Charles Hazelton Barham (1828 - 1908)

Plumber and Master Decorater

Father's Death

Charles' father, James, died on 10th October 1846. This section considers the effect of this and the will on Charles and  the family. For other aspects of his life see the following links:

James, Charles' father, died on 10th October 1846. He must have been ill for some time - the cause of death on the death certificate was “Dis’d Kidneys Dis’d Liver, Asites, Anasarca [an archaic term for oedema]" which would suggest lead poisining. The informant was Alfred, Charles' half brother, who was probably running the family business when his father became unable to work.

The situation was a difficult one. Charles, was at that time 18 years old, his sister Elizabeth had in all likelihood left home to work in service, and his younger siblings ranged in age from 16 down to 6.  If James died intestate, his entire estate would be divided between the children of his marriage to Mary, leaving Elizabeth and her children without any means of support.

The Will

James made a will on 23rd September 1846, just over two weeks before he died and is considered in detail here. It directed that Alfred should continue the business until the youngest child achieved the age of 17 (some 11 years) and that the proceeds should be used to support Elizabeth and her young children. Although we do not know whether this actually happened, the 1851 census five years later describes a different scenario.

1851 census

This census provides much more detail than the one 10 years earlier and the first thing to notice is that there is no sign of Alfred. In fact there is no further trace of him in censuses or Birth Marriage and Death records. He simply disappears. His sister Susannah, joint executrix of the will, is to be found working in service with a farmer in Crayford.

Back in Greenhithe, Elizabeth and her sons are all listed.

Name Relation Condition Age Sex Occupation Born
Charles  Barham Head of House Unmarried 23 Male Plumber,Painter & Glazier Greenhithe,Kent
Elizabeth Barham Mother Widow 51 Female   Luddesdown, Kent
Richard Barham Brother Unmarried 21 Male Carpenter Greenhithe,Kent
Frederick Barham Brother Unmarried 13 Male Errand Boy Greenhithe,Kent
Thomas Barham Brother Unmarried 11 Male   Greenhithe,Kent

 So it is clear from this that Charles rather than Alfred is running the business.  Richard is almost cetainly assisting him in this respect and Frederick seems to be earning some money running errands.  The three girls have all left home and are working in service, Elizabeth at Horne Castle, Emma with a surgeon in Crayford and Louisa with a victualler close by in Greenhithe,

For the next section of Charles' life see Marriage