Sir Redmond Barry Statue

Sir Redmond Barry Statue, State Library, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Public Art: Sir Redmond Barry Statue

Artist & Sculptor: Modelled by James Gilbert but completed after Gilbert's death (b? - 1885) by Percival Ball (17 February 1845 – 4 April 1900) .

Date: Unveiled 23rd August 1887

Description: The life size bronze statue depicts Sir Redmond Barry in the robes of the Chancellor of the University of Melbourne. His gaze is directed towards the Melbourne University.

Location: Outside State Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston Street, Melbourne, Australia.

Background: Sir Redmond Barry (June 7th, 1813 – November 23rd, 1880) was a British Colonial Judge and the first Solicitor General, with a seat in the Legislative and Executive Counsils, and later to hold the office of Judge of the Supreme Court. Sir Redmond Barry was the founder of the University of Melbourne and was its first Chancellor. In 1860 he was knighted.

However Barry's real claim to fame was sentencing Australia's most infamous bushranger, Ned Kelly, to hang. The Judge and Kelly had a long history together and it didn't  help when Barry sentenced Ned Kelly's mother to 3 years in jail for assisting in the attempted murder of a police officer. At the hearing Barry said, 'if your son Ned were here I would make an example of him for the whole of Australia - I would give him fifteen years'. Judge Redmond Barry would later sentence Ned Kelly to hang. On sentencing Ned Kelly, Judge Barry concluded " and may the Lord have mercy on your soul", Ned retorted "I will see you there, where I go". Twelve days later Judge Barry collapsed and died in his chambers from 'congestion of the lungs and a carbuncle in the neck'.

History: James Gilbert was originally given the commission to design and create the Sir Redmond Barry statue but had only completed the clay model before he died. The commission was given to Percival Ball.

Well I Never ! : For all of those of us interested in some tantalizing gossip. When Barry's mistress Louisa Barrow died, she was buried with him at the Melbourne cemetery. Mr high almighty judge indeed!


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