Arthur Smith-Barry, 1st Baron Barrymore

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"An Irish Landowner".
Lord Barrymore as caricatured by Spy (Leslie Ward) in Vanity Fair, August 1910

Arthur Hugh Smith-Barry, 1st Baron Barrymore, PC (Ire) (17 January 1843 – 22 February 1925), was an Anglo-Irish Conservative politician.

Background and education[edit]

Smith-Barry was the son of James Hugh Smith Barry, of Marbury, Cheshire, and Fota Island, County Cork, and his wife Eliza, daughter of Shallcross Jacson. His paternal grandfather John Smith Barry was the illegitimate son of James Hugh Smith Barry, son of the Hon. John Smith Barry, younger son of Lieutenant-General The 4th Earl of Barrymore (a title which had become extinct in 1823; see Earl of Barrymore). He was educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford.

Political career[edit]

Smith-Barry entered Parliament as one of two representatives for County Cork in 1867, a seat he held until 1874. Smith-Barry remained out of the House of Commons for the next twelve years but returned in 1886 when he was elected for Huntingdon, and represented this constituency until 1900. He was also High Sheriff of County Cork in 1886 and was tasked by Arthur Balfour to organise landlord resistance to the tenant Plan of Campaign movement of the late 1880s. He was sworn of the Privy Council of Ireland in 1896. It was announced in the 1902 Coronation Honours list that he would be created a peer,[1] and the Barrymore title held by his ancestors was partially revived when he was raised to the peerage as Baron Barrymore, of Barrymore in the County of Cork, on 24 July 1902.[2] He took his seat in the House of Lords a couple of days later.[3]


Smith-Barry played two first-class cricket matches for the Marylebone Cricket Club, playing once in 1873 and once in 1875.[4]


Lord Barrymore married firstly Lady Mary Frances, daughter of The 3rd Earl of Dunraven and Mount-Earl, in 1868. After her death in 1884 he married secondly Elizabeth, daughter of U.S. General James Wadsworth and widow of Arthur Post, in 1889. There were children from both marriages. Lord Barrymore died in London in February 1925, aged 82, and was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium.[5] His only son James had died as an infant in 1871 and consequently the barony became extinct on Barrymore's death. The Irish family seat of Fota House was passed on to his daughter from his second marriage, the Hon. Dorothy Elizabeth (1894–1975), wife of Major William Bertram Bell. Lady Barrymore died in May 1930.

On the death of Arthur Hugh Smith Barry in 1925, the estate, which was entailed, passed to his brother James Hugh Smith Barry and on his death it passed to James Hugh's son Robert Raymond Smith Barry. In 1939 the estate of Fota Island and the ground rents of areas was acquired by Arthur Hugh's daughter, The Hon. Mrs. Dorothy Bell for the sum of £31,000. On her death, in 1975, it passed to her daughter Mrs. Rosemary Villiers and Fota House is now the property of The Irish Heritage Trust.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Coronation Honours". The Times (36804). London. 26 June 1902. p. 5.
  2. ^ "No. 27457". The London Gazette. 25 July 1902. p. 4739.
  3. ^ "Parliament - House of Lords". The Times (36833). London. 30 July 1902. p. 6.
  4. ^ "Player profile: Arthur Smith-Barry". CricketArchive. Retrieved 10 July 2014.
  5. ^ The Complete Peerage, Volume XIII - Peerage Creations 1901-1938. St Catherine's Press. 1949. p. 16.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Nicholas Leader
George Richard Barry
Member of Parliament for County Cork
With: Nicholas Leader 1867–1868
McCarthy Downing 1868–1874
Succeeded by
McCarthy Downing
William Shaw
Preceded by
Thomas Coote
Member of Parliament for Huntingdon
Succeeded by
George Montagu
Party political offices
Preceded by
Marquess of Granby
Chairman of the National Union of Conservative and Constitutional Associations
Succeeded by
Sir Benjamin Stone
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Barrymore