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Smith Barry - Fota (Foaty) Island

James Hugh Smith Barry of Marbury Hall, Cheshire and Foaty

Family Life

James Hugh Smith Barry, son of John Smith Barry, was given a coming of age birthday weekend at Foaty with guests from the local community, and the tenant families of the Smith Barry estate, a full account of which was published by the Southern Reporter, 31st January 1837;

“FESTIVITIES at FOATY …. The arrival at age of James Hughes Smith Barry, Esq., eldest son of John Smith Barry, Esq., was celebrated at Foaty on Friday last, by a discharge at 12 o’clock of 21 guns from the battery at the Tower, and by a like discharge from the Club Battery ant Cove. In the evening the Columbine Hotel and several private houses at Cove were illuminated, and at night a ball and supper were given at Foaty by Mr. Smith Barry’s principle domestics to upwards of 80 individuals from Cork and Cove. On the following day (Saturday) upwards of 600 of the tenantry and labourers, with their wives and families, sat down to an excellent and substantial dinner, comprising, among other things, two fat heeves, two cwt of plumb pudding, &c. served hot with strong ale, porter, and punch in abundance. Dinner was served in the large new building, 180 feet long, which was ornamented with laurels and evergreens. There was a large collection of spectators, amongst whom were many of the neighbouring gentry. After the dinner, numerous toasts having been drunk, the fiddlers and pipers were put in requisition, and dancing kept on until ten o’clock, when all went to their homes, after a day such as seldom falls to their lot to send. Bonfires blazed on the hills all round. We are happy to say that Mr. Smith Barry is returning home in renewed health. Is health, as that of one of our best resident landlords, was not forgotten by his grateful dependents. The toast was received with enthusiasm, and many were then celebrating might inherit the excellent qualities of his universally respected father. Mr. Smith Barry is expected at Foaty on Sunday.”

The Hotel Columbine no longer exists of this name, and may have been owned by John Smith Barry who, just a few years earlier built a yacht of the same name.

James Hugh Smith Barry of Marbury Hall, Cheshire and Foaty, married Elizabeth, daughter of Shallcross Jackson of Newton Bank, 16th September 1841, at Daresbury Church, Cheshire.

Died at an early age, just 41, 31st December 1857, at Marbury Hall, and succeeded by his eldest son, Arthur Hugh Smith Barry, JP DL.

Political Life

High Sheriff

Supporters of his local community

Cork Examiner,
23rd August 1847

James Hugh Smith Barry with his wife, Lady Elizabeth, regularly feasted and entertained their tenants and children of the local community on their lands, a trend that was set some ten years earlier. One such occasion was reported, Cork Examiner, 23rd August 1847.