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Shute Barrington was born on 26th May 1734 in Becket, Berkshire. He graduted from Merton College, Oxford BA in 1755 and MA in 1757. He was ordained in 1756, and by 1759 he was secretary at war in the duke of Newcastle's administration. He married Lady Diana Beauclerk, daughter of Charles, second duke of Albans, in 1761. His wife died in 1766 in childbirth, and he remarried Jane Guise in 1770. They had no biological children, but adopted one daughter.
Barrington was consecrated bishop of Llandaff in 1769, and elected as bishop of Salisbury in 1782. He was further translated to bishop of Durham in 1791. During his life he published several volumes of sermons and tracts, and although a vigorous protestant he advocated toleration of Roman Catholics, short of giving them political power. As bishop of Durham, he committed himself to an agenda of moral reform and charity, helping to found the 1796 Society for Bettering the Condition and Improving the Comforts of the Poor. He was known as a pious and benevolent man, yet charismatic and warm and an excellent preacher.
Barrington died on 25th March 1826 and was buried at Mongewell Park near Wallingford, Oxford.
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