John Barrow was born on Upper Grosvenor Street, on 28 June 1808, son of Sir John Barrow and his wife Anna Maria Barrow. When he was born his father was not yet knighted, but was John Barrow, Esq., the second secretary to the Admiralty.
John Barrow (junior) was educated at Charterhouse, and entered the Admiralty as a clerk in 1824 through the influence of John Wilson Croker. He became the Head of The Admiralty Record Office in 1844. He was the only civilian member of the Arctic council (which was established by him in 1851) to co-ordinate the search for the missing explorer Admiral Sir John Franklin.
He was an archivist to the Admiralty. He published a biography of Sir Francis Drake in 1843 and of Sir William Sidney Smith in 2 Volumes in 1848. He was fascinated with the North, and having been introduced to varying cultures and travel through his father, had a keen interest in learning more and imparting his knowledge, which he did through travelogues. Two travel narratives on his experiences in Norway and Iceland, see him comparing their heritage, attempting to take a more objective approach than previous writers of the genre, and challenging the views and approach of travelogues written in the previous century.
Barrow retired in 1855; he subsequently took an active interest in the militia. Barrow was also a founder member of the Alpine Club in 1857. His experiences in mountain climbing were the foundation of several books on mountaineering, one being "Mountain Ascents in Westmoreland and Cumberland" 1886.
Barrow as a Lieutenant-Colonel in the Paddington Rifles. The Paddington Rifles was formed in 1860 as the 36th Middlesex (Paddington) Volunteer Rifle Corps, and became the 18th Middlesex Volunteer Rifle Corps (as 4th Volunteer Battalion, The Rifle Brigade) in 1879, although it was still widely known as the Paddington Rifles.
John Barrow died on 9 December 1898, at the age of 90, at Monte Rosa, Kingham, near Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire, and was buried at Kensal Green cemetery.
Have you taken a DNA test? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.
John is 18 degrees from Katherine Swynford, 22 degrees from Renée Breau, 16 degrees from Jane Coles, 33 degrees from Gothfraid Of Lochlann, 34 degrees from Ocaan Ro, 19 degrees from Michele Sauvagie, 18 degrees from Catherine Strutt, 20 degrees from John Thorpe, 41 degrees from Charibert von Neustria, 24 degrees from Katharina von Pfannberg and 22 degrees from Betsy Ko on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.
Categories: Hakluyt Society | Fellows of the Royal Society | Arctic Council 1851 | Alpine Club | Kensal Green Cemetery, Kensington, Middlesex | Nonfiction Writers