Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Barry, David (1780-1835)

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BARRY, Sir DAVID, M.D., F.R.S. (1780–1835), physician and physiologist, was born in county Roscommon, Ireland, 12 March 1780; appointed assistant surgeon in the army, 1806; present as surgeon, 58th foot, at the battle of Salamanca; and afterwards held several Peninsular appointments. In 1822–6 he studied physiology and medicine at Paris, and there read several original papers before the Academy of Sciences and the Academy of Medicine on the influence of atmospheric pressure on various functions of the body. The experiments on which these were based were repeated before Cuvier, Duméril, Laennec, Cruvelhier, and other eminent men of science, and much commended. These researches were published in London in 1826 under the title given below, and brought Barry into much repute. In 1828–9 he acted as English member with a commission of French doctors which visited Gibraltar to report on the causes of an epidemic of yellow fever there in 1828. In 1831 he was appointed on a commission to report on the cholera, and visited Russia, being knighted on his return. Among other commissions on which he acted was one on the medical charities of Ireland. He died suddenly on 4 Nov. 1835 of aneurism.

[Experimental Researches on the Influence exercised by Atmospheric Pressure upon the Progression of the Blood in the Veins, upon Absorption, &c., London, 1826; the Medical Gazette, 1835.]

G. T. B.