Bardin, Charles (c.1788-1841), clergyman and producer of instructive literature, was born in Dublin, son of Peter Bardin, revenue officer; his date of birth and his mother's name are unknown. He graduated BA (1817), MA (1818), and DD (1828) from TCD. While a curate at St Mary's Church, Dublin, he was appointed (1818–27) literary assistant to the Society for the Education of the Poor of Ireland, known as the Kildare Place Society, which founded schools and aimed to replace the discreditable literature that dominated the market, and enlighten the reading public through the publication of school books and popular works. It was a highly sophisticated and successful publishing venture; Bardin's testimony before the commission of inquiry into Irish education (1824) indicated that fifty-two titles had been published, nearly 150,000 books printed, and 950,000 were in circulation.
These books, well written, strictly non-sectarian, entertaining, and embracing religion, arts, economy, natural history, and travel, were illustrated with woodcuts and were small, attractively bound, and cheap. Monitored closely by the society's book committee, they were nearly all either written, compiled, or edited by Bardin, who is credited with having a significant influence on Irish reading habits. He was a great traveller, and the largest section, concerning travels and voyages, accounted for thirty-two of the seventy-nine titles published by 1831. Every KPS school had a complete set of books, and books were given to Sunday schools, parish lending libraries, and any individual or organisation prepared to preserve and distribute them; whole ‘libraries’ were sold to institutions throughout the world.
Bardin also superintended the parochial free school of St Mary's, which confined religious instruction to protestant pupils and provided a non-sectarian general education to pupils of all denominations, and was examiner in the annual catechetical examinations of the Association for Discountenancing Vice. His appointment (1827) to the curacy of Dundalk, Co. Louth, necessitated his resignation as literary assistant, but he continued to supply four books every year. He was appointed rector of Newtown Hamilton, Co. Armagh (1828–30), rector of Derryloran, Co. Tyrone (1830–41), and examining chaplain to the primate, and became a leading figure in the Armagh diocese. He died in Derryloran, 6 May 1841. He married (1820) Julia Helen Hodgkinson; they had one son.