BARRET, Thomas (?1743-1803), of Lee, Kent.
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Family and Education
b. ?1743, s. of Thomas Barret of Lee by his 4th w. Catherine, da. of Humphrey Pudnor. educ. Trinity, Camb. 7 Mar. 1762, aged 18. unm.
Barret was a friend of Horace Walpole, who wrote to William Mason, 27 Mar. 1773: ‘Mr. Barret stands for Dover, I suppose on the court interest, for Wilkes has sent down a remonstrating candidate.’ But Barret, supported by Government, defeated John Trevanion. He voted against perpetuating Grenville’s Election Act, 25 Feb. 1774. He did not stand again in 1774, nor at any further election. Walpole considered him ‘a most worthy man’; he helped Barret to re-design Lee, and was especially proud of the library:
It is [he wrote to Mary Berry, 17 Oct. 1794] the most perfect thing I ever saw, and has most the air it was intended to have ... that of an abbot’s library, supposing it could have been so exquisitely finished three hundred years ago.
He died 8 Jan. 1803. According to the Gentleman’s Magazine (1803, p. 90),
Mr. Barret was perfectly skilled in the arts, and warmly attached to them; his memory was powerful, and his knowledge of history, memoirs, and topography extensive and exact.