Robert Barrie

Robert Barrie

Sir Robert Barrie (5 May 17747 June 1841) was a British naval officer noted for his service in the War of 1812.


From 1784-1788, he was carried on the books of HMS Europa as a servant to the captain (his uncle, Alan Gardner) but most likely his first shipboard service was as a junior midshipman on HMS Goliath.

From 1791-1795, Barrie served as a midshipman during the Vancouver Expedition of diplomacy and exploration along the Pacific coast of North America. Many of his letters home survive, painting a lively picture of adventure, punctuated by periods of boredom when he exhausted the store books on the ships. Barrie gained an acting promotion to Lieutenant on the expedition, and was formally promoted to Lieutenant upon the return to England.

The Stone Frigate, a large stone building completed in 1820 by Sir Robert Barrie, was designed to hold gear and rigging from British warships dismantled in compliance with the Rush-Bagot Agreement. It served as a barracks briefly in 1837-38, and was refitted as a dormitory and classrooms to house the Royal Military College of Canada by 1876.

He promoted a hydrographic survey of the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes. international boundary commission, the hydrographic survey of the Great Lakes and St Lawrence River system, the building of the Rideau canal and Welland canal, and relations with the United States.

In 1837 Barrie was promoted to Rear Admiral. In 1840 he became KCB.

Personal life

Barrie was born to Dolly Gardner, (sister of Sir Alan Gardner), and a Scottish surgeon. He was married on 24 October 1816 to Julia Wharton Ingilby.


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