A younger son of Richard Barnes, Bishop of Durham, Barnabe Barnes was born in Yorkshire. He entered Brasenose College Oxford in 1586 where he met Gabriel Harvey, whom he supported in the pamphlet wars. Barnes served with Essex at Dieppe (1591) and was a protege of the Earl of Southampton. He wrote secular and sacred sonnets, and two plays. In 1598 Barnes was charged with attempted poisoning; he escaped from prison, and, retiring to the North, died at Durham in 1609. He has been identified as the "Lynus" of Sir John Harington's epigrams.
Parthenophil and Parthenope. 1593.
A divine centurie of spirituall sonnets. 1595.
Four books of offices enabling private persons for the service of princes. 1606.
The Divils charter: a tragedie. 1607.
Poems, ed. A. B. Grosart. 1875.
Parthenophil and Parthenophe, ed. Victor A. Doyno. 1971.