A younger son of Richard Barnes, Bishop of Carlisle, and afterwards of Durham. He was a Yorkshireman born, says Wood, and in 1586, at about 17 years of age, became a student in Brazen-nose College, Oxford, but left the university without a degree; and what became of him afterward the biographer knew not. He certainly undertook some military charge, as appears from an advertisement to Heliconia, part IX. He was the author of amatory and of spiritual sonnets, printed in 1593 and 1595; of the present volume [Foure Bookes of Offices], in 1606; and of the Devil's Charter, a tragedy, containing the life and death of Pope Alexander VI. in 1607, in which he is said closely to have followed the history of Guicciardini, and in some measure the model of Pericles, prince of Tyre.