Barnard, Sir John

, an eminent citizen and alderman of London of the last century, and many years one of its representatives in parliament, will not probably be thought undeserving of a lengthened notice, in these days of political delusion and imposture. He was born at Heading, in Berkshire, in 1685. His parents, who were of the people called Quakers, put him to a school at Wandsworth, in Surrey, which was solely appropriated to the education of persons of that profession. From this school, the master of which was of the same religious principles, young Barnard is said to have derived very iittle advantage in point of classical and polite literature. This loss, however, his native good sense, and love of knowledge, soon led him to supply, as far as possible, by carefully reading, in our own tongue, the best writers of Greece and Rome. By these means, though he could | not be fully sensible of the elegance of the classic authors, which was, for the most part, lost in the translations of them, he became well acquainted with every remarkable sect, character, and action, in profane history. Such were the integrity and candour of his mind, when he was a boy, that his playmates used to choose him for their chancellor, in the disputes which they had with each other, and readily submitted to his decisions. When in the fifteenth year of his age, his father, who appears to have been settled in London, and had long been afflicted with bad health, determined to take him into his comptinghouse and, from observing his natural turn, assiduity, and talents, scrupled not to commit to his care the management of a great business in the wine trade, nor was he disappointed in the early confidence which he placed in his son. At this time our young gentleman took peculiar pleasure in the study of figures, which he pursued with such success, that his judgment was afterwards highly valued in affairs which required profound skill in calculation, and his knowledge as an able financier became undisputed. In the midst of these pursuits and engagements, he did not neglect the subject of religion. Some scruples having arisen in his mind with regard to the principles wherein he had been educated, he determined to apply himself to the devout study of the Bible, which he firmly believed to be the sole repository of divine truth. The result of his inquiries was, that he found himself called upon, by the dictates of his conscience, to make the painful sacrifice of openly renouncing the distinguishing tenets of his revered parents. For this purpose, he was introduced to doctor Compton, then bishop of London and, after several conferences with that prelate, was baptized by him, in his chapel at Fulham, 1703. Mr. Barnard was under nineteen years of age when he quitted the society of the Quakers; and from that time he continued, till his death, a member of the established church, an admirer of her liturgy, and an ornament to her communion. There was a peculiarity of character in the early part of his life, which deserves to be noticed. When he was a youth himself, he never chose to associate with those of his own age. Being convinced that he could derive no improvement from an acquaintance with them, he sought out companions among men distinguished by their knowledge, learning, and religion j and such men received, | with open arms, a young person who discovered so much good sense and discernment.

Mr. Barnard, till the thirty-sixth year of his age, was only known by the excellencies of his private character, and the esteem in which he was held as a man of reading and strong parts. But about this time, the following incident laid the foundation of his public fame. A bill seriously affecting the wine trade, had passed through the house of commons, and was depending in the upper house. The principal merchants, who would have been injured by the operation of the bill, united in presenting a petition to the lords, praying to be heard against it, by themselves, -or counsel. Their request being granted, Mr. Barnard, without his knowledge, was made choice of, as the fittest person to prove the grievance alleged, and to answer every objection to the petition. Through some unaccountable negligence, he was not acquainted with the business assigned him, till the afternoon before he was to be heard by the peers. This singular disadvantage, when it came to be known, made his speech appear the more extraordinary. By the extent of his acquaintance with, commerce, and the perspicuity and force of his reasoning, accompanied with a becoming modesty, he contributed in so high a degree to carry the point aimed at, that all his friends considered themselves as principally indebted to his talents for their success. So signal an instance of Mr. Barnard’s abilities drew the attention of the public towards him, andprepared the way for his appearing in a more honourable and important station. The admiration he had acquired, made it wished, that he might be employed in the service of his fellow- citizens and countrymen at large. Accordingly, at an anniversary meeting in 1721, his friends proposed, without his knowledge, that he should be put up as a candidate to represent the city of London in Parliament at the next election, which was expected to happen in that year, though it did not take place till the year following. When Mr. Barnard was informed of the honour intended him, he urged hisinvincible dislike to the soliciting and canvassing for votes. But this objection was over-ruled by the proposers, who pledged themselves to undertake that trouble and so effectually did they perform their promise, that he was chosen member, though the contest between the competitors was one of the warmest ever known in London. | The candidates were Child, Lockwood, Godfrey, Barnard, Parsons, and Heyshaw the four former of whom were elected. Seven thousand six hundred and seventy-three liverymen polled a number, it is said, which had never before been equalled. All who knew Mr. Barnard, conceived great expectations that he would acquit himself to the honour of his constituents nor were their expectations disappointed. From his first -taking his seat in the house of commons, he entered with penetration into the merits of each point under debate defended with intrepidity what he apprehended to be our constitutional rights; withstood every attempt to burden his country with needless subsidies; argued with remarkable perspicuity and strength and crowned all with such a close attendance upon parliament, that he was never absent by choice, from the time the members met, till they were adjourned. It is difficult to say, whether out of the house he was more popular, or within it more respectable, during the space of nearly forty years.

