BARNE, Sir George (d.1593), of St. Edmund's, Langbourne Ward, London.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer




Family and Education

1st s. of Sir George Barne of London by his w. Alice Brooke of Shropshire. m. Anne, da. of Sir William Garrard of London, 8s. inc. William 1da. suc. fa. 1558. Kntd. 1587.1

Offices Held

Alderman and auditor, London 1574, sheriff 1576-7, ld. mayor 1586-7; gov. Muscovy Co. 1580, 1583; master, Haberdashers’ Co. 1586-7; commr. piracy 1580, defence 1588, for debt 1589, for Admiralty causes 1589, collecting, the loan 1590; president, St. Thomas’s hospital 1592-d.2


Barne was the son of a former lord mayor and founder member of the Muscovy Company, who left property in London, Southwark and Hertfordshire. Barne inherited this, together with his father’s interest in foreign trade; and his connexion with the government, through his brother-in-law Walsingham, was close enough to place him on many local commissions and inquiries. He frequently arbitrated in mercantile and commercial disputes, and in 1577 he was among those consulted by the Privy Council on the possibility of setting up a company to pursue the Spanish trade. In August 1588 his ‘skill in the Spanish tongue’ was useful when he had to examine Spanish prisoners in the Bridewell. He was several times called upon to take part in the valuation and apportionment of prizes—as for example, in 1589 and 1590 after the Portugal voyage, and in 1592 after the capture of the Madre de Dios.3

Barne once represented London in Parliament. He was appointed to committees on privilege (7 Feb.), inns (21 Feb.), and forestalling and regrating (7 Mar.). On 27 Feb. he was appointed to the first conference with the Lords on the Queen’s dislike of the purveyors bill, and on 29 Mar., the last day of the session, he was one of the committee appointed to urge a declaration of war against Spain. His own assessment for the 1589 subsidy was £180.4

Barne quarrelled with William Fleetwood I in January 1592 and with the courtier Edward Darcy that March. The lord mayor of London told Burghley that Darcy had abused Barne ‘both by his tongue and his hands’, and next day the Queen had Darcy put in the Fleet.5

Barne died at Woolwich 2 Jan. 1593, being succeeded by his eldest son William, then aged 34, who married a daughter of Edwin Sandys, archbishop of York. In his will Barne appointed his wife sole executrix and left her the remainder of his lease of the manor and park of Beverley in Yorkshire for life, requiring her to pay, the usual annual rent to his brother John. He asked for burial ‘in the parish of St. Edmund the King’.6

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: J.E.M.


  • 1. Vis. London. (Harl. Soc. cix, cx), 43-4; C14/112/106.
  • 2. A. B. Beaven, Aldermen, i. 18, 64, 169, 200; ii. 40, 173; T. S. Willan, Early Hist. Russia Co. 286.
  • 3. Read, Walsingham, i. 26; CSP Dom. 1547-80, p. 656; Add. 1547-65, p. 439; 1580-1625, p. 6; 1581-90, pp. 37, 135, 199, 396, 565, 627, 657, 671, 702; 1591-4, pp. 59, 89; CPR, 1566-9, p. 274; C66/1185, membranes 21-6; Lansd. 60, f. 8; 69, ff. 50, 66; 70, ff. 64, 126; 146, f. 43; W. R. Scott, Joint Stock Cos. to 1720, ii. 83; PCC 13 Noodes; APC, ix. 282; x. 187; xi. 223; xii. 144, 183; xvi. 211; xvii. 122, 304; xviii. 153, 158, 162, 224; xix. 216, 254; xxii. 335; HMC Hatfield, iv. 239.
  • 4. D’Ewes, 429, 437, 440, 444, 454.
  • 5. Lands. 67, f. 219; 69, f. 66; APC, xxii. 332.
  • 6. C142/237/111; PCC 1 Nevell; DNB (Sandys, Edwin).