditionally used by both Glenstal and Cullenagh Barringtons are those of the Hatfield Barringtons. Burke has this all mixed up.


Please leave a comment if you have any additional information or corrections to offer, or if you are able to help with additional images of the people or buildings in this post.