The Name and Family of Barham

by Sydney Pay Barham

Chapter Twenty Three


The four younger sons of John Barham of Faircrouch all scattered widely from their native parish. Thomas Barham, the 3rd son, was bequeathed by his father all the lands and tenements in Maidstone, which he bought from his brother Richard, the clothier of Wateringbury, together with the sum of £200 to be paid to him at the age of 24. He settled first at Maidstone and then moved to London, where he established himself in business. In his will drawn up in 1603, describes himself as "citizen, teller, and Chandler of London". He may be the Thomas Barham who is mentioned in the municipal records of Maidstone on the 1st of Nov. 1600. "Thomas Barham of the Waterside, leaving the town, is to continue a free man, paying 3/4d yearly at the Lady Day and Michealmas". As a freeholder and freeman, although an absentee, he was ap- pointed to the common council of the town in 1605. He had little to say in the appointment for it was the rule that any person being a freeholder and freeman of the town who refused to serve on the common council when chosen was to forfeit 20/-.

Thomas Barham had two sons, Thomas and Josia, and a daughter Mary, all born in Maidstone, and baptized in the parish church of All Saints. We get a glimpse of Josias, who became a farmer at Dallington in Sussex, in the deposition books of the Archdeaconry of Lewes, where his name is recorded as a witness on 16th June 1629, "Josias Barham of Dallington, yeoman, where lived six years, born in Maidstone, aged 29".

The fourth and fifth sons, Richard and William, went west. Each had been left by his father property in Wadhurst, and the sum of £300. Richard Barham married a young heiress of Lindfield, Benet, or Benedicta Taylor, probably at Waldron in 1594. The young couple removed to Lindfield, where they lived and died, Benet in 1649 and Richard in 1651. Their posterity continued to reside at Beadle's Hill near Lindfield for several generations. Beadle's Hill, which appears on modern maps as "Bedeles", is a short distance from Hayward's Heath, a new town, which overshadows, and almost absorbed the old village of Lindfield. There is a record of the marriage in 1621 of Richard Barham of Lindfield, he then being aged 25. Nathaniel Barham, the great grandson of Richard and Benet, died in 1792, possessed of property at Linfield, East Hoathley, Broadwater and Mayfield. I found no memorials bearing the name of Barham in the parish church of Lindfield. Whether there are any in the crowded church yards I was unable to discover. William Barham sold his Wadhurst property in 1610, and with the proceeds and his legacy of £300 made a place for himself at Icefields, a village lying between Lewes and Uckfield, and at no great distance from Lindfield. Here he soon gained a favourable reputation, for when Parliament granted a subsidy to James I in 1620, William Barham was appointed assessor for the hundred of Loxfield-Dorset, which includes Isfield; and again in 1628, for grudgery granted to Charles I, when he acted as assessor to Isfield. By 1642 he had become settled at East Hoathly, some four or five miles from Isfield, for in that year he contributed as a resident in the parish to the Irish Benevolence. Benevolence was a polite name for a forced loan or contribution. In the previous year a savage rebellion had broken out in Ulster, and the benevolence had been demanded to assist in its suppression. The same year, 1642, saw the fatal opening of the Civil War.

William Barham was to know little of the war, for he died in 1643, leaving all his lands and tenements in East Hoathly to his eldest son Nicholas. That he was a man of substance and impressed himself upon his parish is witnessed by the fact that Barham House still stands near the village of East Hoathley to perpetuate the family name. I confess that I was long puzzled to account for the naming of this house, since none of the Barhams in Wadhurst had named their homes after themselves. I have to thank Mr. FitzGerald-Uniacke's article for the solution of this, as well as many other problems. So far as I have been able to ascertain, there were no memorials to the members of the family in the parish church of East Hoathly. Nicholas of East Hoathly died in 1681. much more interesting character is his younger brother Arthur. Arthur Barham was baptized at Buxtead, four miles from Isfield, on the 22nd Nov. 1618. I can't account for the choice of Buxsead for the ceremony. He had been destined for a legal career, but on the death of his father he sold his law books and repaired to Cambridge, where he studied divinity, and took the Holy Orders. It was the time of the Civil War and clearly the Rev. Arthur Barham had Puritan sympathies. On leaving the university he was appointed lecturer or preacher at St. Helen's Bishopgate in the City of London. At St. Helen's he ministered throughout the period of the Commonwealth, no doubt conducting services in the Presbyterian manner. One of the publications of the Harleian Society reproduces the registers of the church at this period. They refer to Arthur Barham as "Our Minister", and records between 1651 and 1653 the baptisms of five of his children, and the burials of two of them. Trouble came to Arthur Barham at the Restoration, when in common with many other clergy men, he refused to conform to the Book of Common Prayer, and in 1662, he was ejected from his living under the Bartholomew Act. He retired with his family to Hackney, where he carried on ministry of some sort, perhaps at an illegal Presbyterian Conventicle. Hackney was a place of refuge for dissenters from London. The New Gravel Pit Chapel, now the Hackney Unitarian Church, started as one such meeting place in 1668. It is quite possible that the Rev. Arthur Barham knew something about its founders. In 1665, while he was still living in Hackney, his wife Mary died, and was allowed burial at St. Helen's. "This is Mary, wife of Arthur Barham, Minister of Hackney, and the Church before the Death."So runs the entry in the Burial Register. But in the same year, 1665, the passing of the Five Mile Act prohibited clergymen from residing within five miles of an incorporated town, and so Arthur Barham was compelled to leave Hackney, and his family, and retire to Sussex. I can't affirm that he took refuge with his brother in East Hoathley, but it seems probable, although his father had left some property at Fletching, near Uckfield.

In 1672, Charles I issued a declaration of indulgence, which relieved dissenters of some of their disabilities. Thereupon Arthur took out a license to preach in his own parish. When his brother Nicholas died in 1681, he was granted administration of his goods. After the revolution of 1688, Arthur Barham returned to London, and spent the remaining two years of his life at the home of his son in law, a book seller. He died 6th March 1691-92, and was buried in his old church of St. Helen's, Bishopsgate, where the register records "1691 March 10th. Mr. Arthur Barham, clerk, in the south aisle of the church, over against the pulpit."Mr. FitzGerald-Uniacke quotes the following tribute to his character, from the Annals of St. Helen's Bishopsgate, by the Rev.J.E.Cox, DD. He was a sincere Godly, humble man, with a mild peaceful disposition, and was generally liked by all those who knew him.

I will conclude this section by noting what little is known of the rest of the children of John Barham of Faircrouch. To his sixth and youngest son, who like his clergyman nephew was named Arthur, he left £240, and some lands in Wadhurst. Arthur appears to have sold these lands in 1604. Before that date he married Mary Kellyn of Morehall, in Linfield near Battle. It is to be supposed that he made his home near there. On passing through Linfield recently I noticed that Morehall is now a country club. John's three daughters, Dorethy, Alice, and Johane, were each left £100, to be paid to them at age 21, or marriage. In 1585, Alice married Edward Maplesden of 'Cheamlly' in Marden, Kent, and one of her sons George, a lawyer, of the Middle Temple, married a niece of Robert Barham of Boughton Monchelsea, who was 'Controller of the Pipe'.

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