Henry de Vere Vane, 9th Baron Barnard

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Caricature of Lord Barnard in Vanity Fair, 15 Dec 1898

Henry de Vere Vane, 9th Baron Barnard FSA, JP, Hon. DCL (10 May 1854 – 28 December 1918) was a British peer and Senior Freemason.[1]


He was born, on 10 May 1854,[1] as the son of Sir Henry Morgan Vane[1] at Durham. In his youth he was educated at Eton College.[1] Following in the family tradition, he went up to the University of Oxford in about 1873, reading for a BA at Brasenose College and attaining the degree in 1876.[1]

After three years of training he became a barrister[1] being called to the bar by the Inner Temple; although it is unlikely he ever practised as a barrister.

Marriage and children[edit]

On 28 June 1881, he married Lady Catharine Sarah Cecil, daughter of the 3rd Marquess of Exeter,[1] at St Thomas Marylebone, and had three living sons, one of them predeceasing him. He also served in the Northamptonshire Militia between 1876 and 1884.[1]

His heir apparent was his second son, Christopher Vane, 10th Baron Barnard MC who served in the Westmorland and Cumberland Yeomanry being wounded in action and decorated in World War I.[1] Lord Barnard's first son, the Hon. Henry Cecil Vane, was badly wounded in France and subsequently died from his wounds.

Civil Service career[edit]

Although the son of a minor member of the aristocracy, Lord Barnard did not expect to inherit Raby Castle as he was not directly in the line of succession. Therefore, he pursued a career in the civil service at the Charity Commission between 1881 and 1891.[1] He was promoted to the Private Secretary to the Chief Commissioner in 1885 and served in that post until 1890.[1]

Elevation to the peerage[edit]

In 1891 the former 4th Duke of Cleveland died, leaving the line of succession to the dukedom unclear. The case was decided in 1892 when the Committee of Privileges of the House of Lords held him to be the 9th Baron Barnard and inheritor of the vast estates of Raby although he did not inherit the title of Duke of Cleveland which became extinct.[2][3] Lord Barnard therefore left the Charity Commission to concentrate on the management of the estate.[4] Contemporary sources[3] describe him in this role as:

[winning] the hearts of all by his unaffected kindliness and consideration, and by the interest he evinced in everything that concerned the welfare of his estates and neighbours.[3][4]

Masonic career[edit]

Lord Barnard's masonic career commenced when he was initiated into the Apollo University Lodge No. 357 while studying at the University of Oxford[4] during 1874. When in London he became a member of the Lodge of Friendship No. 6. One of the lodge's members was John Fawcett who was Provincial Grand Master of Durham at the time.[4]

His association with the Province of Durham commenced during 1892 when he joined the Rose of Raby Lodge No. 1650 at Staindrop.[4] This was the village nearest to his Raby Castle home. Two years later he was installed as master. Subsequent masonic accolades followed when in 1895 he was appointed Senior Grand Warden for the Province of Durham and in the same year appointed Junior Grand Warden of England.[4] He joined Lambton Lodge in No.375 and was elevated to the chair of that lodge shortly thereafter. He became a member and Past Master of the distinguished Royal Alpha Lodge No.16 in which Prince Arthur of Connaught was initiated. On the death of Hedworth Williamson during 1900, Lord Barnard was appointed to the vacant office of Provincial Grand Master of Durham.[1]

His legal training and business skills vastly improved the organisation of freemasonry in north east England, with membership increasing from 3,330 to 9,000 during his tenure.[4] Two lodges, Lord Barnard Lodge No. 2935 at South Shields (consecrated during 1902) and Vane Lodge No.3110 at Bishop Auckland (consecrated in 1905) were named in his honour.[4]

Honours and accolades[edit]

Lord Barnard held the honorary position of Colonel 4th (Special Reserve) Battalion Durham Light Infantry, the Chairman of the Tees Fishery Board and was a governor of Shrewsbury School.[1] He was a member of Brooks and the Oxford and Cambridge gentleman's clubs.[1] As with the fashion of the time, he kept two houses, his provincial home being Raby Castle, Darlington and a residence for the London season at 20 Belgrave Square, SW.[1] He was also awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Civil Law (DCL) from the University of Durham in September 1901.[5]


In November 1917, following the death of his first son in France, Lady Barnard fell ill and died on 16 March 1918.[6] Lord Barnard died shortly thereafter on 28 December 1918, his funeral was held New Year's Eve.[4] A masonic memorial service was held at Durham Cathedral,[3] at which the Dean of Durham stated:

[he] succeeded by inheritance to a great position upon which it had not been possible for him with complete certainty to reckon. He accepted it in the simple spirit of duty and made best use of it while life and health were his, for the good of his fellow citizens.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Who’s Who 1916. Oxford University Press. 1916. p. 172. 
  2. ^ http://thepeerage.com/p7103.htm
  3. ^ a b c d The Official Gazette of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Durham 1908 to 1919. Durham Freemasons. 1919. p. 172. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Durham Freemasons (2000). "The Rt. Hon. The Lord Barnard Provincial Grand Master of Durham 1900 to 1918" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 July 2011. Retrieved 3 November 2010. 
  5. ^ "University intelligence". The Times (36573). London. 30 September 1901. p. 4. 
  6. ^ Coulson, Tom (1992). The Rt Hon Henry de Vere Vane, 9th Baron Barnard – A Short Masonic Biography. Durham Freemasons. pp. 26–43. 
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Harry Powlett
Baron Barnard
Succeeded by
Christopher Vane