Robert Barham (1778 – 1827)

Painter, Plumber and Glazier

Robert was the elder surviving son of James Barham, Painter-Stainer..

He was born in London in 1778 and baptised at St Lukes, Old Street on 17th November. His parents, James and Susannah, already had one child, James, but he died a year later.

By the time Robert was 3 the family had moved south of the Thames to Woolwich, where two further children were born, Susanna in 1881  and James in1785.  Susanna died in 1784 and so when the family moved again, this time to Darenth in 1788 the only surviving children  were Robert and James, who would both grow up to follow in their father's footsteps. The move to Darenth may have been prompted by the presence there of the boys' grandfather, who had taken up the post of Master of the Poorhouse.

On 23rd May1801, at the age of 22,  Robert married Elizabeth Chapman at Shorne, a village to the east of Gravesend. Both were described as "of this parish" although Elizabeth had been born and raised in Sutton-at-Hone and Robert's father also settled there, so their presence in Shorne was relatively short.This is confirmed by the fact that their first child, Thomas, was born the next year in Sutton-at-Hone..

  • Robert BARHAM
    b 1778
    Old Street

  • m
  • Elizabeth CHAPMAN
    b 1780
family connector
  • Thomas
    b 1802
  • Mary
    b 1807
  • Elizabeth
    b 1810

  • Martha
    b 1812

  • Harriet
    b 1816

  • Robert
    b 1818

  • Joseph
    b 1823


In 1807 a daughter, Mary, was born, also in Sutton-at-Hone. Following this the family moved to Northfleet, a town on the North Kent coast between Swanscombe and Gravesend, Here 5 further children were born - Elizabeth (1810), Martha (1812) Harriet (1816) Robert (1818) and Joseph (1823).  Thomas however died at the age of 13 in 1815.

On 16th October 1827 Robert died, aged only 48. The cause of death is not know, but as his brother who was also a plumber died at a relatively young age with features of lead poisining it must be a possibility here.

Elizabeth survived another 20 years, dying in 1849 at the age of 69. She remained in Northfleet for the rest of her life and is recorded ithere in the 1841 census working as a schoolmistress.  Her sons Robert and Josepjh were still living with her, working as a solicitor's clerk and agricultural labourer respectively.