James Barry, 1st Baron Barry of Santry

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James Barry, 1st Baron Barry of Santry PC (Ire) (1603–1673) was an Irish lawyer, judge and peer.

Early life[edit]

Barry was the son of Richard Barry and Anne Cusack, daughter of John Cusack of Rathgar Castle. His father and grandfather were wealthy merchants of Dublin, his grandfather James Barry having been Sheriff of Dublin City, while his father was Lord Mayor of Dublin and representative in the Irish House of Commons for Dublin. He married Catharine Parsons (daughter of Sir William Parsons and Elizabeth Lany), by whom he had four sons and four daughters, including Richard, his heir..[1] His favourite sister Anne married James Donnellan, later Chief Justice of the Irish Common Pleas, but died young: her brother and her husband remained close throughout their lives.[2] Adam Cusack, Chief Justice of Connacht, was a cousin in the next generation on James's mother's side.

He graduated from Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, on 27 April 1621 with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.). He gained a Master of Arts (M.A.) from Trinity College, Dublin, in June 1624.


He was admitted to Lincoln's Inn on 11 July 1621. In 1628 he served as a barrister, and he was Recorder of Dublin. Other appointments included Prime Sergeant, 6 October 1629. He was admitted to King's Inn, 15 April 1630, (he served twice as its Treasurer) and was Member of Parliament for Lismore in 1634.

He became second Baron of the Court of Exchequer (Ireland), 5 August 1634, through the influence of Lord Wentworth. He published in 1637, at the request of Lord Wentworth, to whom he dedicated it, The Case of Tenures upon the Commission of Defective Titles, argued by all the Judges of Ireland, with the Resolution and the Reasons of their Resolution. In 1640 he used what influence he had, but in vain, with Sir James Ware and other members of the Irish House of Commons, to prevent their sending a committee of their body to England to impeach the Earl of Strafford, as Wentworth now was. He was chairman of the Royalist Convention, 7 July 1659. This met at Dublin in defiance of the government. It voted the unconditional Restoration of Charles II. In November 1660, " in consideration of his many good services to Charles I and his eminent loyalty to Charles II", he became Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench for Ireland, and Privy Counsellor. He was appointed a commissioner to execute the King's Declaration which ultimately led to the Act of Settlement 1662. He was accused, rather obscurely, of being "a cold friend" to the Declaration, and this, as well as his increasing infirmity, was one of the "material objections" which led to his being rejected as Speaker of the Irish House of Lords. However he did sit on the Lords Committee to consider the state of the Irish coinage.

As Treasurer and Council member of the King's Inns he was accused of being dilatory and inefficient, perhaps as a result of the "infirmity" referred to above.


He was created 1st Baron Barry of Santry, County Dublin on 18 February 1661. His residence was at Santry. His portrait is the oldest now in the possession of the King's Inns.


He died on 9 February 1673 and was buried on 14 February 1673 in St. Mary's Chapel, Christchurch Cathedral, Dublin.[3] His eldest son Richard succeeded as second Baron.


  1. ^ "James Barry, 1st Baron Barry of Santry". The Peerage. 16 May 2011. 
  2. ^ Ball, F. Elrington The Judges in Ireland 1221-1921 London John Murray 1926
  3. ^ Osborough, W. N. (2004). "Barry, James, first Baron Barry of Santry (1603–1673)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/1561. Retrieved 2013-06-10.  (subscription or UK public library membership required)

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain"Barry, James (1603-1672)". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900. 

Legal offices
Preceded by
William Basill
Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench for Ireland
Succeeded by
Sir John Povey
Peerage of Ireland
New creation Baron Barry of Santry
Succeeded by
Richard Barry