Barrow, Isaac

, bishop of St.Asaph in the reign of Charles II. was the son of Isaac Barrow of Spiney Abbey irt Cambridgeshire, and uncle of the celebrated mathematician, who will form the subject of the next article. He was born in 1613, admitted July 1639 of Peterhouse, Cambridge, next year chosen scholar, and in 1631, librarian. In Dec. 1641, he was presented to the vicarage of Hin ton, by his college, of which he was a fellow, and resided there until ejected by the presbyterians in 1643. He then removed to Oxford, where his learning and abilities were well known, and where he was appointed one of the chaplains of New College, by the interest of his friend, Dr. Pink, then warden. Here he continued until the surrender of Oxford to the parliamentary army, when he was obliged to shift from place to place, and suffer with his brethren, who refused to submit to the usurping powers. At the restoration, however, he was not only replaced in his fellowship at Peterhouse, but chosen a fellow of Eton college, which he held in commendam with the bishopric of Mann. In 1660, being then D. D. he was presented by Dr. Wren, bishop of Ely, to the rectory of Downham, in the Isle of Ely; and, in 1662, resigned his fellowship of Peterhouse. In July 1663, he was consecrated bishop of Mann, in king Henry Vllth’s chapel, Westminster, on which occasion his nephew, the mathematician, preached the consecration sermon. In April 1664, he was appointed governor likewise of the Isle of Mann, by his patron, Charles earl of Derby; and executed his office with the greatest prudence and honour during all the time in which he held the diocese, and for some months after his translation to the see of St. Asaph. He was ever of a liberal, active mind; and rendered himself peculiarly conspicuous as a man of public spirit, by forming and executing good designs for the encouragement of piety and literature. The state of the diocese of Mann at this time was deplorable, as to religion. The clergy were poor, illiterate, and careless, the people grossly ignorant and dissolute. Bishop Barrow, however, introduced a very happy change in all respects, by the establishment of schools, and improving the livings of the clergy. He collected with great care and pains from pious persons about eleven hundred pounds, with which he purchased of the earl of Derby all the impropriations in the island, and settled them upon the clergy in due proportion, | He obliged them all likewise to teach schools in their respective parishes, and allowed thirty pounds per annum for a free-school, and fifty pounds per annum for academical learning. He procured also from king Charles II. one hundred pounds a year (which, Mr. Wood says, had like to have been lost) to be settled upon his clergy, and gave one hundred and thirty-five pounds of his own money for a lease upon lands of twenty pounds a year, towards the maintenance of three poor scholars in the college of Dublin, that in time there might be a more learned body of clergy in the island. He gave likewise ten pounds towards the building a bridge, over a dangerous water; and did several other acts of charity and beneficence. Afterwards returning to England for the sake of his health, and lodging in a house belonging to the countess of Derby in Lancashire, called Cross-hall, he received news of his majesty having conferred on him the bishopric of St. Asaph, to which he was translated March 21, 1669, but he was permitted to hold the see of Sodor and Mann in commendam, until Oct. 167 1, in order to indemnify him for the expences of his translation. His removal, however, from Mann, was felt as a very great loss, both by the clergy at large, and the inhabitants. His venerable, although not immediate, successor, Dr. Wilson, says of him, that “his name and his good deeds will be remembered as long as any sense of piety remains among them.” His removal to St. Asaph gave him a fresh opportunity to become useful and popular. After being established here, he repaired several parts of the cathedral church, especially the north and south ailes, and new covered them with lead, and wainscotted the east part of the choir. He laid out a considerable sum of money in repairing the episcopal palace, and a mill belonging to it. In ] 678 he built an alms-house for eight poor widows, and endowed it with twelve pounds per annum for ever. The same year, he procured an act of parliament for appropriating the rectories of Llanrhaiader and Mochnant in Denbighshire and "Montgomeryshire, and of Skeiviog in the county of Flint, for repairs of the cathedral church of St. Asaph, and the better maintenance of the choir therein, and also for the uniting several rectories that were sinecures, and the vicarages of the same parishes, within the said diocese. He designed likewise to build a free-school, and endow it, but was prevented by death; but in 1687, Bishop Lloyd, who succeeded him in the see of St. Asaph, | recovered of his executors two hundred pounds, towards a free-school at St. Asaph.

Bishop Barrow died at Shrewsbury, June 24, 1680, and was interred in the cathedral church-yard of St. Asaph, on the south side of the west door, with two inscriptions, one of which seeming to favour the popish doctrine of praying for the dead, gave some offence, especially as it was said, we know not on what authority, that it was drawn up by the bishop himself. 1


Butler’s Life of Bp. Hildesley, p, Oo. Biog. Brit, —Ath. Ox. vol. II. Life of Dr. John Barwick. Lives of the English Bishops, 8vo. 1731, p. 120. Walker’s Sufferings of the Clergy.