Isaac Barre - Encyclopedia

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ISAAC BARRE (1726-1802), British soldier and politician, was born at Dublin in 1726, the son of a French refugee. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, entered the army, and in 1 759 was with Wolfe at the taking of Quebec, on which occasion he was wounded in the cheek. His entry into parliament in 1761 under the auspices of Lord Shelburne, who had selected him "as a bravo to run down Mr Pitt," was characterized by a virulent attack on Pitt, of whom, however, he became ultimately a devoted adherent. A vigorous opponent of the taxation of America, his mastery of invective was powerfully displayed in his championship of the American cause, and the name "Sons of Liberty," which he had applied to the colonists in one of his speeches, became a common designation of the American organizations directed against the Stamp Act, as well as of later patriotic clubs. His appointment in 1782 to the treasurership of the navy, which carried with it a pension of 3200 a year, at a time when the government was ostensibly advocating economy, caused great discontent; subsequently, however, he received from the younger Pitt the clerkship of the pells in place of the pension, which thus was saved to the public. Becoming blind, he retired from office in 1790 and died on the 20th of July 1802.

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