Of the regard sir Robert Walpole had for him, the following instance has been given riding out on the same day in two parties, they happened to come where only a narrow lane prevented their view of each other. Mr. Bar-­nard, talking with his company, was overheard. And a gentleman of the other party said, Whose voice is that Sir Robert replied, do you not know it is one I shall never forget I have often felt its power. Upon meeting at the end of the lane, sir Robert Walpole, with that enchanting courtesy he possessed, saluting Mr. Barnard, told him what had passed.

As Mr. Barnard was so assiduous in discharging his duty to his constituents, and took so constant a part in every important affair that occurred during a very interesting period, of the British annals, were we to take particular notice of all the business wherein he was engaged, and of all the debates in which he spoke, we should run too far into the general history of the time, but the more distinguished instances of his parliamentary conduct will unavoidably be mentioned in the course of our narrative. Violent disputes having arisen in the city of London, about the choice of sheriffs and aldermen, it was thought necessary to ascertain more clearly than they were then understood, the rights and modes of election for the future. Accordingly, in 1725, a bill was brought into parliament | to effect that important purpose. But the citizens apprehending that it invaded their just privileges, formed a strong opposition to it, in which they were supported by three of their representatives, Child, Lock wood, and Barnard. Mr. Barnard objected to it, that, by its making an alteration in the city charter, it established a bad precedent for the crown to violate corporation charters at their pleasure; that.it took away from a number of honest citizens the right they had enjoyed, from time immemorial, of voting at wardmote elections that it abridged the privileges of the common -council and that, by transferring too great a weight of authority and influence to the court of mayor and aldermen, it subverted, in a considerable degree, the ancient constitution of the metropolis. The formal thanks of the citizens were presented, by a deputation of four aldermen and eight commoners, to Mr. Barnard and his two colleagues, for their cgnduct in this affair. The bill, notwithstanding all opposition, passed into a layv and it is the statute by which all elections in the city are now regulated. However, the most obnoxious part of the act, which granted a negative power to the lord mayor and aldermen, was repealed in 1746 and to this sir John Barnard greatly contributed. On the 4th of January 1728, Mr. Barnard was chosen alderman of Dowgate Ward, upon the death of John Crawley, esq. On the 14th of April, 1729, he presented a bill to the house of commons, for the better regulation and gove’rnment of seamen in the merchants service which, having passed in that house on the 6th of May, was sent up to the lords, and received the royal assent on the 14th of the same month. About this time, likewise, he took an active part in the inquiry, which, in consequence of the iniquitous and cruel conduct of Thomas Bambridge, warden of trie Fleet, was made into the state of the gaols in this kingdom. When Bambridge and his agents were committed to Newgate, and the attorney-general was ordered to prosecute them, alderman Barnard was very assiduous as a magistrate, in procuring information concerning the several abuses which had been practised in the Fleet to the oppression of the debtors and he so pathetically represented the grievances under which they laboured, as to be greatly instrumental in obtaining the act of insolvency, and the act for the relief of debtors, with respect to the imprisonment of their persons, which were assented | to by the king, at the close of the session, on the 14th of May, 1729. Another occasion which he had of displaying his parliamentary abilities, was, when on the 24th of February 1729-30, the bill was read a second time, “To prevent any persons, his majesty’s subjects, or residing within this kingdom, to advance any sum of money to any foreign prince, state, or potentate, without having obtained licence from his majesty under his privy seal, or some greater authority.” The bill had taken its rise from a negotiation which had been set on foot by the emperor of Germany, to obtain a loan in England, of 400,000/1 Mr. Barnard, who opposed the passing of the act, alleged in the course of the debate, several important reasons against it; which, however, were answered in a masterly manner by sir Philip Yorke. The opposition so far prevailed, that the bill was modified in a certain degree and an expla^ natiort was given by the ministry, that it was not his majesty’s intention to prevent his subjects from lending money to the king of Portugal, or any other prince in alliance with England and that the only reason for not naming the emperor in the bill was, that by making it general, there could be no foundation for an open rupture between the courts of London and Vienna. On the 28th of September, 1732, Mr. Barnard having attended Francis Child, esq. then lord mayor, to Kensington, with an address of congratulation to king George the Second, received from his majesty the honour of knighthood. Towards the beginning of the following year, the famous excise scheme, which met with so vigorous an opposition, was proposed by sir Robert Walpole. As a particular account of this arTair will more properly come under the article of that celebrated statesman, we shall take no other notice of it here than what may be necessary to complete the history of sir John