The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Barry, Hon. Sir Redmond
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Barry, Hon. Sir Redmond
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Barry, Hon. Sir Redmond, K.C.M.G., M.A., LL.D., First Chancellor of Melbourne University, was the third son of the late Major-General Henry Green Barry, of Ballyclough, co. Cork, by his marriage with Phœbe, daughter of John Armstrong Drought, of Lettybrook, King's County, was born in 1813, and after being at a military school at Hall's Place, Bexley, Kent, returned to Ireland, where he entered at Trinity College, Dublin, and graduated B.A. in 1838. In the same year he was called to the Irish bar, and emigrated to Australia in the following year, landing at Sydney, where he only remained a few weeks before proceeding to Melbourne, the capital of what was then known as the Port Phillip District of New South Wales. Here he entered on the practice of his profession with much success until 1842, when he was appointed Commissioner of the Court of Bequests, then the second judicial office in the future colony of Victoria. Mr. Barry became Solicitor-General in 1851, when separation from New South Wales was achieved, with a seat in the Legislative and Executive Councils. In January of the following year he was made a judge of the Supreme Court. In 1855 Sir Redmond was appointed First Chancellor of the University of Melbourne, and in the following year President of the Trustees of the Public Library, both of which positions he held till his death. Of each of these institutions he was regarded as the Father, the success of the National Gallery being mainly attributable, as in the case of the Library, to his energy in developing the collection. Sir Redmond, who was Acting Chief Justice in the absence of Sir William à Beckett, and who administered the government of the colony in the simultaneous absence of the Governor and Chief Justice in the winter of 1876 to 1877, was knighted in 1860, and created K.C.M.G. in 1877. He was appointed a Commissioner for Victoria at the International Exhibition held in in 1862, and received the degree of LL.D. from his Alma Mater in 1876; the University of Melbourne subsequently investing him with the degrees of M. A. and LL.B. In 1876 Sir Redmond visited America as one of the Victorian Commission to the Centennial Exhibition at Philadelphia. He died in Melbourne on Nov. 23rd, 1880.