Barham and Other Papers

Scope and Content

Barham papers, 1673-1848, consisting of:  

  • Papers dealing primarily with the administration of the two Barham estates, the Island Estate and Mesopotamia, in the West Indies
  • Papers dealing mainly with estate matters in the United Kingdom, that is, with the Barham property at Stockbridge, Trecoon and Westmorland
  • Political papers which concern the activities of Joseph Barham and his son John as MPs for Stockbridge and Kendal, and also show that these were not the easiest times to own negro slaves or to sell sugar in England
  • Family and other private papers
  • Miscellaneous papers

Collections of William Shaw, 1714-46, with additions by 'H.S.', consisting of: a commonplace book; extracts of records relating to St. John's College, Cambridge; topographical collections; indexes of personal names and heraldic terms.

18th-century heraldic collections, in the hand of 'H.S.', except that most of the indexes are in a different hand. These are mainly transcripts of copies of visitations in the Harleian collection, collated in some cases with other manuscripts.

18th-century literary pieces.

Administrative / Biographical History

Joseph Foster Barham (1759-1832) lived at Stratford Place, Middlesex, and Stockbridge, Hampshire, was MP for Stockbridge, the owner of considerable estates in the West Indies and the United Kingdom, and the husband of Caroline, daughter of Sackville Tufton, 8th Earl of Thanet. He was a business man and landowner of considerable substance. A great part of his wealth flowed from the West Indies, but he also owned sizeable estates in England and Wales. His Welsh property came to him through his mother, Dorothy, who was a Vaughan of Trecoon, Pembrokeshire. His West Indies inheritance appears to have derived from family conquest, for his great-grandfather, Colonel Thomas Foster, was reputed to have served as an officer under Penn and Venables in the 1655 expedition. Certainly he established himself at Elim in the parish of St. Elizabeth, Jamaica. His grandfather, Colonel John Foster, also of Elim and the son of Colonel Thomas Foster, married Elizabeth Smith, by whom he had a large family. Joseph Foster of Hardwick Hall, Shropshire (father of the MP for Stockbridge), was a son of this marriage. Elizabeth Smith subsequently married secondly Henry Barham, MD (not to be confused with his father, Henry Barham, FRS) (see the Dictionary of National Biography) and under the will of this Henry Barham, Joseph Foster, his stepson, took the surname of Barham by Act of Parliament.

John Foster Barham (1799-1838), eldest son of Joseph Foster and Caroline Barham, was MP for Kendal, and first husband of Lady Catherine Grimston, daughter of the 1st Earl of Verulam. She subsequently married the 4th Earl of Clarendon, hence the presence of these papers among the Clarendon manuscripts.

William Shaw was of St. John's College, Cambridge (probably the Shaw who died 5 August 1739, see Political State of Great Britain, 1739, II, 186).

Conditions Governing Access

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Acquisition Information

The papers were deposited in the Bodleian Library in 1949.

Other Finding Aids

A full catalogue is available in the Library.

Conditions Governing Use

The papers were deposited in the Library on condition that no extracts from them shall be printed without the depositor's, or his heir's, written consent (readers will be asked to sign a form acknowledging this).