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Sir James Matthew Barrie (James Matthew Barrie)

Sir James Matthew Barrie

Playwright. Born in the small weaving town of Kirriemuir, Scotland in 1860, he is most remembered for the creation of “Peter Pan” and the world of “Never Land.” The story of “Peter Pan” began with a book called “The Little White Bird,” published in 1902. The character, Peter, was introduced as a baby, and he was later developed into the play “Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up.” The play premiered in 1904, and productions and adaptations of Peter Pan are still common, including Steven Spielberg’s movie, “Hook” (1991). He became a baron in 1913 and received the British Order of Merit in 1922. He was extremely concerned about his small stature (5 feet) and always seemed more comfortable in the company of children, which inspired his writing. He married actress Mary Ansell in 1894 but they divorced in 1910 with no children. Later, Barrie adopted the five orphaned sons of neighbors in Kensington London. He claimed that the character of “Peter Pan” was based on a composite picture of these five boys. One of the boys was killed in WW1 and another drowned in 1921, a tragedy from which he never fully recovered. In 1929, he gave the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London all the rights and royalties to “Peter Pan” in both the play and his books. That hospital still benefits from this endowment. At the time of his death in 1937 he was Chancellor of Edinburgh University.  Family links:  Parents:  David Barrie (1815 – 1902)  Margaret Ogilvy Barrie (1819 – 1895)  Siblings:  Mary Barrie Galloway (1845 – 1918)*  Jane Ann Barrie (1847 – 1895)*  James Matthew Barrie (1860 – 1937) *Calculated relationship


  • May, 09, 1860
  • Scotland


  • June, 06, 1937
  • England


  • Kirriemuir Cemetery
  • Angus
  • Scotland

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