Barnard. No one could exceed him in the ability and zeal with which he oppose^ the design. He spoke several times against it, and condemned it both in a commercial and political light. He considered it as introductory to such general and arbitrary laws of excise as would be absolutely inconsistent with the freedom of the constitution and thought that the question upon the scheme would be, “Whether we shall endeavour to prevent frauds in the collecting of the public revenues, at the expence of the liberties of the people” “For my own part,” said sir John, “I never was guilty of any fraud: I put it to any man, be he who he will, to accuse me | of so much as the appearance of a fraud in any trade I was ever concerned in I am resolved never to be guilty of any fraud. It is very true, that these frauds are a very great prejudice to all fair traders and, therefore, I speak against my own interest, when I speak against any methods that may tend towards preventing of frauds. But I shall never put my private interest in balance with the interest or happiness of the nation. I had rather beg my bread from door to door, and see my country flourish, than be the greatest subject of the nation, and see the trade of my country decaying, and the people enslaved and oppressed.” On the 14th of March, 1732-3, in the grand committee of the house of commons “To consider of the most proper methods for the better security and improvement of the duties and revenues, already charged upon, and payable from tobacco and wines,” the excise scheme was proposed. In the course of the long and violent debate which took place on this occasion, sir John Barnard, among other arguments, alledged that the scheme was such as could not, even by malice itself, be represented to be worse than it really was; that it was a pill, which, if the people of England were obliged to swallow, they would find as bitter a pill v as ever was swallowed by them since they were a people that the intended remedy for preventing frauds in the collection of the revenue, was far more desperate than the disease that the constitution of our government, and the liberty of the subject, were never more nearly or more immediately concerned in any question and that it was a dangerous encroachment upon the ancient birthright of Englishmen, the right of trial by jury. A great number of the citizens having come down to the lobby of the house of commons, and some of the crowd who had mixed with them having behaved tumultuously, sir Robert Walpole took notice of the extraordinary concourse of people who were collected together at the door, and declared his disapprobation of the methods which had been used to bring them thither. In doing this, he so far lost the usual moderation of his temper, as to drop an expression which gave the highest offence to the city of London, and was long remembered to his disadvantage. “Gentlemen,‘’ he observed,” might say what they pleased of the multitudes at the door, and in all the avenues leading to the house j they might call them a modest multitude if they would they might give them what names they thought fit; it | might be said that they came as humble supplicants but,“added sir Robert,I know whom the law calls Sturdy Beggars and those who brought them hither could not be certain but that they might have behaved in the same manner.“Sir John Barnard rising up to answer this reflection, the committee, for a while, were in some confusion, in consequence of the question’s being loudly called for. At length, however, order being restored, sir John made the following reply” Sir, I know of no irregular or unfair methods that were used to call people from the city to your door. It is certain, that any set of gentlemen or merchants may lawfully desire their friends, they may even write letters, and they may send those letters to whom they please, to desire the merchants of figure and character to come down to the court of requests, and to our lobby, in order to solicit their friends and acquairitance ngainst any scheme or project, which they think may be prejudicial to them. This is the undoubted right: of the subject, and what has been always practised upon all occasions. The honourable gentleman talks of Sturdy Beggars I do not know what sort of people may be now at our door, because I have not lately been out of the house. But I believe they are the same sort of people that were there when I came last into the house and then, I can assure you, that I saw none but such as deserve the name of Sturdy Beggars as little as the honourable gentleman himself, or any gentleman whatever. It is well known that the city of London was sufficiently apprized of what we were this day to be about. Where they got their information, I do not know but I am very certain that they had a right notion of the scheme which has been now opened to us and they were so generally and zealously bent against it, that whatever methods may have been used to call them together, I am sure it would have been impossible to have found any legal method to have prevented their coming hither." When four resolutions had been formed by the committee, in pursuance of sir Robert WalpoleV motion, relating to the excise-scheme, and were reported to the house on the 16th of March, sir John Barnard took the lead with his usual spirit, in the fresh debate which arose upon the question of agreeing to the first resolution. And the same vigorous opposition was continued by him through the whole progress of the bill, till, as is well known, sir Robert Walpole himself found it | necessary to move, on the 11th of April, 1733, that the second reading of it should be deferred for two months.

