BARKER, MATTHEW (1619–1698), nonconformist divine, was born at Cransley, Northamptonshire, in 1619. After completing his studies at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated M.A., he taught a school at Banbury, Oxfordshire, until the outbreak of the civil war in 1641 compelled him to remove to London. There he was shortly afterwards chosen minister of St. James's, Garlick Hill. About five years subsequently he accepted the invitation of the London citizens, who resided in the summer at Mortlake in Surrey, to become lecturer there. On 25 Oct. 1648 he preached a sermon before the House of Commons at St. Margaret's, Westminster. In 1650 he was chosen incumbent of St. Leonard's, Eastcheap. Along with Joseph Caryl [q. v.] he was sent in 1659 to Scotland with a letter to General Monk from Dr. Owen in the name of the independent churches, and he also signed in January 1660 the renunciation and declaration of the congregational and public preachers in London against ‘the late horrid insurrection and declaration of rebellion in the saide city.’ Being displaced in 1662, he collected a congregation, who were allowed the morning use of the meeting-house at Miles Lane erected after the great fire of 1666. After continuing the duties of his office for several years amidst ‘many hazards and difficulties,’ he died on 25 March 1698.
He was the author of ‘Natural Theology, or the Knowledge of God from the Works of Creation, accommodated and improved to the service of Christianity,’ 1674; ‘Flores Intellectuales, or select Notions, Sentences, and Observations, collected out of several Authors and made publick, especially for the use of young Scholars entering into the Ministry,’ 1691; ‘A Christian standing and moving upon the Foundation’ (sermon preached before the House of Commons), 1650; a sermon on Mark ii. 20 in ‘Supplement to the Morning Exercises at Cripplegate,’ 1676; a sermon on John i. 7 in ‘Continuation of Morning Exercises,’ 1683; a sermon on Matt. xi. 24, published in ‘Casuistical Morning Exercises,’ 1690; and an appendix to ‘A Discourse of Family Worship’ by George Hammond, 1694. He also edited Everard's ‘Gospel Treasury Opened,’ and wrote the annotations on the ‘Thessalonians’ in Poole's ‘Continuation.’
[Wilson's Dissenting Churches, i. 463–5; Palmer's Nonconf. Memorial, i. 144–5; Dunn's Seventy-five Eminent Divines, pp. 100–2.]
BARKER, MATTHEW HENRY (1790–1846), a writer of sea tales, was born in 1790 at Deptford, where his father had attained some distinction as a dissenting minister. At an early age he joined an East Indiaman, and afterwards served in the royal navy, where, as he was without influence, he never rose beyond the rank of master's mate. Retiring from the service, he commanded a hired armed schooner, and was employed in carrying despatches to the English squadrons on the southern coasts of France and Spain. On one occasion he fell into the enemy's hands, and was detained for some months as prisoner of war. In 1825 he became editor of a West Indian newspaper, and was afterwards employed, from 1827 to 1838, in a similar capacity at Nottingham. Under the name of ‘The Old Sailor,’ he wrote a number of lively and spirited sea-tales, very popular in their day. He was naval editor of the ‘United Service Gazette,’ and a frequent contributor to the ‘Literary Gazette,’ ‘Bentley's Miscellany,’ and the ‘Pictorial Times.’ For some astronomical discoveries he was presented with a telescope by the Royal Astronomical Society. Working hard to the last, he died on 29 June, 1846. His chief works are: 1. ‘Land and Sea Tales,’ 2 vols., 1836. 2. ‘Topsail-sheet Blocks, or the Naval Foundling,’ 3 vols., 1838, of which a new edition was issued as recently as 1881. 3. ‘Life of Nelson,’ 1836. 4. ‘The Naval Club, or Reminiscences of Service,’ 3 vols., 1843. 5. ‘The Victory, or the Wardroom Mess,’ 3 vols., 1844. Most of his works were illustrated by George Cruikshank, with whom he was on intimate terms, and to whose ‘Omnibus’ he was the chief contributor.
[Pictorial Times, July 1846; information from Mr. R. G. Barker; British Museum Catalogue.]
BARKER, ROBERT (d. 1645), king's printer, son of Christopher Barker [q. v.], was made free of the Stationers' Company, per patrimonium, 25 June 1589, and was admitted to the livery on 1 July 1592. He began to take apprentices on 26 March 1593, and during the life of his father carried on business with his deputies, George Bishop and Ralph Newbery, with whom in 1592–3 he brought out the Latin bible edited by Fr. Junius. It is not known where he lived or had his office, but most probably it was in the same house as his father. The court of assistants of the Stationers' Company recognised, 3 Jan. 1599–1600, the letters patent of Queen Elizabeth of 8 Aug. 1589, granting him the reversion for life, after his father's death, of the office of queen's printer, with right of printing English bibles, books of common prayer, statutes, and proclamations. The first bible which