Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Barrington, Shute

BARRINGTON, SHUTE (1734–1826), successively bishop of Llandaff, Salisbury, and Durham, was the sixth and youngest son of John Shute, first Viscount Barrington [q. v.] in the peerage of Ireland, by Anne, daughter and co-heiress of Sir William Daines, knight. He was born 26 May 1734, at Becket, Berkshire, and lost his father before he was seven months old. He was educated at Eton; was afterwards entered as a gentleman-commoner of Merton College, Oxford, where he took the degree of B.A. 21 Jan. 1755; and after obtaining a fellowship in the same or the subsequent year was ordained by Bishop Secker, afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1756, and proceeded M.A. 10 Oct. 1757. By the interest of his brother William, the second Lord Barrington [q. v.], he was appointed, in 1760, chaplain-in-ordinary to George III, and on 10 Oct. in the following year became a canon of Christ Church, and took his degree of D.C.L. 10 June 1762. He was promoted, 23 April 1768, to a canonry at St. Paul's, which he afterwards exchanged, December 1776, for a stall at Windsor. He was consecrated bishop of Llandaff, at Lambeth, on Sunday, 1 Oct. 1769. In the following year he issued a second edition of his father's ‘Miscellanea Sacra,’ in three volumes (London, 1770). In 1782 he was translated to the see of Salisbury, where he charitably aided the necessitous clergy and the poor of the diocese, and spent much money upon the repairs of the cathedral and the episcopal palace. In 1791 he succeeded Dr. Thurlow in the rich see of Durham, into which he made a public entry 4 Aug., with interchange of addresses and other courtesies (Dr. Sharp's Speech made to the Right Rev. Shute, Lord Bishop of Durham, on August 4, 1791, with his Lordship's Answer, 8vo, Durham, 1791; Gentleman's Magazine, August 1791, pp. 695–6). Barrington presided for thirty-five years over the see of Durham. He was a vigorous champion of the protestant establishment, of which his father had been among the foremost supporters; and, dreading the revival of their political power, he was zealously opposed to granting any further concessions to the Roman catholics. His tract, entitled ‘The Grounds on which the Church of England separated from the Church of Rome reconsidered, in a view of the Romish Doctrine of the Eucharist, and an Explanation of the Antepenultimate Answer in the Church Catechism’ (London, 1809), was generally esteemed by his contemporaries one of the most valuable pamphlets on the subject. Much discussion followed its publication. To the opinion that the corruptions of the church of Rome were the principal causes of the French revolution Barrington had given prominent utterance in a ‘Sermon preached before the Lords Spiritual and Temporal on Wednesday, 27 Feb. 1799, the day appointed for a General Fast,’ afterwards published in London in 1799, and in a sermon published in 1806. Yet he was willing to grant the Roman catholics ‘every degree of toleration short of political power and establishment;’ and he offered not only financial assistance, but also the utmost hospitality, to the French emigrant bishops and clergy.

Barrington died on 25 March 1826, at his house in Cavendish Square, in the ninety-second year of his age (Nichols's Illustrations, &c. v. 621). At the time of his death the bishop was count palatine and custos rotulorum of Durham, visitor of Balliol College, Oxford, a trustee, by election, of the British Museum, and president of the Society for bettering the Condition of the Poor, and of the School for the Indigent Blind. He left numerous legacies to charities, and provided for the establishment of the ‘Barrington Society for promoting Religious and Christian Piety in the Diocese of Durham.’ Besides the works which have been already mentioned, Barrington wrote a large number of occasional productions, which were collected into a volume of ‘Sermons, Charges, and Tracts,’ 8vo, London, 1811. He contributed some valuable ‘Notes’ to the third edition of Mr. William Bowyer's ‘Critical Conjectures and Observations on the New Testament,’ 4to, London, 1782. He was also the author of the ‘Political Life of William Wildman, Viscount Barrington, compiled from Original Papers, by his Brother Shute, Bishop of Durham’ (4to, London, 1814, and 8vo, 1815). Barrington was twice married, but had no issue: firstly, 2 Feb. 1761, to Lady Diana Beauclerk, only daughter of Charles, second duke of St. Albans, who died in childbed 28 May 1766; and secondly, 20 June 1770, to Jane, only daughter of Sir John Guise, Bart., who died at Mongewell, 8 Aug. 1807.

[Cassan's Lives and Memoirs of the Bishops of Sherborne and Salisbury, 1824; ‘Memoirs of Bishop Shute Barrington, prefixed to the Rev. George Townsend's edition of the Theological Works of the first Viscount Barrington, 1828; The Georgian Era, 1832; Nichols's Literary Anecdotes, vi. 452, and Illustrations, v. 608–29; Imperial Magazine, June and July, 1826.]

A. H. G.