William Barrett

1733 - 1789

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William Barrett, painted by Jan van Rymsdyk. Barrett was 31 when he sat for his portrait. The title page of his work, The History and Antiquities of the City of Bristol &c., contains some wonderful engravings and a wealth of references to Chatterton and his works.

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Chatterton was a regular visitor to Barrett's house and would have ambled through the front door and on into the inner sanctum to assist Barrett with his History of Bristol, and yet Barrett refused to help Chatterton when he asked for references. 

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William Barrett (along with George Symes Catcott) played a central roll in the Chatterton story. 

The First Historians of Bristol

A small pamphlet from The Bristol Branch of the Historical Association. Barrett is included thanks to his 'The History & Antiquities of Bristol'.

Biographies & Works of Thomas Chatterton

A link to multiple editions of biographies of Chatterton, which contain a wealth of detail about William Barrett.

Barrett's book is a highly important source, which contains the first printings of a number of Chatterton's works.

The book has 704 pages of which around 123 contain either Chatterton's works or references to Chatterton - I have gathered the 123 pages to the link above and added additional, interesting information.  In my eyes it also contains insights into the thinking of both Barrett and, perhaps, the development of Chatterton.

The above link gives you the choice to view the 123 pages or go directly to Barrett's 704 pages online.

Review of Barrett's Book by The Monthly Review, 1791 

Barrett's Correspondence

Correspondence with George Cattcott. More to add in due course.

Still working on this page - and many other pages besides

William Barrett is Dead!

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William Barrett is buried in St Andrew's church, High Ham, Gloucestershire