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BARROW (ISAAC), bishop of St. Asaph in the reign of Charles II. was the son of Isaac Barrow of Spiney Abbey in Cambridgeshire, and uncle of the celebrated mathematician, who will form the subject of the next article.
He was born in 1613, admitted July 1629 of Peterhouse, Cambridge, next year chosen scholar, and in 1631, librarian. In Dec.1641, he was presented to the vicarage of Hinton, 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 ihe 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 VIIth's chapel, Westminster, on which occasion his nephew, the mathematician, preached the consecration ser
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 prulence 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 re. spective 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. 1671, 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 1678 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 1637, 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.
BARROW (ISAAC), an eminent mathematician and divine of the seventeenth century, was descended from an ancient family of that name in Suffolk. His father was Mr. Thomas Barrow, a reputable citizen of London and linen-draper to king Charles I.;, and his mother, Anne, daughter of William Buggin of North-Cray in Kent, esq. whose tender care he did not long experience, she dying when he was about four years old. He was born at London in October 1630, and was placed first in the Charterhouse school for two or three years, where his behaviour afforded but little hopes of success in the profession of a scholar, for which his father designed him, being quarrelsome, riotous, and negligent. But when removed to Felstead school in Essex, his disposition took a more happy turn, and he quickly made so great a progress in learning, that his master appointed him a kind of tutor to the lord viscount Fairfax of Emely in Ireland, who was then his scholar. During his stay at Felstead, he was admitted, December the 15th 1643, being fourteen years of age, a pensioner of Peter-house in Cambridge, under his uncle Mr. Isaac Barrow, then fellow of that college. But when he was qualified for the university, he was entered a pensioner in Trinity-college, the 5th of February 1645; his uncle having been ejected, together with Seth Ward, Peter Gunning, and John Barwick, who had written against the covenant. His father having suffered greatly in his estate by his attachment to the royal cause, our young student was obliged at first for his chief support to the generosity of the learned Dr. Hammond, to whose memory he paid his thanks, in an excellent epitaph on the doctor. In 1647, he was chosen a scholar of the house ; and, though he always continued a staunch royalist, and
Butler's Life of Bp. Hildesley, p. 302.- 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.
never would take the covenant, yet, by his great merit and prudent behaviour he preserved the esteem and goodwill of his superiors. Of this we have an instance in Dr. Hill, master of the college, who had been put in by the parliament in the room of Dr. Comber, ejected for adhering to the king. One day, laying his hand upon our young student's head, he said, “ Thou art a good lad, 'tis pity thou art a cavalier;" and when, in an oration on the Gunpowder-treason, Mr. Barrow had so celebrated the former times, as to reflect much on the present, some fellows were provoked to move for his expulsion ; but the master silenced them with this, " Barrow is a better man than any of us." Afterwards when the engagement was imposed, he subscribed it; but, upon second thoughts, repenting of what he had done, he applied himself to the commissioners, declared his dissatisfaction, and prevailed to have his name razed out of the list. He applied himself with great diligence to the study of all parts of literature, especially natural philosophy; and though he was yet but a young scholar, his judgment was too great to rest satisfied with the shallow and superficial philosophy, then taught and received in the schools. He applied himself therefore to the reading and considering the writings of the lord Ve.. rulam, M. Des Cartes, Galileo, &c. who seemed to offer. something more solid and substantial. In 1648, Mr. Barrow took the degree of bachelor of arts. The year following, he was elected fellow of his college, merely out of regard to his merit; for' he had no friend to recommend him, as being of the opposite party. And now, finding the times not favourable to men of his opinions in matters of church and state, he turned his thoughts to the profession of physic, and made a considerable progress in anatomy, botany, and chemistry: but afterwards, upon de liberation with himself, and with the advice of his uncle, he applied himself to the study of divinity, to which he was further obliged by his oath on his admission to his fellowship. By reading Scaliger on Eusebius, he perceived the dependance of chronology on astronomy; which put him upon reading Ptolemy's Almagest: and finding that book and all astronomy to depend on geometry, he made himself master of Euclid's Elements, and from thence proceeded to the other ancient mathematicians. He made a short essay towards acquiring the Arabic language,
but soon deserted it. With these severer specu
lations, the largeness of his mind had room for the amusements of poetry, to which he was always strongly addicted, This is sufficiently evident from the many performances he has left us in that art. Mr. Hill, his biographer, tells us, he was particularly pleased with that branch of it, which consists in description, but greatly disliked the hyperboles of some modern poets. As for our plays, he was an enemy to them, as a principal cause of the debauchery of the times; the other causes he thought to be, the French education, and the ill example of great persons.
For satires, he wrote none; bis wit, as Mr. Hill expresses it, was pure and peaceable.”
In 1652, he commenced master of arts, and, on the 12th of June the following year, was incorporated in that degree at Oxford. When Dr. Duport resigned the chair of Greek professor, he recommended his pupil Mr. Barrow to succeed him; who justified his tutor's opinion of him by an excellent performance of the probation exercise : but being looked upon as a favourer of Arminianism, the choice fell upon another; and this disappointment, it is thought, helped to determine him in his resolution of travelling abroad. In order to execute this design, he was obliged to sell his books. Accordingly, in the year 1655, he went into France; where, at Paris, he found his father attending the English court, and out of his small means made him a seasonable present. The same year his “Euclid” was printed at Cambridge, which he had left behind him for that purpose. He
gave his college an account of his journey to Paris in a poem, and some farther observations in a letter. After a few months, he went into Italy, and stayed sometime at Florence, where he had the advantage of perusing several books in the great duke's library, and of conversing with Mr. Fitton, an Englishman, his librarian. Here his poverty must have put an end to his travels, had he not been generously supplied with money by Mr. James Stock, a young merchant of London, to whom he afterwards dedicated his edition of Euclid's Data. He was desirous to have seen Rome; but the plague then raging in that city, he took ship at Leghorn, November the 6th 1656, for Smyrna. In this voyage they were attacked by a corsair of Algiers, who, perceiving the stout defence the ship made, sheered off and left her; and upon this occasion Mr. Barrow gave a remarkable instance of his natural courage and intrepidity. At Smyrna, he made himself weicome to Mr. Bretton the consul (upon whose death he after