Barra Or Barray (Islands)

Barra Or Barray (Islands), a group of about 20 islands, forming a parish of the same name, on the W. coast of Scotland, belonging to the chain known as the Outer Hebrides. The principal island, from which the rest are named, is about 8 m. long, and from 2 to 4 m. wide; pop. about 1,600, chiefly Roman Catholics. It contains the ruins of several very old religious houses. At a place called Kilbar are the remains of two churches said to have been built by the monks of Icolmkill, and at various points throughout the island stand ancient watch towers. Druidical circles are found in many places, and a dun or fort, supposed to have been built by the Scandinavians, is on every lake. In the middle of a beautiful bay, on a small rock entirely covered by the tide at high water, stands the ancient castle of the Mac Neils. On Barra is the highest lighthouse in Britain, 680 ft. above the sea.


Barreges. See Bakeges.


Barren, a S. county of Kentucky; area, 500 sq. m.; pop. in 1870, 17,780, of whom 3,623 were colored. Its name comes from the immense thinly timbered tracts it contains, which are technically termed "barrens." It is a moderately fertile region, watered by Barren river and two creeks. The superficial soil rests upon cavernous limestone, and sulphurous and saline springs are abundant. The Louisville and Nashville railroad, and its Glasgow branch, traverse the county. The chief productions in 1870 were 111,848 bushels of wheat, 603,541 of Indian corn, 179,609 of oats, 247,771 lbs. of butter, 4lt,492 of wool, 2,473,939 of tobacco, and 72 bales of cotton.' Capital, Glasgow.


Barretry (sometimes called barratry), in criminal law, the offence of stirring up suits and quarrels. The person guilty of the offence may be indicted as a common barretor. To sustain the indictment it is necessary that there be proof of not fewer than three distinct acts, and that the suits or quarrels be between other persons. A man may bring any number of suits in his own name without being chargeable with this offence. A similar wrong is the bringing of suits by an attorney in the name of a fictitious plaintiff, which may be treated as a contempt of court.


Barrhead, a manufacturing village of Renfrewshire, Scotland, on the river Severn, 7 m. S. W. of Glasgow, with which it is connected by railway; pop. about 6,000. It contains cotton mills, bleaching and print works, an iron foundery, and a machine shop, employing in all about 5,000 operatives.

Barrier Reefs

Barrier Reefs, reefs of coral which rise from groat depths among the South sea islands, at a distance of several miles from the coast, and extend along in front of it as a barrier against the heavy roll of the sea. The most remarkable of these is the Great Barrier reef off the N. E. coast of Australia. (See Australia, vol. ii., p. 128.) Other reefs of this nature are met with along the opposite coasts of the islands of Louisiade and New Caledonia, and between are numerous coral islands.