On 5th of March 1734-5, a motion was made by sir John Barnard, for leave to bring in a bill “For restraining the number of houses for playing of interludes, and for the better regulating common players of interludes.” In support of his motion, he represented the mischief that was done to the metropolis by the effect which the play-houses had in corrupting the youth, encouraging vice and debauchery, and prejudicing the spirit of industry and trade and he urged that these evils would be much increased, if, according to a project which was then set on foot, another play-house should be erected in the very heart of the city. He was seconded by Mr. Sandys, and was so ably sustained by Mr. Pulteney, sir Robert Walpole, sir Joseph Jekyll, sir Thomas Saunderson, and Mr. James Erskine, that it was ordered, nemine eontradicente, that a bill should be brought in, pursuant to sir John Barnard’s motion. This was accordingly done j but the affair was afterwards dropped, on account of a clause which was offered to be inserted in the bill, for enlarging the power of the lord chamberlain, with regard to the licensing of plays. At midsummer, 1735, sir John Barnard was chosen, together with his brother-inlaw, alderman Godschall, to the office of sheriff for the city of London and county of Middlesex. When, on the 2d of February, 1736-7, Mr. Pulteney moved in the house of commons for an address to his majesty, that he would graciously be pleased to settle 100,000l. a year upon his royal highness Frederick prince of Wales, sir John was one of the gentlemen who spoke in its favour.

