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Christopher Lipscombe Barnes, c1831-89

 'The fact is established that a black clergyman, Ceteris paribus [other things being equal], is as respected in Jamaica as any exotic of Circassian blood.'

Jamaica Post, November 11, 1889

 [Unfortunately no picture/photograph of the Rev C L Barnes has so far been found, but there are pictures of his son and namesake, Prof C L Barnes, musician and business man]

 The life of the Rev C L Barnes, 

as far as I have been able to re-construct it:


   The Committee then decided to use St. George’s Church Commercial and Middle Grade School in Kingston for the ‘literary training’ while other more advanced lectures would be given by the members of the Committee in the St. George’s Vestry. The Committee would have the power to object to any ‘extreme views’ of the lecturers; perhaps one can see the hand of Nuttall in this caution! In January 1872 three applicants replied to an advertisement, Vaz, Barnes and A. F. R. Mudie. Other catechists who could not attend were lent books for study at home. In March 1872 two more students, S. G. Shrimpton and Whittle, attended. [p 95]

[A section dealing with the 'pre-history' of the Church Theological College.]

A History of the Diocese of Jamaica, E. L. Evans, 1975?

However in Theological Education in a Multi-Ethnic Society, 1998, page 149, Dr Edmund Davies has stated 'Between 1858 and 1904, no black candidate was admitted to the college. A few applied for admission but were all rejected on grounds which may be interpreted primarily as ethno-cultural.'

The presence of C L Barnes in these early classes seems contrary this statement.

Career in the Church:

Jamaica Church Chronicle

1872 - Jan 17 p6 col 1 Lay Representatives to Synod - Woodford, St Andrew  C L  Barnes


1875 - Dec 1, p92 col 1 Barnes ordination as deacon

 Daily Gleaner, December 3, 1875

ORDINATION. On Sunday, the 28th November, His Lordship the Bishop of Kingston, held an Ordination of Deacons at Mandeville. The candidates for Holy Orders were Messrs J S Fraser and C. L. Barnes. The Rev. Mr. Deurwaarder, was also to have been admitted to the Priesthood, but he took suddenly ill and was unable to undergo his examination, in consequence of which His Lordship thought it advisable to postpone his ordination. Mr. Campbell of Chantilly, passed a very satisfactory examination, but as his testimonials were not quite ready his admission to the Diaconate was also put off. A large congregation was assembled to witness the solemn and interesting service which commenced at the usual hour of Divine Service. At the close of the Morning Prayers His Lordship ascended the Pulpit and preached a practical Sermon from Ephesians IV Chap. II. 12. vs. Immediately after His Lordship again went within the rails, and the Ordination Service was proceeded with. The Rev. Mr. Sutherland presented the Candidates to the Bishop. The Oath of the Queen's Supremacy was administered by Lionel Isaacs, Churchwarden. The Rev. Mr. Drought of the Mile Gaily District, read the Epistle, and one of the newly Ordained, (the Rev. Mr. Fraser) the Gospel. The Clergy present partook of the Holy Eucharist, the Bishop being Celebrant. We understand the two gentlemen are to be retained at the Stations where they had been labouring as Catechists, the Rev. Mr. Fraser at Nain, St. Elizabeth; the Rev. Mr. Barnes at Pratville, Manchester. COMMUNICATED

 Jamaica Churchman 

1881 - Mar 15 p2

            First ordinations by Nuttall; big service at Kingston Parish Church                                        

            – new  priests include Christopher Lipscombe Barnes and Charles C Douce

 1889 - death of the Rev C L Barnes

Jamaica Post, November 12, 1889

Died: At the Rectory St Margaret's Bay 

on the 4th inst after a short illness, The 

Revd Christopher Lipscombe Barnes in his

48th year. He was ordained in 1875 and 

entered his present cure about three 

years ago. Sincerely and deeply 

regretted. He leaves a large family and

numerous friends to mourn their loss.

 Gall's News Letter, November 13, 1889


BARNES - At the Rectory, St Margaret's Bay,

Nov 4th inst Christopher Lipscombe Barnes, 

aged 48. Leaving a young and loving family,

many dear friends and a large congregation to 

mourn an irreparable loss.

'Well done thou good and faithful servant, enter 

thou into the joy of thy Lord.'

 Jamaica Post, November 11, 1889

 Jamaica Post, November 11, 1889

 Letters in the Jamaica Post shortly after the death of the Rev C L Barnes show the strong feelings that existed, both for him personally, and because of perceptions that he had been neglected in his last days.

 Jamaica Post, November 20, 1889

 The Rev Mr Glasspole, who is mentioned in one letter, was the Rev Theo Glasspole, the father of the late Governor General.

 The Jamaica Churchman 

1889 November 21 
p81 col 2 
Died November 4 The Rev C L Barnes, Rector of St Margaret's Bay. 

1889 December 11 
p92 col 3 
Diocesan Council: the Bishop reported the death of C L Barnes. 'It was agreed to make a grant 
to the children, if necessary, for travelling expenses from St Margaret's Bay to their friends 
in Kingston or Westmoreland. the grant to come out of the Voluntary Branch of the Widow's and Orphan's Fund.' 

p93 col 1 
Church News: The Rev Christopher Lipscombe Barnes, incumbent of St Stephen's Church, St Margaret's Bay and Superintending Clergyman of the Mission Station at Moore Town died on the 4th November. 

1890 Aug 15 
p2 col 3 
Moore Town - The Rev C L Barnes, Superintending clergyman, died in November [1889]


(1) Except at the time of his death, in the items in the Jamaica Post, there is never any mention of the fact that the Rev Mr Barnes was a Black man; this policy of not mentioning the colour of persons mentioned in publications makes the identification of Black Jamaicans in public life in that period an on-going process.

(2) It is of interest that in his first ordination of candidates for the priesthood in 1881, Bishop Nuttall (consecrated bishop in 1880) ordained, for certain, two Black men, Barnes and Douce. This appears to contradict the Rev Dr Davis' stricture on Nuttall, 'But not even the great Enos Nuttall had the wisdom to see that the black man could be trained to fill the vacant churches.' (Roots and Blossoms, Edmund Davis, Cedar Press, Barbados, 1977, p35)

 An example of the on-going influence of C. L. Barnes


Jamaica Times, August 6, 1910, p21        

Dr. R. M. Stimpson

Whilst attending school he had been a special pupil of the late Rev. C. L. Barnes, Rector of Pratville Church.


(Dr R M Stimpson was a prominent Black doctor, Anglican layman and local political figure in Manchester in the first half of the 20th century.)