Wednesday, 11 September 2019

(390) Barlow of Barlow Hall

Barlow of Barlow Hall
A branch of the Barlow family was settled at Barlow Hall in the parish of Didsbury (Lancs) as early as about 1200, and for nearly six centuries they remained lords of the manor of Barlow and resident at Barlow Hall, a courtyard house on the north bank of the river Mersey, in a section where it forms the historic county boundary with Cheshire. The family begins to emerge from medieval obscurity in the early 16th century, when Ellis Barlow (d. 1521), with whom the genealogy below begins, died in the lifetime of his father leaving one son and one daughter. His daughter Margaret (d. 1559) married, as his second wife, Edward Stanley (1509-72), 3rd Earl of Derby, who was a prominent courtier through four reigns and whose extensive lands and offices in the county made Lancashire almost his personal fiefdom. The kinship of the Barlows and the Stanleys was useful to the former in various ways over the following century, and enabled a modest rise in their social status.

Ellis Barlow's infant heir was Alexander Barlow (1521-84), and it seems probable that he was brought up partly in the household of Lord Derby, since he is recorded as a member of Lord Derby's council as early as 1546 and in the following year became MP for Wigan, a seat then controlled by the Stanleys, which he continued to represent until 1557. In the 1570s he rebuilt Barlow Hall, and the earliest parts of the present building date from his time. Alexander was, however, an opponent of the religious changes introduced by Henry VIII and gradually reinforced by Edward VI and Queen Elizabeth I, and although perhaps protected to an extent by his connection with Lord Derby, his refusal to conform to the new religious settlement left him increasingly vulnerable to arrest and penalties. Shortly after his wife's death in 1583 his house at Barlow Hall was raided and he was arrested. He was then in poor health, and perhaps for this reason he was held under house arrest in the house of a Protestant magistrate rather than being imprisoned; he died there in August the following year.

His eldest son, Alexander Barlow (1557-1620), perhaps mindful of his father's difficulties with the Elizabethan regime, was outwardly conformist in religion but seems secretly to have continued to support the Catholic cause. Three, and perhaps four, of his younger sons were sent to the continent to be educated in Catholic institutions and became monks and/or priests, and at least one of his daughters became a nun in a Bridgettine convent in France. One of the sons (Edward Barlow, known as Father Ambrose) was sent back to Lancashire as a Catholic priest and operated clandestinely as such for nearly a quarter of a century before being arrested and executed in 1641; he was recognised as one of the forty English martyrs in 1930 and canonised (as St. Ambrose Barlow) by Pope Paul VI in 1970.

At the beginning of the reign of King James I there was a brief period when Catholics hoped that the new king would be more tolerant of their faith that his predecessor, and both Alexander Barlow and his son, Alexander Barlow (1579-1642), were among the large number of men knighted at the new king's coronation. Hopes of a new toleration were, however, quickly disappointed, and when Catholic disillusionment led to the Gunpowder Plot in 1605, the result was a new wave of anti-Catholicism and even harsher legislation. Two-thirds of Sir Alexander Barlow's estate was seized by the Crown in 1608 and granted away, although some if not all of it seems later to have been recovered. The younger Sir Alexander Barlow (1579-1642) seems to have had a rather less troubled tenure than his father, perhaps because under Charles I there was less active and continuous persecution of Catholics than formerly. Sir Alexander was succeeded by his eldest son by his first marriage, Alexander Barlow (d. 1654), who evidently conformed in religion with some sincerity. He was sufficiently trusted by Parliament to be appointed High Sheriff of Lancashire in 1652-53, but he died soon after his term of office and was succeeded by his half-brother, Thomas Barlow (c.1618-84), who seems to have preserved his Catholic faith. The lives of Thomas and his successor, Anthony Barlow (c.1663-1723), were greatly conditioned and limited by the anti-Catholic penal laws, and the continual financial pressure from fines sapped the resources of the estate. Two of Anthony's sons, his heir Thomas Barlow (d. 1729) and Anthony Barlow (d. 1722), were implicated in the Jacobite rising of 1715 and apparently attainted and imprisoned on suspicion of high treason. They seem to have been freed before Anthony's death, possibly by the operation of the Indemnity Act of 1717, and Thomas seems to have been free to inherit his father's estate in 1723. 

