Select Barrett Miscellany


Here are some Barrett stories
accounts over the years:


The Two Barrett Clans of Ireland

There were two Barrett clans in Ireland, the first branch of
the clan were the Munster Barretts of county Cork and the other branch
Barrett clan of Connacht, most numerous in the Mayo-Galway mountainous
The two
clans were believed to have been unrelated
But recent research has suggested otherwise. The English pipe
rolls of
the 13th century have indicated that the overlords of both the Cork and
Mayo Barretts were the same people.  The records further showed
families came from Wales.

Hercie Barrett and His Descendants in Jamaica

or Hersey Barrett was said to have been from an
old landed family in Cornwall.  He was a
in Cromwell's army under Penn and Venables in the West Indies which
landed in
Jamaica in 1655.  

had two sons – Hersey born in 1650 in England, and Samuel born in
Jamaica in
1662. He also had a property in Vere between Carlisle Bay and Milk
River called

the pioneer died in 1685, his son
Hersey in 1726.  The latter was buried
in the cathedral in Spanish Town and his tombstone can still be seen
there.  The other son Samuel Barrett had
died in the French invasion at Carlisle Bay at the age of 32.  But he did leave three children, Richard,
Samuel and Anne



Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Jamaican Heritage

Barrett Browning was born at Coxhoe Hall in
Durham in 1806, the first of twelve children to Edward Moulton Barrett,
Jamaican plantation owner, and his wife Mary.

Edward was really a Moulton rather
than a Barrett.  His parents were Charles
and Elizabeth Moulton who had married in Jamaica.  But
his fortune had not come from his father,
who soon separated from his wife, but from his maternal grandfather,
Barrett, the owner of the Barrett family estates in Jamaica.   By 1798 all three of Edward Barrett’s
had predeceased him, thereby making his grandsons by Elizabeth Moulton,
and Samuel, his principal heirs.  A
clause in the will of his son George Barrett had made legacies for the
sons conditional on their taking and bearing ‘the surname of Barrett’
turning twenty-one.  This they duly died.

Barrett who
died in 1794 had never had a white wife, but had fathered six children
by Eliza
Peters, a mulatto slave in one of the Barrett properties.
These children were brought to England by
their grandfather in 1795 but there were not given the Barrett name and
was no likelihood that they might inherit the Barrett estates.

Barrett Browning herself believed she
had African blood through her grandfather Charles Moulton.
After abandoning his wife and children,
Moulton – a rather shadowy figure – is thought to have become a slave
in New York.  Certainly he had a string of mistresses and
illegitimate children
including his last, a Jamaican woman who bore him a son.



The Barrett-Byram
Homestead in Chelmsford, Massachusetts

1663 Thomas Barrett and his son, Thomas came to
Chelmsford from Braintree, Massachusetts, buying a house and fifty-two
acres of
land there.

around a great central chimney, the house boasted a fireplace
in every room.  The ceilings were low for
the purpose of conserving heat. The original fireplace structure was
taken down to the top of its foundation around 1800 to modernize the

fireplace in the Keeping Room was the place where the cooking was
done.  It may be seen today with its iron
crane supporting heavy iron kettles hung on “S” hooks over the fire,
iron “spiders” and boiling racks, heavy tin roasting oven, reflector
oven, and flip toaster.  The Historical
Society’s collection of earthenware, woodenware and tin is also
displayed in
this room.  To the left of the fireplace, is the “beehive oven”
much of the baking was done. It would originally have been located
inside a
larger walk-in fireplace and far more dangerous for women in their long
to use.

the early days of the old house, there was a “borning room”
opening off one end of the Keeping Room where the continuous heat from
the big
fireplace kept the room fairly comfortable in times of illness or the
birth of
babies. This room was opened up and made a part of the Keeping Room by
the last
owners of the property

house was substantially put together with beams
fastened securely by wooden pegs or trunnels (tree nails).
Gunstocks posts are still visible.  Evidence
of the long sloping room of the “saltbox” is seen in the attic where
plaster marks show against the chimney.



Reader Feedback – Dominick Barrett in
Anson County, North Carolina

born in Cork in 1773, came to Anson county, North Carolina in 1790 as a
young man. Somehow he was able to amass
2-3,000 acres in Anson county.  His
brother’s name is Thomas.  How can I find
out about him in Ireland?

Laura Barrett (lbarrettoliver”


Thomas Barrett, Engraver
and Convict

In 1784 Thomas Barrett appeared at the Old Bailey in
London on a charge of being criminally at large. For three years he was
kept in
appalling conditions on a hulk in the Thames before being sent to
Australia in
the first batch of convicts on board the Charlotte as a part of
First Fleet.

When the fleet stopped to re-stock at Rio de Janeiro he was
involved in passing some forged quarter dollars at Rio de Janeiro,
made from some pewter spoons and old buttons and buckles belonging to

Dr White the surgeon on board the Charlotte
asked Barrett to make a memento of the trip out and Barrett fashioned a
out of a silver kidney dish. That medal still exists and was sold at
auction to
the National Maritime Museum in Australia in 2008 for a million dollars.  It is known as the Charlotte medal.

Thomas Barrett himself had no luck in Australia.  He
was accused of stealing food from the
Government storehouse and in February 1788 became the first man to be
hanged in
the new colony.


Barrett, International Banker

Matthew Barrett was born and raised in Kerry in Ireland,
where his father struggled to make a living as a musician playing in
dance halls in the 1950’s. Since the family was relatively poor,
Barrett was
encouraged by his father to enter the banking business.

In 1962, at the age of
18, he became a clerk at the London headquarters of the Bank of
Shortly afterward Barrett’s father died of a heart attack and Barrett
was left
as the sole supporter of his mother and sister.  Barrett recalled:
“It aged
me overnight. I was the man of the family.
It changed me from being a young man having a good time into a
career banker.”

Over time Barrett steadily rose through the ranks at the
Bank of Montreal and was appointed its CEO in 1989.
Ten years later he retired but then accepted
the position as CEO at Barclays Bank


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