Capt John Barr

Capt John Barr

Glasgow, Glasgow City, Scotland
Death 11 Jan 1909 (aged 63)
Marblehead, Essex County, Massachusetts, USA
Burial Marblehead, Essex County, Massachusetts, USA
Memorial ID 44677087 · View Source
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Boston Herald
Boston, Mass.
Tuesday, January 12, 1909
p. 4


Famous Skipper, Who Handled Thistle And Jubilee, Is Dead

Capt. John Barr, elder brother of Capt. Charlie Barr, known to all the yachting world as a master skipper, died early yesterday at his home at Marblehead at the age of 63 years. He had been afflicted for several years with bladder disease. For a week he had not been able to be about.

The funeral will be held Thursday afternoon at 2 o'clock from the house at 43 Gregory Street, Marblehead. The Rev. E.E. Small of the Methodist Episcopal Church will officiate, and interment will be in Waterside Cemetery.

Besides a widow, Capt. Barr left five sons, Archie, a coxswain on the United States battle ship Louisiana, now at Smyrna; John M., mate on the private yacht of G.K.G. Billings, at Jacksonville, Fla.; James, George and William, at home; and two daughters, Mrs. Arthur Shofield and Miss Annie Barr.

Capt. John Barr was skipper of the Thistle in the international yacht race of 1887, when the Thistle was defeated by the American cup defender Volunteer. Capt. Barr was given great credit for his work with the Thistle. The Thistle was raced by him Sept. 27 and Sept. 30, 1887, and was beaten in both races.

Capt. Barr's next appearance in international events was in 1893 when he sailed the American yacht Jubilee in the contest to select the American cup defender to race against the Valkyrie H. Capt. Barr sailed the Jubilee in the race against the Vigilant, the Colonia and the Pilgrim. In the first race the vessel met with an accident and did not finish. In the second race the Jubilee secured second place, but the third race was sailed with the handicap of a broken gaff-jaw and the vessel was fourth. The Vigilant was selected as the cup defender and defeated the Valkyrie II.

A notable instance of Capt. Barr's superiority as a skipper was in his handling of the Clara, which he brought over from Scotland and which became a leader in the 53 foot class.

Capt. Barr was born in Glasgow, Scotland, but removed with his parents at an early age to Gourock on the Clyde. Here the famous skipper sailed his first race and began his career as a yachtsman, which resulted in the first 12 years of racing in an average of 10 winnings a year, all in small boats.

Capt. Barr during his career had charge of the Neptune, a Fife boat, in which he won 35 prizes out of 50 starts, all sailed in Scotch and Irish waters. He next sailed the Ulerin, a Watson boat, carrying off 27 out of 29 starts. He then took the cutter, Clara, a Fife 20 tonner, the first of the big British yachts to cross over to America. In two seasons he won with her 15 prizes out of 15 starts in one of which he had the Galatea as a opponent.

The next important racing done by Capt. Barr was in the Thistle, in which he won 13 prizes out of 15 starts. He sailed the Thistle to this country and entered the great international race with the Volunteer in 1887. He captioned the Thora, which he sailed in Scottish waters, and later sailed the Clara, winning 22 prizes out of 24 starts. He next sailed the Cinderella at New York, with the Clara as an opponent, winning 12 races. He also sailed the well known sloop Gloriana. In 1895-6 he sailed Howard Gould's sloop Niagara, which he took to England for a season, winning 41 out of 53 starts. His grand total yachting record is 378 races, yielding 250 prizes.

Family Members



Capt. John Barr who departed this life Jan. 11, 1909 aged 63 yrs., 6 mos.

Now the labourers task is o'er. Now the battle day is past. Now upon the farther shore lands the voyager at last. Father in thy gracious keeping, leave we now they servant sleeping.

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  • Created by: RememberMe
  • Added: 22 Nov 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 44677087
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Capt John Barr (Jul 1845–11 Jan 1909), Find A Grave Memorial no. 44677087, citing Harbor View Cemetery, Marblehead, Essex County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by RememberMe (contributor 46982451) .