William Barrington, 2nd Viscount Barrington

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The Right Honourable
The Viscount Barrington
Chancellor of the Exchequer
In office
19 March 1761 – 29 May 1762
Monarch George III
Prime Minister The Duke of Newcastle
Preceded by Hon. Henry Bilson Legge
Succeeded by Sir Francis Dashwood, Bt
Personal details
Born (1717-01-05)5 January 1717
Died 1 February 1793(1793-02-01) (aged 76)
Beckett Hall, Shrivenham, Berkshire
Nationality British
Political party Whig
Spouse(s) Mary Lovell (d. 1764)

William Wildman Shute Barrington, 2nd Viscount Barrington PC (5 January 1717 – 1 February 1793) was a British politician best known for his two periods as Secretary at War during Britain's involvement in the Seven Years War and American War of Independence.


Barrington was the eldest son of John Barrington, 1st Viscount Barrington, by his wife Anne, daughter of Sir William Daines. The Hon. Daines Barrington, Rear-Admiral the Hon. Samuel Barrington and the Right Reverend the Hon. Shute Barrington, Bishop of Durham, were his younger brothers. He was educated at Geneva, Switzerland, and after succeeding to the title in 1734, he spent some time travelling.

Early political career

As Barrington's title was in the Peerage of Ireland it did not entitle him to a seat in the British House of Lords. In March 1740 he was returned to the House of Commons as Member of Parliament for Berwick-upon-Tweed (a seat his father had represented from 1714–23). Having taken his seat in the Irish House of Lords in 1745, he was appointed one of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty in 1746, and was one of the 'managers' of the impeachment of Lord Lovat.

Secretary at War

In 1754, he became Member of Parliament for Plymouth. In 1755 he was made a Privy Counsellor and appointed as Secretary at War in the cabinet of the Duke of Newcastle – a post which held for the next six years throughout the Seven Years' War. During this period his brother led an expedition that captured Guadeloupe.

Marble monument to William Barrington designed by James Wyatt and carved by Richard Westmacott, in St. Andrew's parish church, Shrivenham.

In 1761 was transferred to the office of Chancellor of the Exchequer. In 1762 he became Treasurer of the Navy, and in 1765 returned to his former position of secretary at war. He retained this office until December 1778, and for four months in 1782 was joint postmaster-general.


Lord Barrington married Mary, daughter of Henry Lovell and widow of the Hon. Samuel Grimston, in 1740. There were no surviving children from the marriage. She died in September 1764. Barrington remained a widower until his death at his country estate, Beckett Hall at Shrivenham in Berkshire (now Oxfordshire), in February 1793, aged 76. He was buried in St. Andrew's parish church, Shrivenham. His nephew William Barrington succeeded in the viscountcy.



External links

Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
George Liddell
Lord Polwarth
Member of Parliament for Berwick-upon-Tweed
with George Liddell 1740
Thomas Watson 1740–1754

Succeeded by
Thomas Watson
John Delaval
Preceded by
Arthur Stert
Charles Saunders
Member of Parliament for Plymouth
with Samuel Dicker 1754–1760
George Pocock 1760–1768
Francis Holburne 1768–1771
Sir Charles Hardy 1771–1778

Succeeded by
Sir Charles Hardy
Viscount Lewisham
Political offices
Preceded by
Henry Fox
Secretary at War
Succeeded by
Charles Townshend
Preceded by
Henry Bilson Legge
Chancellor of the Exchequer
Succeeded by
Sir Francis Dashwood
Preceded by
George Grenville
Treasurer of the Navy
Succeeded by
The Viscount Howe
Preceded by
Welbore Ellis
Secretary at War
Succeeded by
Charles Jenkinson
Preceded by
Hon. Henry Carteret
Postmaster General
jointly with Hon. Henry Carteret

Succeeded by
The Earl of Tankerville
and Hon. Henry Carteret
Court offices
Preceded by
Sir Thomas Robinson
Master of the Great Wardrobe
Succeeded by
Sir Thomas Robinson
Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
John Shute Barrington
Viscount Barrington
Succeeded by
William Wildman Barrington