Barnes, Thomas

, D. D. a learned dissenter, was born at Warrington in Lancashire, Feb. 13, 1747. His lather died when he was only three years old; but he had the happiness to be instructed in the principles of piety by a sensible and affectionate mother, and early discovered an inclination to study with a view to the ministerial function. He was accordingly placed at the grammar school of Warrington, under the Rev. Mr. Owen, an able classical scholar, and afterwards became a boarder at a school kept by the Rev. Philip Holland, at Bolton. From this he removed in 1764 to the academy at Warrington, where Dr. Aikin and Dr. Priestley were tutors. In 1769 he was ordained a preacher, and settled at Cockey Moor, near Bolton, for twelve years, during which he became highly acceptable to his congregation, and more than trebled their number. In May 17 So, he removed to Manchester, and became connected there as co-pastor, with one of the largest and most wealthy congregations among the Protestant dissenters, of the presbyterian denomination, and here he remained during the space of thirty years, preaching from 1782, twice each Sunday. In the beginning of 1784, the degree of D. D. was conferred upon him by the university of Edinburgh, on the recommendation of his friends, particularly the late learned Dr. Percival. Not long after, Dr. Barnes was induced, by the solicitations of his friends,’ to undertake, in conjunction with his colleague in the ministry, the Rev. Ralph Harrison, the charge of an academical institution at Manchester. On this he entered in the summer of 1786, and presided as principal, with great reputation, until 1798, when he determined to resign it, in consequence of the difficulty which he had for some time experienced, in maintaining in so large a town as Manchester, where there are many temptations to dissipation, that regular and strict discipline which he wished to support. His active mind, however, was alxvays ready to embrace every opportunity of usefulness and after his retirement from the academy, he began to take a lively interest in the concerns of the Manchester infirmary, which continued to be a favourite object of his attention to the time of his death and in the conduct of which his assistance has been generally considered and acknowledged to be of great use. He was also one of the first promoters of the Manchester literary and philosophical society, anjd wrote several papers in the early volumes of its memoirs, | which his friend Dr. Percival, a very competent judge, repeatedly urged him to revise and enlarge for separate publication, but he appears to have been unambitious of literary fame, althou/h he had undoubted claims j and never published any thing, but “A Discourse upon the commencement of the Academy,1786, which he undertook to conduct a funeral sermon on the death of the Rev. Thomas Threlkeld, of Rochdale and some smaller pieces, without his name, in the periodical journals. This is the more to be regretted, as he was a man of uncommon activity and diligence with his pen, and is said to have written many hundred sermons which he never preached, a fact very extraordinary, if we consider the number he must have been obliged to preach in the course of fortytwo years. One of his last labours was the establishment of a bible society at Manchester, as auxiliary to that of London. In his private character, Dr. Barnes was truly amiable and exemplary. What his religious principles were, is not very clearly stated in our authority, but if we are not misinformed, they were of that kind to which the epithet liberal has been annexed. He died June 28, 1810. 1

1

Funeral Sermon, by Mr. Bealey, 8vo. 1810.