Hitherto our upright and excellent magistrate and senator had been singularly popular in his undertakings. But in the next great affair he was engaged in, though his purposes were as wise and upright as in any part of his former conduct, he met with a very different fate. On the 14th of March, 1736-7, he made a motion for enabling his majesty to raise money towards redeeming old and new South Sea annuities. This was done with a view of reducing the interest of these annuities from four to three per cent, and thereby to prepare a way for a like reduction of interest with regard to the other funds. In consequence of the debates which arose on this occasion, several resolutions were formed by the committee of the whole house and a bill was ordered in for converting all the public funds, redeemable by law, into an interest or an^ | nuity not exceeding three per cent, per annum. The matter, however, was so altered, modified, and refined upon, and rendered so unacceptable, by the artifices of those in power, that, after long and violent debates, it came to nothing. The integrity of sir John Barnard appeared in his moving, about the same time, that the house would, as soon as the annual interest of all the national redeemable debt should be reduced to three per cent, take off some of the heavy taxes which oppress the poor and manufacturers but this proposition was rejected by a considerable majority. Notwithstanding the undeniable uprightness of his intentions, he became, whMe his attempt to reduce the yearly dividends of the funds was depending, very obnoxious to the“public. Instead of receiving the applause which he justly merited, he was insulted with revilings, and exposed to the resentment of the populace. A young man belonging to a public office, headed a mob, who endeavoured to break into sir John Barnard’s house. Though farther violence was prevented, the disturbance continued for some hours. The leader of the rioters, conscious that the assault might easily be proved upon him, consulted his safety by flight into another country. After several months, sir John Barnard was entreated to suffer the criminal to return without molestation to which he generously answered,” that he felt no resentment against the youth that it was enough, if he was sensible or‘ his fault that no prosecution was ever intended; and that allowances should be made for the effect which inflammatory speeches have upon young minds, from those whom it is their duty to respect and love.“The odium which was excited by the plan of our faithful senator soon subsided. His character shone the brighter from the cloud which had been cast upon it. And when, some years afterwards, Mr. Henry Pelham adopted and carried into execution the scheme which was now rejected, he was greatly aided and encouraged in the undertaking by sir John Barnard. Indeed, sir John was so fully convinced of the wisdom and utility of the design, that he published, though without his name, in February 1749-50, a small tract in defence of it, entitled” Considerations on the Proposal fur reducing the Interest on the National Debt.“This piece is written with great perspicuity and good sense; and the arguments of it were by no means invalidated by an answer to it, called” Annotations on a late | pamphlet, entitled Considerations on the Proposals for reducing the Interest on the National Debt.’ 7

In 1737, he was raised to the dignity of chief magistrate of the city of London and no one ever discharged the office with greater reputation to himself, or advantage to the public. During his whole mayoralty, he paid a paternal attention to the welfare of his fellow citizens. Though he was enthusiastically devoted to a country evening retirement, he would not sleep a single night in his house at Clapham, lest any person should be injured by his indulging himself even with a short absence from the metropolis. He gave such strict injunctions to remove the nuisance of common beggars out of the City, and took such care to have his injunctions observed, that scarcely a vagrant was to be seen within the walls. When young delinquents were brought before him, he was an advocate, in every instance where it could be done with propriety, for softening the penalties they had incurred. If prosecutors were of a severe temper, he would labour to dissuade them from sending a petty offender, for the first trespass, to a prison, where surrounding prostitutes, and wretches hardened in vice, might induce a total corruption of manners. There were not wanting, it is said, several instances in which his prudence and seasonable lenity became happily successful in restoring deluded youths to regularity of conduct, and the order of society. But where severity was necessary, sir John Barnard well knew how to exercise it with a becoming firmness. As the regard he bore to the clergy was generally spoken of, an offender of that order thought that he should hence be treated with greater gentleness. Accordingly, he appeared before the lord mayor in his canonical robes. But his lordship strongly represented to him that the sanctity of the clerical profession was a high aggravation of the fault and, without paying the least deference to his religious garb, punished the reverend delinquent according to his crime. Among other methods which our active magistrate took to promote virtuous manners, and the good government of the city, one was the issuing of a strict order for the decent observance of the Lord’s day. The edict was so diligently enforced, as effectually to awe the offenders against whom it was levelled. The Sunday was observed throughout the city with a decency which hath never since been equalled and it must be acknowledged | that sir John Barnard, by his conduct in this respect, consulted not only the honour of religion, but the political welfare and happiness of the community.

