James Barham (1785 – 1846)

Painter, Plumber and Glazier

Elizabeth Hazelton

After Mary's death in 1821 James had eight children by Elizabeth Hazelton. This section considers James and Elizabeth and these children. For other aspects of James' life see the following links:

When James' wife Mary died in 1821 he was left with a family of five children aged 7 to 13.  He was living in Greenhithe and his parents were still alive, living in Sutton-at-Hone (about five miles away). His brother Robert also lived locally, in Northfleet (about three miles away). However James, who was now 35 and from all accounts successful in his business must have been in a position to employ domestic help.

Elizabeth Hazelton

In 1824 James had another child, Elizabeth whose parents were recorded as James and Elizabeth Barham.  Elizabeth had presumably been engaged by James to care for the children and although the relationship had become considerably closer it is clear from later evidence that they never married.

Elizabeth was born in Luddesdown, Kent in 1799, the daughter of Francis and Hanna Hazelton.  Luddesdown is a hamlet on the North Downs, between Cuxton and Meopham. It has a tiny church, complete with graveyard and headstones and the Parish Records show that the Hazeltons (also spelt Haselden, Hayselden, Hazleton amongst many others) lived there in the late 18th century. One baptism entry describes her parents as “paupers”. After the birth of Elizabeth Francis and Hannah moved to Meopham, where her youngest brother, Richard was born. According to the 1851 and 1861 censuses Richard had moved to Swanscombe where he was working as a dairyman.

Elizabeth was therefore 15 years younger than James and during the next 16 years James and Elizabeth produced at least 8 children.

Eight children

The first child, Elizabeth, was born in 1824. James mother had died the previous year and one would suspect that James and Elizabeth were not married might be controversial.  Two years later a son George was born, but he drowned in the Thames before his eleventh birthday.

Over the next 14 years James and Elizabeth had a further six children.  Charles was born on 9th July 1828 and another son Richard was born on 4th April 1830.  They were followed by two daughters, Emma born on 21st October 1832 and Louisa born in 1835.  Finally there were another two son, Frederick George, born on 14th August 1837 and Thomas born in 1840.  On each of the baptism records James was described as a glazier.

In 1841 the family was listed in the census living in Greenhithe and James’ occupation was described as “Painter”

James dies

James died on 10th October 1846, aged 61, at Greenhithe, of “Dis’d Kidneys Dis’d Liver, Asites, Anasarca [an archaic term for oedema]". Although this gives no exact pathology, these features are compatible with lead poisoning. His occupation was described a “Plumber Glazier” and the informant on the death certificate was his son Alfred. Elizabeth was thus left a widow at the age of 43, with 7 children ranging from 6 to 22.

James left a will and this is the subject of the next section The will of James Barham