James Barham (1748 – 1831)

Painter-Stainer, Plumber and Glazier

Marriage and children

James married in 1775 and had at least six children. These are discussed below, for other aspects of his life see the following links.

James married Susanna Holdsworth on 1st June 1775 in Islington.  This was a year before he was made free from his apprenticeship, despite  the stipulation that he should not contract matrimony during the term.  One of the witnesses was a Mary Barham, who may have been his step-mother.

Susanna's age when shen died in 1823 was stated as 70 which would suggest that she was born in 1753. There was a Susanna Holdsworth born on 5th May 1756, the daughter of John and Mary Holdsworth baptised at St Mary, St Marylebone on 7th June 1756.

James and Susanna had at least six children, but only two are known to have survived to adult life.

  • James BARHAM
    b 1748

  • m
  • Susanna HOLDSWORTH
family connector

Their first child, James, was born on 31st December 1776 and was baptised at St Luke, Old Street on 19th January 1777. He died at the age of 2 yrs 8 months and was buried at St Luke's on 11th August 1779.

On 17th November 1778 their second son Robert was born and was baptised at St Luke's on 6th December.

After the death of their first child James and Susanna moved to Woolwich as their first daughter, Susanna was born there on 2nd January 1781. She was baptised on 4th February but sadly she too died on 8th February 1784 at the age of 3 and was buried at Woolwich. There is a record of another child, John, who died three days later but no record of his birth or baptism has been found so his age at death is unknown. If he was the child of James and Susanna the most likely window for his birth would be after Susanna although it is possible that he could have been born between James and Robert or Robert and Susanna.

So by late 1784 James and Susanna had only one surviving child..The following year they had another son, James, who would, like Robert, survive to adulthood. He was born on 21st September 1785 and was baptised on 23rd October in Woolwich.

By this time James' father had taken up his post as Master of the Workhouse in Darenth and James and Susanna seem to have followed him there as their next child, Susanna, was baptised there on 23rd June 1788. Nothing more is known of her but as there is no record of her death in the area it is possible that she survived.

Their last known child, Mary, was baptised on 8th August 1790 in Darenth, but she died at the age of 13 months and was buried on 9th October 1791.

So of six or possibly seven children only two boys are known to have survived childhood. Robert, the elder became a plumber and glazier like his father. According to Ronald Barham he had workshops in Sutton-at-Hone and Swanscombe up to 1806 and inhertied property previously occupied by Henry Barham and later by his brother James. Robert married Elizabeth Chapman of Sutton-at-Hone on 23rd May 1801 at Shorne and they had at least 7 children. He died at the age of 48 on 16th October 1827.

Robert and James, the surviving sons, also became painters, plumbers and glaziers.

For the final chapter in James' life see Life in North West Kent