Shute Barrington

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Shute Barrington.

Shute Barrington (26 May 1734 – 25 March 1826) was an English churchman, Bishop of Llandaff in Wales, as well as Bishop of Salisbury and Bishop of Durham in England.


He was born at Beckett Hall in Shrivenham in Berkshire (now Oxfordshire), the home of his father, John Shute Barrington, 1st Viscount Barrington and educated at Eton College and Merton College, Oxford.

In 1761 he was a made a canon of Christ Church, Oxford and in 1768 a canon of St Paul's[disambiguation needed] from where he moved to be a canon at St George's Chapel, Windsor. In 1769 he was elevated to the episcopy as Bishop of Llandaff and in 1782 was translated to be Bishop of Salisbury and again in 1791 to be Bishop of Durham.

He was a vigorous Protestant, though willing to grant Roman Catholics "every degree of toleration short of political power and establishment." He published several volumes of sermons and tracts, and wrote the political life of his elder brother, William Wildman Shute Barrington. From 1805 to 1826 he was the Visitor of Balliol College, Oxford and in 1806 backed the then Master, John Parsons, in opening the Fellowships to competition.

He married firstly, on 2 February 1761, Lady Diana Beauclerk (c. 1735-28 March 1766), daughter of Charles Beauclerk, 2nd Duke of St Albans. His wife died in childbirth, the child stillborn. He married secondly, on 20 June 1770, Jane Guise (d. 8 August 1807), daughter of Sir John Guise, but had no children. He died in Soho in Middlesex (now Greater London). He is buried at St John the Baptist's Church, near his home at Mongewell Park, close to Wallingford, Oxfordshire.

Barrington was a great patron of architecture and education in the diocese of Durham. Once school, the Barrington School, still exists today in Bishop Auckland. To mark his fiftieth year in the prelacy the diocese of Durham built the Clergy Jubilee School in Newcastle and arranged that Dame Allan's Schools should be housed there. In architecture he employed James Wyatt to remodel Salisbury Cathedral, and more notably, the Georgian Gothic interiors of Auckland Castle, his favoured residence.

One notably uncharacteristic event in Barrington's life was his dispatch of troops on 1 January 1812 to break up a miners' strike at collieries owned by the Dean & chapter of Durham Cathedral in nearby Chester-le-Street. At this time (and up until 1836), the "Prince" Bishops of Durham still held vice-regal powers in the North of England, which included the maintenance of a small private army, garrisoned in Durham Castle.

He was also a primary litigant in Morice v Bishop of Durham (1805)10 Ves 522, which is a leading case on the conditions necessary to form a trust in English law.


Church of England titles
Preceded by
Jonathan Shipley
Bishop of Llandaff
Succeeded by
Richard Watson
Preceded by
John Hume
Bishop of Salisbury
Succeeded by
John Douglas
Preceded by
Thomas Thurlow
Bishop of Durham
Succeeded by
William Van Mildert