Oxford History: Mayors & Lord Mayors


John Barry (d. 1546)

Mayor of Oxford 1539/40 and 1540/1

John Barry (or Barray/Berry) was a wealthy glover. Originally from Eynsham, he settled in Oxford in 1536 and was chosen as an Alderman as soon as a vacancy arose on 29 September 1537.

The glovers of Oxford were not pleased, and invoked their ordinances against Barry for “occupying” the craft in Oxford when free of neither town nor guild.

On 29 September 1539 John Barry was elected Mayor of Oxford (for 1539/40), and he was elected again a year later (for 1540/1). On 12 February 1540/1 he was appointed one of the City Arbitrators in the ongoing dispute between the City and the University.

He is recorded as paying 66s. in the 1543 subsidy in the South East ward, the highest amount paid by any townsman of Oxford that year. He was assessed in lands (acquired as a result of the Dissolution of the Monasteries) worth a hundred marks, and he paid the same sum the next year. His estates including land in the area of Eynsham, Charlbury, and Hanborough (much of it the former property of Eynsham Abbey), and he held several mills and large flocks of sheep.

John Barry built the glovers’ chapel on the south side of the former All Saints’ Church in Oxford: this had the badge of the glovers on the roof, showing a pair of shears between two gloves. Its purpose was so that a priest could say mass for the welfare of their guild; but Wood says that, with “religion altering not long after”, the chapel was then only used for prayers on the Monday after Trinity Sunday before the proceeded to elect the officers of their corporation.

In 1544 John Barry purchased Hampton Gay Manor for £1,100, and he became Lord of the Manor there. He married twice: his first wife was called Margaret, and his second wife Elyn. By Elyn he had four children: George, Richard, Agnes (who married Anthony Daubeney of Cirencester), and Lawrence.

† John Barry died in 1546, just ten years after arriving in Oxford.

In his will he mentions Elyn his wife and his son Lawrence.

Hs son Lawrence Barry (also known as Leonard) succeeded as Lord of the Manor of Hampton Gay. He married Jane Buckner, and their son Vincent was the ancestor of Francis Tress Barry, created First Baronet Barry in 1899.

See also:

  • Wood’s City of Oxford, Vol. II, 110–11 (Glovers’ chapel in All Saints’ Church)
  • PCC Will PROB 11/31/269 (Will of John Barry, Major of Oxford, proved 16 September 1646)
  • MS Wills Oxon Tn bd 180.37; 89/1/3
  • Online genealogy of John Barry on The Peerage website
  • Andrew Clark (ed.), The Life and Times of Anthony Wood, Vol. II, p. 481 (Pedigree of the Barry family of Eynsham)

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 22 September, 2018

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