Shute Barrington
Bishop of Durham
A portrait of a middle-aged white man, enrobed as a bishop and as the chancellor of the Order of the Garter.
Portrait by Thomas Lawrence
DioceseDiocese of Durham
In office1791–1826
PredecessorThomas Thurlow
SuccessorWilliam Van Mildert
Other post(s)Bishop of Salisbury & ex officio Chancellor of the Garter (1782–1791)
Bishop of Llandaff (1769–1782)
Ordination1756 (deacon)
Personal details
Born(1734-05-26)26 May 1734
Beckett Hall, Berkshire, Great Britain
Died25 March 1826(1826-03-25) (aged 91)
Soho, Middlesex, United Kingdom
BuriedSt John the Baptist's Church, Mongewell
ResidenceMongewell Park, Oxfordshire (personal)
ParentsJohn & Anne
Spouse1. Diana (m. 1761–1766)
2. Jane (m. 1770–1807)
EducationEton College
Alma materMerton College, Oxford
Memorial to Rev Shute Barrington, Durham Cathedral
Memorial to Rev Shute Barrington, Durham Cathedral
Durham Castle. Left: arms of the See of Durham; right: Argent three chevronels gules a label of three points azure, arms of Shute Barrington, Bishop of Durham
Durham Castle. Left: arms of the See of Durham; right: Argent three chevronels gules a label of three points azure, arms of Shute Barrington, Bishop of Durham

Shute Barrington (26 May 1734 – 25 March 1826) was an English churchman, Bishop of Llandaff in Wales, as well as Bishop of Salisbury and Bishop of Durham in England.

Early life

Barrington was born at Beckett Hall in Shrivenham in Berkshire (now Oxfordshire), the home of his father, John Barrington, 1st Viscount Barrington and mother, Anne née Daines, and educated at Eton College and Merton College, Oxford.

Church career

Barrington was ordained a deacon by Thomas Secker, Bishop of Oxford, on 28 November 1756 at St Aldate's Church, Oxford;[1] he was presumably ordained a priest within a year. In 1761 he was a made a canon of Christ Church, Oxford and in 1768 a canon of St Paul's from where he moved to be a canon at St George's Chapel, Windsor. In 1769 he was elevated to the episcopate as Bishop of Llandaff; his election was confirmed on 23 September[2] and he was consecrated a bishop on 1 October at Lambeth Palace chapel by Frederick Cornwallis, Archbishop of Canterbury (assisted by Richard Terrick, Bishop of London, and Zachary Pearce, Bishop of Rochester.)[3] He was elected on 14 August 1782 to become Bishop of Salisbury,[4] and was translated to that see upon the confirmation of that election on 27 August at St Mary le Bow.[5] As Bishop of Salisbury he was also ex officio Chancellor of the Order of the Garter. He was further translated to be Bishop of Durham following his election on 25 June 1791.[6]

Barrington was a vigorous Protestant, though willing to grant Roman Catholics "every degree of toleration short of political power and establishment." He published several volumes of sermons and tracts, and wrote the political life of his elder brother, William Barrington. From 1805 to 1826 he was the Visitor of Balliol College, Oxford and in 1806 backed the then Master, John Parsons, in opening the Fellowships to competition.

Barrington was a great patron of architecture and education in the diocese of Durham. One school, Bishop Barrington Academy, still exists today in Bishop Auckland. To mark his fiftieth year in the prelacy, the diocese of Durham built the Clergy Jubilee School in Newcastle and arranged that Dame Allan's Schools should be housed there. In architecture he employed James Wyatt to remodel Salisbury Cathedral, as well as the Georgian Gothic interiors of Auckland Castle, his favoured residence.

One notably uncharacteristic event in Barrington's life was his dispatch of troops on 1 January 1812 to break up a miners' strike at collieries owned by the Dean & chapter of Durham Cathedral in nearby Chester-le-Street. At this time (and up until 1836), the "Prince" Bishops of Durham still held vice-regal powers in the North of England, which included the maintenance of a small private army, garrisoned in Durham Castle.

Barrington was also a primary litigant in Morice v Bishop of Durham (1805)10 Ves 522, which is a leading case on the conditions necessary to form a trust in English law.

Barrington had an extensive correspondence with Thomas Moody, who named one of his sons, Shute Barrington Moody (b. 1818), after Shute Barrington.[7]

He died in Soho in Middlesex (now Greater London). He is buried at St John the Baptist's Church, near his home at Mongewell Park, close to Wallingford, Oxfordshire.


A fine marble monument was erected to Barrington's memory in Durham Cathedral.


Barrington married firstly, on 2 February 1761, the Lady Diana Beauclerk (c. 1735–28 March 1766), daughter of Charles Beauclerk, 2nd Duke of St Albans. His wife died in childbirth, the child stillborn. He married secondly, on 20 June 1770, Jane Guise (d. 8 August 1807), daughter of Sir John Guise, but had no children.

Styles and titles


Church of England titles Preceded byJonathan Shipley Bishop of Llandaff 1769–1782 Succeeded byRichard Watson Preceded byJohn Hume Bishop of Salisbury 1782–1791 Succeeded byJohn Douglas Preceded byThomas Thurlow Bishop of Durham 1791–1826 Succeeded byWilliam Van Mildert