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date: 11 December 2019

Barrington, Daineslocked

  • Jamie C. Kassler


(b London, 1727; d London, March 14, 1800). English lawyer and writer on music. The fourth son of John Shute, 1st Viscount Barrington, he was called to the Bar from the Inner Temple and held public offices between 1751 and 1785. His eldest sister, Sarah, married the amateur musician and music theorist Robert Price. Barrington’s writings on music are remarkable for their observations on two relatively new topics: child music prodigies and animal communication. The former contains valuable firsthand accounts of five ‘infant’ musicians (Mozart, Charles and Samuel Wesley, William Crotch and Garret Wesley, 1st Earl of Mornington), and the latter includes an article on birdsong that was cited by Charles Darwin some hundred years later.

‘Account of a Very Remarkable Musician [W.A. Mozart]. In a Letter from the Honourable Daines Barrington, F.R.S. to Mathew Maty, M.D. Sec. R.S.’, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, 60 (1770), 54–64...

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Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, 1885-1901, suppls., 1901-96)