Barnewall, Sir Patrick (?1531–1622), Palesman and leader of the ‘Old English’ in the reign of James I, was the eldest son of Sir Christopher Barnewall (qv) and his wife, Dame Marion Sherle (Churley), and grandson of Sir Patrick Barnewall (qv), master of the rolls. He was educated on the Continent and was reputed to have been ‘the first gentleman's son of quality that was ever put out of Ireland to be brought up in learning beyond the seas’ (CSPI, 1611–14, 394), which perhaps explains why he was chosen to accompany a group of Austrian noblemen who visited Ireland in 1579. He succeeded to his father's estates in 1575 and some years later was described by Edward Waterhouse (qv) as ‘the best inheritor in the Pale’ (CSPI, 1582, 359). He fell briefly out of favour when he came under suspicion of complicity in the Baltinglass rebellion in 1580 and of importing catholic books in 1581, but regained it when he married Mary, daughter of Sir Nicholas Bagenal (qv), marshal of Ireland, early in 1582. He went to live in England in April 1582, with letters of commendation from Lord Deputy Grey (qv) and Waterhouse, and received a new lease of his lands in November and a knighthood shortly afterwards. He may have attended the Inns of Court privately during this period. The date of his return to Ireland is unknown. Lord Deputy Fitzwilliam (qv) included him in a list of ‘the doubtful men in Ireland’ in December 1589 (CSPI, 1588–92, 278) but only because he had been suspect in 1580. It was from Barnewall's residence at Turvey in north Co. Dublin that his sister in law, Mabel Bagenal (qv), eloped with Hugh O'Neill (qv) in August 1591.
Barnewell campaigned with the government forces in Monaghan in 1593, under the command of his brother in law, Henry Bagenal, and there was talk of his being made a privy councillor late in that year. The lord chancellor, Adam Loftus (qv), who was convinced of his ‘dangerous disposition’ and suspected him of harbouring a priest, authorised a search of his house early in 1594, and in October he went to England without permission, probably in connection with litigation against Lord Howth (qv). He remained loyal throughout the nine years war, but his comments on the way in which it was managed and on the abuses committed by government troops were outspoken and he was summoned to London in 1597 to be examined about his criticisms. During a short truce in late 1599, he visited O'Neill's camp near Dundalk and returned with a copy of a ‘damnable libel’ that was being circulated. In 1600, with Lord Howth and Robert Rochford (qv), he was deputed by the catholic Palesmen to present the queen with an account of the grievances arising from the conduct of soldiers billeted in the pale. She received them favourably and instructed Lord Mountjoy (qv) to redress ‘the enormities’ that they had described. A presumptuous private petition submitted by Barnewall, requesting an army command and a place on the privy council, was unsuccessful.
In June 1605 Barnewall defied an order to recall his son from Douai and shortly afterwards he emerged as the leading opponent of the Irish government's policy of enforcing religious conformity. On 4 November 1605 selected prominent citizens of Dublin were issued with mandates requiring their attendance at divine service: those who refused were proceeded against in the court of castle chamber. With others, Barnewall organized a petition, signed by 219 of the gentry of the pale and five peers and presented in early December, in which they demanded ‘the private use of their religion and conscience’ (CSPI, 1603–6, 362). The ringleaders were committed to prison and fined in the court of castle chamber. Barnewall denied being the instigator of the petition and claimed that the court was acting ultra vires: he argued in trenchant and immoderate language that the mandates were unlawful because they rested on prerogative power while recusancy was a statutory offence with prescribed procedures and penalties and he warned that the enforcement of the mandates would lay down the foundations of a future rebellion. When the petitioners and citizens were released in the spring of 1606, Barnewall, supported by a national collection, went to pursue redress in London, where he was committed to the tower in May. There he became ill, was released on bond and acknowledged his offences. A judicial resolution stating that the mandates were consistent with law, precedent and authority was procured from the English judges and Barnewall was set at liberty in December and required to confirm his submission in Ireland within four days of his return. The English privy council, however, advised Lord Deputy Chichester (qv) that it would be wise to take account of him because ‘his haughty spirit and credit with others’ made his support valuable to the government (CSPI, 1606, 50). In the event, soon after he came back to Ireland in March 1607 the Irish administration was directed to abandon the enforcement of conformity and the subsequent easing of repression was widely attributed to Barnewall's agency.
In 1613, when a parliament was called in Ireland, Barnewall again appeared prominently in opposition: he protested against the proposed creation of new boroughs designed to increase protestant representation and wrote letters encouraging resistance to the government's evident determination to tighten religious controls. He was summoned to England and confined to the Tower to prevent him from being elected. In the summer of that year he was one of three palesmen interrogated by James I on their divided temporal and spiritual loyalties and was the only one of them to deny unreservedly the pope's power to depose kings or absolve subjects from their allegiance. He died on 11 January 1622 and was survived by three daughters and a son, Nicholas (qv), who served the royalist cause during the civil war and was created Viscount Barnewall of Kingsland and baron of Turvey by Charles I in June 1646.