BARNARD, JOHN, Congregationalist minister; b. 6 Nov. 1681 at Boston, Massachusetts, son of John Barnard and Esther Travis; d. 24 Jan. 1770 at Marblehead, Massachusetts.
John Barnard’s father, a housewright by trade, was elected in 1701 to the office of Boston selectman. Barnard received his ab from Harvard in 1700 and his ma in 1703. While at Harvard he also read theology under Cotton Mather. By 1707, however, his association with the Mather faction had come to an end.
In 1707 Barnard was appointed one of the five chaplains for the expedition against Port-Royal (Annapolis Royal, N.S.) which was led by Colonel John March* of Newbury. Barnard advocated a vigorous siege of Port-Royal, and on several occasions he himself came under enemy fire; the expedition was not, however, successful. An incident of “scandalous conduct” in the camp – namely, a game of cards – resulted in Barnard’s confession and contrition upon his return to Boston. After this expedition, Barnard continued to lead a roaming and adventurous life for a number of years. He spent about one year in England (1709–10), where he moved freely in both religious and commercial circles.
Barnard was ordained by the Marblehead church on 18 July 1716, and served that church for the rest of his life. On 18 Sept. 1718 he wed Anna Woodbury (Woodberry) of Ipswich; the marriage was without issue. At Marblehead Barnard was active in the stimulation of local commerce, and thereby the town achieved a certain economic autonomy. He also supported the education of several poor boys. In 1745 Barnard was offered a military chaplaincy with the expedition to Louisbourg, Île Royale (Cape Breton Island), but his congregation persuaded him to refuse on account of his age.
[The best biographical sketch of John Barnard, along with a bibliography of his writings, can be found in Shipton, Sibley’s Harvard graduates, IV, 501–14. Shipton states that several works attributed to the Reverend John Barnard should be credited to Deacon John Barnard of Andover, Mass. Barnard’s manuscripts are in the library of the Massachusetts Historical Society. His “Autobiography,” dated 14 Nov. 1766, is printed in Mass. Hist. Soc. Coll., 3rd ser., V (1836), 177–243. See also: DAB. W. B. Sprague, Annals of the American pulpit . . . (9v., New York, 1857–69), I, 252–58. g.e.b.]