There was an excellent rule laid down by sir John Barnard for himself in his mayoralty, and which well deserves to be imitated. He would not permit, if it could possibly be avoided, any persons to be committed to the Compter, even for a single night, without the accusation’s being heard. He thought that the confinement of a single night might, if they were innocent, be very injurious to the parties put into custody it might hurt their morals, or otherwise be very distressing to themselves or families. He sat up, therefore, every evening, till after eleven o’clock, to hear the cases of those who were laid hold of by the constables. One night, when he was gone up stairs to bed, a woman was brought, who had been seized as a street-walker. Though the lord mayor was nearly undressed, he readily came down again. The woman alledged in her defence, that she was a person of honesty, who lived in a remote part of Wapping, and had been kept out late by necessary and unavoidable business. As she said that her neighbours would testify to her character, Jiis lordship waited patiently to past three in the morning, until some of them came for that purpose. During his mayoralty, he had the misfortune of losing his lady, whose funeral procession to Clapham was attended, through the city, by the children belonging to Christ’s hospital, of which he was many years president.

In 1745, the whole kingdom was indebted to the weight and influence of sir John Barnard, in assisting to prevent the public confusion. The successes of the rebels in Scotland, at that time, and their march into the heart of England, had spread such a terror through the city, that public credit began to be shaken, and there was a run upon the Bank, the notes of which had sunk to ten per cent, below their value. In this crisis, sir John Barnard took the lead at the head of one thousand and six hundred merchants and principal traders, who, at Garraway’s coffeehouse, signed the following agreement

We, the undersigned merchants, and others, being sensible how necessary the preservation of public credit is, at this time, do hereby declare, that we will not refuse to receive Bank notes in payment of any sum of money to be paid to us, and ttyat we will use our utmost endeavours to | make all our payments in the same manner.” This happy expedient removed the jealousies which the enemies of the constitution, or the fears of the people, had excited, and restored public credit to its usual vigour. Sir John Barnard, having disapproved of the method of raising the supplies for the service of the year 1.746, and having made some other proposals for that purpose, a pamphlet was addressed to him, which blamed his conduct in this respect, and objected to the schemes he had offered. To this he thought proper to reply, in a tract to which he prefixed his name, entitled “A Defence of several Proposals for raising of three millions for the service of the Government, for the Year 1746 with a postscript, containing some notions relating to public credit 1J and whoever peruses it, will be sensible how well skilled he was in matters of finance. Upon the death of sir John Thompson, in 1749, sirJolm Barnard took upon him the office of alderman of Bridgeward Without; and thus became in name, as before he might be deemed in reality, the Father of the City. The sense of the many advantages, which he had been active in procuring for the nation in general, and the metropolis in particular, induced the body of London merchants to testify their veneration for him, by erecting his statue, during his lifetime, in the Royal Exchange an honour which had never before been conferred on any beneath a crowned head. Sir John Barnard’s modesty engaged him sincerely to object to this signal mark of the gratitude and esteem of his fellow-citizens. He thought that such a testimony of regard ought not to be paid to any character, till its perseverance in integrity had been sealed by death and he said that he could not, consistently with decorum and delicacy, appear in the Royal Exchange, when his statue was there. Accordingly, he never afterwards used to ' go within-side of it, but contented himself with transacting his business in the front of that building. In 1754, without his solicitations, and, indeed, contrary to his wishes, he was chosen, for the last time to a seat in parliament for the city of London on which occasion, he made the following speech to hk electors” The honour you have done me in choosing me six times one of your representatatives in parliament, calls for my sincere and hearty thanks; the rather, as I look upon the present election to be the last favour I can expect. I have not of late presumed to offer my service, knowing my inability to give that | attendawce in parliament, which this honourable city has a right to require from its members. But the continuance of your polling for me, is a proof of your kindness in overlooking my failings, and of your affectionate regard for me. The impression which this hath made upon my heart can never be effaced, of which I beg leave to assure you, and of my best endeavours to promote the good of this city in particular, and of the nation in general."

