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Barry, Gerat (DNB00)

BARRY, GERAT or GERALD (fl. 1624–1642), colonel in the Spanish army and military writer, was a member of an Irish family, of which the Earls of Barrymore and Viscounts Buttevant were regarded as the heads. Barry was born in the latter part of the sixteenth century, and in his early years entered the service of the King of Spain. He was employed for a time in the Spanish fleet, and subsequently in the army of Spain in the Low Countries and Germany. Under Ambrosio Spinola, Barry distinguished himself at the siege of Breda in 1625. Of this remarkable siege an account written by Barry in English, illustrated with plates, and dedicated to Spinola, was published at Louvain in 1628, in folio. Barry was also author of another folio volume, printed at Brussels in 1634, with the following title: ‘A Discourse of Military Discipline devided into three boockes, declaringe the partes and sufficiencie ordained in a private souldier, and in each officer servinge in the infantery till the election and office of the captaine generall; and the laste booke treatinge of fire-wourckes of rare executiones by sea and lande, as also of fortifications. Composed by Captaine Gerat Barry, Irish.’ To this volume, which is illustrated with curious plates and plans, Barry prefixed a dedication to David Fitz-David Barry, earl of Barrymore, viscount of Buttevant, baron of Ibaune, lord of Barrycourte and Castleliones, &c. This he dated ‘at the court of Bruxells, the first of May 1634.’ The publications of Barry are of great rarity, and but little known. Barry attained to the rank of colonel under the King of Spain, for whose service he was employed to raise troops in Ireland. After the rising of the Irish in 1641 Barry for a time acted as commander for them in Munster. His ill-success in that position was ascribed to his advanced age and want of experience in the modes of effectively carrying on the irregular warfare then adopted by the Irish. He retired from active service about 1642, and was outlawed by the English government for having joined in the Irish war. The year of the death of Barry has not been ascertained.

[Contemporary History of Affairs in Ireland, 1641-52, Dublin, 1879-81; Hist, of Confederation and War in Ireland, 1641-3, Dublin, 1882; State Papers, Ireland, 1641, Public Record Office; Add. MSS. 1008, 4772; Letter from Lord Deputy of Ireland to Speaker Lenthal, London, 1651.]

J. T. G.