Rector of St Mary’s Church, North Tuddenham, Norfolk
Robert Barry was born December 19th 1820 and Christened 1st
January 1821 in Whitby, Yorkshire, the second son of Robert Barry
and Dorothy Heaviside, Robert Barry (the older) was a Ship builder
Rev Robert Barry’s mother died when he was only 3 shortly
after giving birth to his sister Dorothy. We have no information
at this time on his earlier years but he was admitted to St John’s
College, Cambridge in 1844 at the age of 24. Their records show
that he obtained a B.A. in 1848 - M.A. in 1851 - Was ordained
as deacon 1847 - Priest (ordained by the Bishop Blomfield in St
Paul’s Cathedral, London) 1848 - Curate of St Pancras, London
1847 – 50 - Rector of Hinderwell, Yorkshire 1850 –
1 - Rector of North Tuddenham, Norfolk, 1851 – 1904.
In 1850, 18th June at Camerwell, London, Robert married Mary
Ann Page, eldest daughter of Robert Page, of Peckham Rye, shortly
after they were to move to North Tuddenham in Norfolk (his father
Robert was patron). In 1852 Robert built the rectory adding the
coach house a year later. The Rev. Robert Barry made many alterations
to the church, such as the East Window, the tiles, the tower arch
screen and the stained glass, carrying on what appears to be a
family tradition as records show other members financing similar
works in Yorkshire and Blisworth Northampton. He also gave the
village its school and some cottages built with napped flint work.
There are several entries reflecting on Rev Roberts’s life
and work in 2 books called ‘The Norfolk Diaries’ by
the Rev Benjamin Armstrong. There are also records that Robert
was also a landowner in North Ridings, Yorkshire of 101 acres,
1 rood & 2 Perches with a gross annual rent of £104.
Sadly as with his earlier life we have little records or mementoes
left behind of Robert’s life at North Tuddenham but we are
He died on August 15th 1904 and is buried in St Mary’s churchyard
with a very simply headstone, from records ‘On Friday afternoon
the remains of the late Rev. Robert Barry rector of North Tuddenham,
were laid to rest in the churchyard, with some manifestation and
respect. The first part of the service took place on Thursday
evening when the body was brought from the rectory to the church
and the opening sentences of the burial service were chanted by
the clergy and choir in procession At the burial service which
was held a 3 o’clock the church and churchyard was full’
He was very well respected and had done a lot of work in the
parish but sadly everything was cleared from the church and rectory
after his death and we have nothing not even a picture of Robert
or his wife. His wife returned to Yorkshire with his nephew John
Warren Barry J.P. where she died 1½ years later on May
11th 1906 at Ravendene (could be a nursing home) near Scarborough.
We can only assume that everything went with them. Any information
would be truly welcomed.
A brief look at The Rev Roberts family background.
Going back two generations to John Barry (grandfather of the
above) John was a very successful ship builder in Whitby dating
back to the early 1700’s. John and later his son Robert
had a reputation as hard headed business men, with a robust style
of management. Their first vessel was registered in Whitby in
1787. The firm had been running for many years before this. As
late as 1830, the firm had been run from a large town house, the
address of which was Bagdale, Whitby. The property, with its late
eighteenth century facade, stood in what later became Station
Squire and was adjacent the Barry shipyard. Demolished in the
1920s to make room for the present bus station, it was for a time
the residence of the Whitby station master. The ’Earl of
Eldon’ was the last ship built by them at Whitby.
John Barry bought the Fylingdales Estate at Robin Hood Bay, Yorkshire
in 1819, from Lord Hotham whose family had had the lands since
1634. Land advertised for sale as a “freehold estate of
2000 acres ... with eleven desirable farms with homesteads and
necessary buildings and a water corn mill” With his son
Robert he began an extensive programme of rebuilding. This included
replacing Old St. Stephens Church in 1822, building a New Hall
and fine planned farmsteads, as well as improving all the other
farms on the property.
Their family home is now the Fyling Hall School. In 1840, Robert
Barry is listed as of Park Gate and of Westside and the shipyards
in Whitby. The tithe award indicates that Robert Barry owned eleven
other farms in Fylingdales as well as Fyling Hall Lodge, of which
he is listed as both landowner and occupier.
The Barry Firm concentrated on Ship-owning and trading. It was
shortly after Robert Barry (the older) succeeded his father John,
as head of the firm that offices were acquired in New Chambers,
Bishopsgate and all the business associated with the family fleet
of ships was conducted from the City of London. In 1841 Robert
was also living in London at Taverstock Square. Rev Robert, his
sister Dorothy together with their father travelled and lived
between London and their family home in Fylingdales. We can only
assume that it was in London that Rev Robert met the young girl
(Mary Ann Page) who would later become his wife as her parents
lived in Endsleigh Street, which is a continuation of Taverstock
Square. Virtually marrying the girl next door.
There is a very good book which is out of print now giving more
details on the Barry’s business activities called ‘Master
Mariner Extraordinary’ ‘The life and times of Captain
Edward Theaker’ (one of the Barry’s sea captains)
by John Howard.
John Warren Barry born 1851 (mentioned above) was the son of
the Rev Robert’s older brother another John who was rector
at Great Smeaton, Yorkshire. Rev Robert’s brother died in
1856 when he was just 36, shortly after his widow and the children
moved into the Rev Roberts father’s home at Fylingdale.
On 30th September 1871 Robert Snr died leaving all his estate
to his grandson (John Warren Barry) who was then only 19. John
who was still in education at Winchester and then Oxford took
over the patronage of North Tuddenham and this continued until
his uncle’s death in 1904 and the transfer to the Rev. Benjamin
Armstrong. John was a very prominent man holding the position
Squire and Justice of the Peace, he is famous for the Neo-Grecian
pigsty (now owned by the Landmark Trust) which must surely be
the only pigsty in the country to be built in the style of a Grecian
temple! At a nearby farm the squire built a cow shed which looked
more like a small church than a simple shed. John died in 1920
leaving the whole estate to his brother Army Captain Robert Mercer
Barry who then sold up in 1921. The Barry family were the caretakers
of their Fylingdales estate for a period of 100 years.
I have discovered virtually a carbon copy of North Tuddenham
at Blisworth, Northamptonshire where Robert’s uncle (his
fathers brother) Rev William Barry carried out similar works,
again we would assume from the proceeds of the Barry’s wealth.
(John Barry, William’s father was Patron). Two further generations
of the Barry’s were to follow William as rectors.