Richard Barry, 7th Earl of Barrymore
Barrymore was born on 14 August 1769 in Marylebone, Middlesex, to Richard Barry, 6th Earl of Barrymore and Lady Amelia Stanhope, daughter of William Stanhope, 2nd Earl of Harrington and the Lady Caroline Fitzroy. He succeeded his father as Earl on 1 August 1773. His mother placed him under the care of the vicar of Wargrave in Berkshire, where he spent his pre-public school childhood and later settled.
He was educated at Eton College and arrived with an unusually large sum of £1,000 to his free will (equivalent to £120,747 in 2018). Soon he regularly summoned a London cab driver who would take him to London several times a week to satisfy his sexual appetite with a variety of 'ladies of the night'. He was a daring prankster, an attribute which was greatly attractive to the mischievous and impressionable future George IV. One of his most favoured practical jokes would involve pretending to kidnap girls from the streets of London and place coffins outside of their houses with a view to terrifying their servants. His infamy as a gambler was considerable at the time, including his wager that he could consume a large live tomcat in one sitting; however, he did not do so.
He was heavily in debt before marrying, but instead of "marrying into money" as was common for nobility at the time, he married Charlotte Goulding, niece of the infamous Letty Lade, and the daughter of a sedan chair man on 7 June 1792. After his death the next year, when she was eighteen years old, she remarried to Captain Robert Williams of the 3rd Foot Guards, but she eventually "...passed...to the lowest grade of prostitution...and possessed great pugilistic skill". However, she proved a useful and trustworthy assistant as matron of the female prisoners at the Tothill Fields Bridewell.
His sister Caroline (1768-?) was known as "Billingsgate", due to her use of foul language. Henry (1770–1823), his younger brother, was "Cripplegate", due to a physical disfigurement. His youngest brother Augustus (1773–1818) was nicknamed "Newgate", after Newgate Prison in London.
Barrymore became a well-known sportsman, particularly in cricket, running, horse-racing, boxing and swordsmanship. He bred his own race-horses and rode as his own jockey. He was especially famous for placing huge bets on both these sports and other extraordinarily ludicrous challenges.
He patronised his own personal bare-knuckle boxer, and his wife also boxed.
He attended regularly the theatre, and had built, acted at and ran a costly theatre in Wargrave before his early death.
Military career and early death
Barrymore retired to life in the Royal Berkshire Militia, into which he had been commissioned in 1789 and was later promoted Captain, but was accidentally killed at Folkestone on 6 March 1793. When driving a gig his musket discharged while escorting French prisoners of war to Dover.
He was buried 17 May 1793 in St Mary's Church in Wargrave.
Barrymore family estate
Lord Barrymore died in perhaps unexpected solvency, with no legitimate son. He had alienated much of his Cork patrimony in 1792, at which time the Buttevant estate passed to Viscount Doneraile and to a Scottish banker, John Anderson.
Notes and references
- Page from Thepeerage.com
- Biography Berkshire History.
- Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Volume 4. Oxford University Press. 2004. p. 148.Article by Richard Davenport-Hine.
- Gentleman's Magazine and historical Chronicle, vol. CII, John B Nichols & Son, London, 1832 Google Books extract.
- Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Allusions
- The Boxing Baroness MyStaffordshireFigures.com website and Charles Williams 'The Boxing Baroness' Artoftheprint.com website
- Arthur Haygarth, Scores & Biographies, Volume 1 (1744-1826), Lillywhite, 1862
- Leigh Rayment's peerage pages Retrieved 2014-11-25
|Parliament of Great Britain|
The Lord Auckland
Michael Angelo Taylor
| Member of Parliament for Heytesbury
With: The Lord Auckland
The Lord Auckland
Charles Rose Ellis
|Peerage of Ireland|
| Earl of Barrymore
Henry Barry (last Earl)