Sir John Barnard finding, some few years afterwards, that the infirmities of age advanced fast upon him, and having always disliked the thought of retaining a trust when the duties of it could no longer be fulfilled, thought proper to resign his alderman’s gown. This resolution, which took place in July 175$, was received with the sincere concern of his brethren, and his fellow-citizens. The subsequent record of his worth, at the motion of John Paterson, esq. was ordered to be entered upon their books, by the court of common-council. “Sir John Barnard, so justly and emphatically styled the Father of this City, having lately, to the great and lasting regret of this court, thought proper to resign the office of alderman, it is unanimously resolved, that the thanks of this court be given him, for having so long and so faithfully devoted himself to the service of his fellow-citizens for the honour and influence which this city has, upon many occasions, derived from the dignity of his character, and the wisdom, steadiness, and integrity of his conduct, both in church and state; his noble struggles for liberty and his disinterested, invariable pursuits of the true glory and prosperity of his king and country, uninfluenced by power, unawed by clamour, and unbiassed by the prejudices of party.” An equally honourable resolution was passed by the court of aldermen.

Sir John Barnard, after resigning the office of alderman, retired in a great measure from public business, and Jived in a private manner, at his house at Clapham, for the remainder of his days. The persons he commonly associated with were his neighbours, most of them merchants, whom he used to meet at a weekly club. It was his custom, likewise, to go, once a week, to the common bowling-green. When he rode out on the Saturdays and Mondays, the principal gentlemen of Clapham attended him, and esteemed themselves highly honoured in being of his party. After some years of honourable retirement, he | departed this life on the 29th of August, 1764, at Clapharn in Surrey, and was buried at Mortlake in the same county.

All who have written concerning sir John Barnard, and all who were acquainted with him, have united in testifying to the universal excellence of his character. He was not only blameless, but eminently exemplary^ as a son, a husband, a father, a master, a benefactor, a merchant, a magistrate, and a senator. To the faithful and active discharge of the personal and social duties, he added a most devout sense of religion. The first hour, at least, of every day was employed in prayer, and the study of the scriptures. He attended public worship twice on a Sunday, and was constant in receiving the communion. He had such a high reverence for the Bible, that he always expressed a great dislike of any attacks which were made upon its sacred original and authority. Sir John Barnard did not, in leaving the Quakers, lay aside the simplicity of his manners. He was plain in his dress and address clear, unaffected, and concise in his language. Though modest in his deportment, he feared no man in the discharge of his duty. Once, when he had risen in a debate, sir Robert Walpole, then in the height of his power, was whispering to the speaker, who leaned towards him, over the arm of his chair. Upon this sir John Barnard cried out, “Mr. Speaker, Mr. Speaker, I address myself to you, and not to your chair. I will be heard. I call that gentleman to order.” The speaker turned about, dismissed sir Robert, asked sir John’s pardon, and desired him to proceed. Another time, when sir Robert Walpole had taken a roll of paper from off the table, and was reading it, sir John Barnard obliged him to lay it down, and attend to the business of the house.

When, during lord Granville’s being secretary of state, any applications were made by the merchants to administration, his lordship was accustomed to ask, “What does sir John Barnard say what is his opinion” That celebrated nobleman and Mr. Pulteney used frequently to visit him at Clapham, to request his advice with regard to any important affairs in which they were engaged. Lord Chatham, when Mr. Pitt, hath been known to style him the great Commoner and lord Palmerston requested his youngest daughter for his eldest son, as an honour done to his family.

It. is said, that sir John Barnard was once pressed, by king George the Second, to accept the post of chancellor | of the exchequer, which he refused. This was in February 1745-6, when earl Granville was again appointed secretary of state but was obliged to resign the seals in a few days, on account of a powerful combination against him.

Sir John Barnard left one son, and two daughters. His son John Barnard, esq. of Berkeley square, well known for his taste in the polite arts, and for his admirable collection of pictures, died about 1784. Of sir John Barnard’s daughters, the eldest was married to Thomas Hankey, esq. afterwards sir Thomas Hankey, knt. and the youngest to the honourable Henry Temple, esq. the second lord viscount Palmerston. 1

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Biog. Britannica.