George Barne III

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Sir George Barne III
Lord Mayor of London
In office
Preceded by Wolstan Dixie
Succeeded by Sir George Bonde
Member of Parliament for London
In office
Sheriff of London
In office
Auditor of London
In office
Personal details
Born 1532
Died 1593
Occupation merchant

Sir George Barne III (c. 1532–1593) was a prominent merchant and public official from London during the reign of Elizabeth I, and the son of Sir George Barne II, and Alice Brooke.


Barne was a haberdasher of London,[1] who was an Alderman of the London ward Bridge between 1574–1576, Tower between 1576–1583, Langbourn between 1583–1587, and Bassishaw between 1587-1593.[2] Barne served as Auditor of London in 1574, Sheriff of London between 1576–1577, Lord Mayor of London between 1586–1587, and was knighted by Lord Chamberlain in 1587. He was a Master of the Haberdashers' Company between 1586–1587, represented London in the Parliament between 1588–1589, and was President of St. Thomas' Hospital between 1592-1593.[2] Barne was also the Governor of the Muscovy Company several times, and a founder of the Spanish Company, in 1577, and the Turkey Company.

In 1580, he helped finance a voyage to discover a Northeast Passage, like his father had done decades earlier.[3] Barne supported the voyage of Edward Fenton in 1582 and John Davis's voyage in 1586, both which sought to find the Northwest Passage.[4]

He was related to several families of the London oligarchy, had shares in the Company of Mineral and Battery Works, and was well connected, considered one of the most influential people of his times in London municipal affairs.[5] Sir Jerome Horsey wrote that Barne was his dear friend, and it is noted that Barne was a contemporary of Henry Hudson.[6] John Stow dedicated his work "The Chronicles of England" to Barne.[4]

Upon his death, Barne left a will which revealed his financial success, holding land and estates in several countries.[7] He lived on Lombard Street, London and was buried at St Edmund, King and Martyr nearby.


He was noted for his excessive zeal against Catholics when he was the sheriff, resulting in a breach of diplomatic etiquette when he stormed a private residence hosting the Portuguese ambassador for mass. As a result, he was imprisoned in the Fleet for a few days.[8] It is noted that he was the brother-in-law of Queen Elizabeth I's Secretary of State, Sir Francis Walsingham, who would be responsible for breaking up the Catholic plot to overthrow the Queen the following decade.[7]

Marriage and issue

Barne married Anne Gerrard, daughter of Sir William Garrard, who was Lord Mayor of London in 1555.[9] They had nine children:


  1. "Willis's Current Notes", Willis's Current Notes, p. 84, Retrieved 30 Sep 2009.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Aldermen of London"[unreliable source], Tudor Place, Retrieved 4 Oct 2009.
  3. "Dynamics of Commercial Development", Merchants and revolution, p. 17,20, Retrieved 2 Oct 2009.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Barkham-Barrington", The genesis of the United States, p. 825, Retrieved 5 Oct 2009.
  5. "Trade in the Baltic", Studies in the history of English commerce in the Tudor period, p. 259, 260, Retrieved 3 Oct 2009.
  6. "A Historical Inquiry", A Historical Inquiry, p. 81, Retrieved 2 Oct 2009.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "England and the Baltic", England and the Baltic in the Elizabethan Era, p. 96, Retrieved 2 Oct 2009.
  8. "Virginia Historical Magazine", Virginia magazine of history and biography, p. 118, Retrieved 30 Sep 2009.
  9. "Barne, of Sotterley and Dunwich", A genealogical and heraldic history, p. 140, Retrieved 30 Sep 2009.