Jacob Dirk Barry, Mr Justice Sir

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About Jacob Dirk Barry, Mr Justice Sir

Jacob Dirk Barry was the sixth child and second son of Joseph Barry, founder of the commercial empire of Barry and Nephews which dominated the Southern Cape in the mid-19th century, and his wife, Johanna van Reenen, daughter of Dirk Gysbert van Reenen. After primary schooling in Swellendam B. was sent to Cheltenham College, England, and completed his education at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated with distinction in 1854. He entered the Inner Temple in 1855 and was called to the Bar on 17.11.1858.

The following year he returned to the Cape in the steamer Celt and on 22.12.1859 was admitted as an advocate of the supreme court in Cape Town where he practised until 1865, when he moved to the Eastern Districts Court at Grahamstown. In 1864 he was elected to the Legislative Council as one of the four members for Cape Town, but in 1866 he was made acting solicitor-general and had to resign his seat. In 1867, however, his acting appointment having ceased, he was returned for Aliwal North in company with John X. Merriman, his brother-in-law. In 1871 he was appointed Recorder (judge) of the new territory of Griqualand West, which included the diamond-fields recently discovered. At first his court was held at Barkly West but in 1873 it was moved to Kimberley, In 1875 he was made an official member of the egislative Council under Sir Richard Southey and senior member of the Executive Council. Twice he was called upon to act as administrator. When Lord Carnarvon proposed his scheme for the federation of the South African territories, B. was elected to represent Griqualand West at the intended conference which, however, never took place. His years in the diamond-fields were not peaceful ones, with constant quarrels over land ownership and diggers' claims, and a motley, unruly community. In view of this and his firm handling of a revolt by the Koranas and Batlapins, he received the honour of knighthood in 1878. That year he left Kimberley to become a puisne judge of the Eastern Districts Court in Grahamstown, and was raised to being its first Judge President in 1880. There he remained until his retirement on 1.8.1901, with brief sessions ex officio on the Appeal Court bench in Cape Town. In 1881 he was chairman of the celebrated Commission on Native Laws and Customs and in 1891 of the Commission on the Educational System of the Colony. He was on the councils of both St Andrew's College and the Diocesan School for Girls in Grahamstown. According to a fellow judge, Alfred Whaley Cole was one of the most hardworking, conscientious judges he had ever met and of great personal courage. He was certainly a man of unflagging energy, on occasion forcing his court to sit until after midnight and sometimes even to sit at half-past six in the morning. He was also fond of outdoor pursuits, his principal recreation being farming. His fruit farm Rustenburg, near Stellenbosch, where he contributed considerably to the promotion of viticulture, was well known.

He died at the home of his daughter Mary, wife of the Rev. Julius Gordon, rector of Queenstown, having been in poor health for some time. Some of his private papers are in the Jagger Library, University of Cape Town, and there are letters of his among the correspondence in the J.X. Merriman papers in the South African Library, Cape Town.

B. married Charlotte, sister of John X. Merriman, in 1867. She died at Fiesole, Florence, Italy, on 7.3.1904. They had four sons and three daughters.


http://ancestry24.com/wp-content/uploads/pages/Dictionary%20of%20South%20African%20Biography/page_03272.pdf and page 03273 - as attached

http://ancestry24.com/search-item/?id=C1385093 - Name: BARRY, JACOB DIRK Year: 1905 Volume: 6/9/531 Source Location: National Archives, Cape Town (KAB) Reference: 2866 Source: Master's Office / Orphan Chamber, Cape Town (MOOC) Collection Name: Cape Estates Death Notice Index 1834 - 1951

http://ancestry24.com/search-item/?id=C2162052 - Name: BARRY, SIR JACOB DIRK Date Of Death: 19050000 Passport Number: 172314 Source Location: National Archives, Pretoria (TAB) Reference: 7891 Source: Master of the Supreme Court, Pretoria (MHG) Collection Name: Transvaal Deceased Estates Index 1855 - 1976


1876-1902. 20 items. Mr Justice Sir Jacob Dirk Barry (1832-1905), was Judge-President of the Eastern Districts Division of the Supreme Court and a brother-in-law of John X Merriman. Letters, letter-copybooks and documents concerning the career and associates of Mr Justice Barry, incl. two letters by Sir Michael Hicks Beach, Colonial Secretary, forwarding his letters patent of knighthood, 1878; various legal documents relating to his career as Judge-President, Eastern Districts Division of the Supreme Court. His pocket diaries for the years 1876-1902. Letters concerning the South African War, three volumes i.a. by his son and by John X Merriman. Letters to and from JX Merriman. For further details see: RFM Immelman: "Some groups of MSS in the U.C.T. Libraries", S.A. Archives Journal, No. 4 (1962), p.p. 37-49.





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Jacob Dirk Barry, Mr Justice Sir's Timeline

June 14, 1832
Swellendam, South Africa
December 21, 1868
Age 36
February 24, 1871
Age 38
Grahamstown, , Cape Province, South Africa
June 5, 1873
Age 40
Grahamstown, , Cape Province, South Africa
October 20, 1874
Age 42
Barkly West, , Cape Province, South Africa
December 24, 1875
Age 43
Grahamstown, , Cape Province, South Africa
July 31, 1878
Age 46
Port Elizabeth, , Cape Province, South Africa
August 5, 1879
Age 47
Grahamstown, Western District, Eastern Cape, South Africa
February 27, 1881
Age 48
Grahamstown, , Cape Province, South Africa