Hon. Henry Frederick Francis Adair Barrington

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About Hon. Henry Frederick Francis Adair Barrington

Arrived in SA 1842 Built the homestead, Portland Manor, 15 kms from Knysna, Cape Province. His daughter, Katherine Caroline Barrington married Francis Henry Newdigate

Barrington, Henry Frederick Francis Adair (Subscriber Content) (*Sedgefield, Durham, Eng., 28.7.1808 - †Portland, Knysna, 28.3.1882), farmer and Cape parliamentarian, was the twelfth child of George, fifth Viscount Barrington, prebendary of Durham and rector of Sedgefield, and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Adair. B. was educated at Christ Church, Oxford, was a barrister-at-law (Lincoln's Inn, 1835), entered the diplomatic service and became an attaché in Athens. After an unhappy romance he resigned from the service, arrived in Cape Town in February 1842 and purchased Portland near Knysna from Thomas Henry Duthie. Elected chairman of the council of magistrates at King William's Town in 1855, he was also le-gal advisor to the chief commissioner in British Kaffraria (1856-59) and presided at the court during the cases which followed the cattle-killing by the Xhosa in 1857 and which led to the banishment of chiefs to Robben Island. In 1860 he resigned and returned to his farming at Port-land. His aloofness to Non-White labourers and his attempt to impose a system of feudalism revealed his nature, described as arrogant and tyrannical. Of superior intellect and physical strength, utterly fearless, ruthless and self-reliant, he was also in advance of his time. In addition to erecting one of the earliest saw-mills for stinkwood at Portland B. experimented with silkworms for silk production, bees for honey and apples for cider. Of the recurring setbacks the worst disaster was the great fire of 1869 which destroyed Portland House and all he possessed. B. nevertheless continued to farm and build, rendering many services and benefits to the community and leaving his stamp on the district. He was a member of the Knysna Divisional Council for many years, and the Homtini Pass, on the Upper Road to George, for which he put up a determined fight, is probably his most enduring memorial. He represented George in the House of Assembly (1870-73), supporting the Governor Sir Philip Wodehouse on the issue of a unicameral parliamentary system and voting against responsible government (1872). Today (1974) his estates (Portland, Redlands and Karawater) are owned by others and the name of Barrington has died out, except for a small country Post Office of that name. In 1848 he married Georgiana Knox of Bath and they had three sons and four daughters. His daughter Kate married Frank, eldest son of William Henry Newdigate. There is a photo of B. in the portrait collection of the South African Library, Cape Town.

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Hon. Henry Frederick Francis Adair Barrington's Timeline

1808
July 28, 1808
Sedgefield, County Durham, England, United Kingdom
1849
1849
Age 40
1852
1852
Age 43
1853
1853
Age 44
1855
1855
Age 46
1861
May 19, 1861
Age 52
1863
August 21, 1863
Age 55
1868
February 13, 1868
Age 59
1882
March 25, 1882
Age 73
Knysna, South Cape DC, Western Cape, South Africa