Sir John Barnard, an English merchant, born at Reading, Berkshire, in 1685, died at Clapham, Aug. 29, 1764. His parents were Quakers, but at the age of 19 he left the sect, and was baptized into the church of England. He entered the counting-house of his father, a prosperous wine merchant, soon took the chief management of the business, became one of the most eminent traders of the metropolis, and was elected a member of parliament for the city of London, which he continued to represent during nearly 40 years. He generally opposed the administration of Sir Robert Wal-pole. In 1728 he was chosen an alderman of London; in 1732 was knighted, on presenting to the king a congratulatory address on his return from Germany; in 1735 discharged the duties of sheriff; and in 1737 became lord mayor. He formed a plan for reducing the national debt of England, which, deemed chimerical at first, was afterward adopted; and during the rebellion in Scotland in 1745 he assisted in maintaining public credit by agreeing with the leading merchants of London to receive the notes of the bank of England in payment of all debts.
He retired from public life in 1758. A statue has been erected to him in the royal exchange.