Isaac Barrow - Bishop 1663-1669

Uncle to the eponymous and more famous theologian and mathematician Isaac Barrow.

Both Bishop and Governor - a brief description of his works was given by Bishop Wilson in his History:

" That (through the poverty of the place) the Church may never want fit persons to perform Divine offices, and to instruct the people in necessary truths and duties, the pious and worthy Dr. Isaac Barrow, soon after the restoration, being then Bishop of Mann, did so effectually make use of his interest with his Majesty, King Charles the Second, and other noble benefactors, that he obtained a grant of one hundred pounds a year, payable out of the Excise for ever, for the better maintenance of the poor Vicars and Schoolmasters of his diocese. And the Right Hon. Charles Earl of Derby, being pleased to make a long lease of the Impropriations of the Isle in his hands, which, either as Lord or Abbot, were one third of the whole tithes, the good Bishop found means to pay for the said lease; which besides an old rent and fine, still payable to the Lord of the Isle, may be worth to the Clergy and Schools about one hundred pounds more. Besides this, he collected amongst the English nobility and gentry (whose names and benefactions are registered and preserved in public tables in every parish,) six hundred pounds, the interest of which maintains an academic master. And by his own private charity he purchased two estates in land, worth twenty pounds a year, for the support of such young persons as should be designed for the ministry. So that the name and good deeds of that excellent prelate will be remembered with gratitude, so long as any sense of piety remains among them."

His arms may still be seen as part of the badge of King William's College which was funded out of the proceeds of his fund.

Translated to St. Asaph where he did equally good work in consolidating the finances of the Diocese even at the expense of his own profit. He also recovered the north and south aisles of the Cathedral with lead; erected and endowed an almshouse for eight poor widows and bequested £200 towards an intended free school. One can only regret that he spent so little time in Man.

Died at Shrewsbury, 1680, buried near west door of the Cathedral, on his tombstone is his own epitaph

"O vos transeuntes in Domum Domini, domum oratonis, orate pro conservo vestro ut ineveniat misericordiam in Die Domini"

[O ye that pass by into the House of the Lord, the House of Prayer, pray for your fellow servant that he may find mercy in the day of the Lord]

Interestingly his altar tomb lies just outside the west door, across from another translatee from Sodor and Man - Bishop Vowler Short.


D.R.Thomas Diocesan History St Asaph London:SPCK 1888



Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
© F.Coakley , 2000