James Barham (1785 – 1846)

Painter, Plumber and Glazier

Marriage and children

James probably married Mary Peskett in 1807. This section considers this marriage and the children. For other aspects of James' life see the following links:

Mary Peskett

On 16th June 1807 a James Barham married Mary Peskett at St Martin-in-the-Fields. There is no absolute certainty that this was the same James, but a number of facts do support this:

  • This is the only record of a James Barham marriage in the area at this time
  • It is consistent with the birth of their first child
  • One of the witnesses was Susanna Barham (could be mother or sister)
  • The Barhams and the Pesketts were both Plumbers and Glaziers

 Mary was born in about 1781 (estimated from her age when she died) possibly in Midhurst, Sussex. There was a Richard Peskett, born in Midurst in 1775, who worked as a Painter, Plumber and Glazier in Farnham, Surrey. Richard could therefore possibly have been Mary's brother and if he, like James Barham, had taken after his father's occupation this might be a connection between the two families.

James and Mary had eight children between 1808 and 1819 and all are recorded in the Swanscombe parish registers.

  • James BARHAM
    b 1785

  • m
  • Mary PESKETT
    b 1781
family connector
A shotgun wedding?

The first child, also called James was born on 22nd January 1808, and christened on 21st February. Since this was only 7 months after James and Mary were married he must have been conceived before the wedding. He was born in Swanscombe and followed his father’s trade, as a plumber and glazier.

Five live children

The birth of James was followed in rapid succession by four further children all of whom survived childhood. This is in stark contrast to the previous generation in which 3 of the first 5 children died as infants. Mary Ann was born on 20th September 1809, William on 30th December 1810, Alfred on 4th October 1812 and finally Susannah was born in 1814 and baptised on 11th September. All this information is derived from the Swanscombe Baptism records, but the format changed between the birth of Alfred and Susannah in that the date of birth was no longer recorded.  However the place of residence of the family is now recorded and stated as Greenhithe which is where all the rest of James' children were born.

Infant deaths

After the birth of these five children in the space of just over six and a half years no further births are recorded.  There may over course have been miscarriages, but four years later the death is recorded of twins Edward and Henry Barham from Greenhithe. Both were two years old and they were buried on September 3rd 1818. A year later a Frances Barham was buried on 14th October 1819 aged 3 days. No baptism is recorded for any of these infants, so there is no direct evidence that they were the children of James and Mary but as they were from Greenhithe it must be safe to assume that they were.

Mary dies

There were no further children born to James and Mary and on 12th July 1821 Mary's burial is recorded in the parish register.  She was 40 years old and whilst there is no indication of the cause, complications of pregnancy and childbirth must be high on the list of possibilities.  So at the age of 36 James was left as a widower with five children ranging from 7 to 13.

For the next section of James' life see Elizabeth Hazelton