The family's box of troubles was not yet full, however, for in the 1720s Thomas' relationship with his wife Mary deteriorated to the point where he discharged a pair of pistols at her, and she was grazed by a bullet. Although, by modern standards, the law of the time was disturbingly relaxed about violence within marriage, this event was viewed as attempted murder, and Thomas was imprisoned at Lancaster to await trial, while Mary decamped with her children to stay - presumably with relatives - in Lincolnshire. Thomas never came to trial, however, for he died of gaol fever (typhus) at Lancaster in 1729, and his widow subsequently returned to Barlow Hall, where she seems to have lived until her death in 1761. The heir to the estate was Thomas Barlow (c.1720-73), who seems to have let Barlow Hall after he gained possession, and was evidently in serious debt. When he died without issue, he vested his property in trustees who were to pay modest sums to his widow and surviving siblings and their families until his debts had been cleared. The trustees sought instructions from Chancery and were advised to raise mortgages on the estate to pay off the debts, but they failed to raise sufficient sums, and in 1784 they obtained a private Act of Parliament for the sale of the estate. It was sold the following year to William Egerton of Tatton Park (Cheshire), and the house was thereafter let to gentry tenants until the early 20th century, when it became a golf club house, which it remains today. 

A coda to the troubled story of the Barlows is provided by The Public Advertiser of 28 September 1786, which recorded that the eventual major beneficiary of the residue of Thomas Barlow's estate would be his great-nephew, Thomas Anthony John Bredall (b. c.1778), who was the grandson of Barlow's sister, Catherine, and a London apothecary, Francis Bredall, who was a Catholic. Although young Thomas had been brought up by his parents as a Protestant, when he went on a visit to his grandfather he was 'secretly taken off to a Papist seminary in the country', and his father had to have recourse to the law to force Francis Bredall to reveal what he had done with the boy. He had, in fact, been sent to a Catholic college in Wolverhampton (Staffs), from which he was eventually returned to the bosom of his family. It is, perhaps, fitting that religious conflict continued to dog the family to the last, and even into the years when religious toleration increasingly existed in practice, if not yet in law.


Barlow Hall, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Lancashire


The manor of Barlow was held by a family who took their surname from the place as early as 1200, and there were a house and mill here by the 13th century. The oldest visible parts of the present building date, however, from the 1570s, when it was rebuilt or remodelled for Alexander Barlow: a sundial on the north wall of courtyard carries the date 1574. The house stands about a quarter of a mile south of Barlow Moor Road between Chorlton-cum-Hardy and Withington, on slightly rising ground on the north bank of the River Mersey. 
Barlow Hall: the house in 1910 before the demolition of the entrance range.
Image: Victoria County History/University of London

The building is of two storeys, and was originally an irregular quadrangle in plan (the courtyard being about 40 ft from north to south and with a width varying from 32 feet at the southern end to 38 ft at the northern end), but the east (entrance) range was demolished in 1962. The west range contained the great hall (of which little evidence is left after a fire in 1879 and subsequent rebuilding), and from this wings project to the east. The north wing probably contained the original family rooms, but in later centuries, the south wing, which was much altered in the 17th and 18th centuries came to have the chief living rooms, while the kitchen and offices were moved to the west range. The house was originally timber-framed, and the hall bay and a square gabled room above it still have visible timber framing. 

Barlow Hall: the courtyard in 1902. Image: Manchester Library & Archives
Most of the rest of the house has been encased or rebuilt in brick of many periods, creating a very irregular impression. In the 17th century, it was modernised by the addition of corridors round all four sides of the courtyard, making the court even smaller than before, and the corridor cuts through the hall bay window, which was seven-sided, as at Ordsall Hall; its plaster ceiling of seven sections was, however, preserved. In the late 17th or early 18th century the east end of the south range was rebuilt and extended, and in the early 19th century a large semicircular bay window was added at the south-west corner. 

Barlow Hall: the ceiling of the hall bay window, as restored after the 1879 fire. Image: Historic England.
In 1776, the house contained a hall, dining room and drawing room and nine bedrooms, as well as the service accommodation. After the fire in March 1879, the house was extensively rebuilt with new fittings and contemporary decoration for the tenant, Sir William Cunliffe-Brooks, possibly to the designs of George Truefitt, who worked for him elsewhere. The cost of the work was covered by insurance, and the restoration was put in hand immediately, so that the house was due to be habitable again by Christmas 1879.  The hall bay window preserves heraldic stained glass of the 1570s and a scratched inscription dated 1580 in one of the plain quarries which may identify the glazier as W. Smythers. The fire of 1879 revealed a good deal of the original timber framing, but this was covered up again when the house was restored.

Barlow Hall: the house in 2014, showing the current appearance of the house after the demolition of the entrance range.
Image: © Andy Robertson
The house has been a golf club house since 1905, and the water meadows below the house are now the golf course. There was formerly a rectangular canal with rounded ends below the 19th century semicircular bay window, running at a diagonal to the house; this was filled in in 1966 and the site is now marked by a row of hornbeams. Beyond the canal is a flat terrace which seems to have been a formal garden and orchard.

Barlow Hall: the house and grounds as shown on the 1st edn 6" Ordnance Survey map of 1845.

Descent: Roger Barlow (c.1461-c.1525); to grandson, Alexander Barlow (c.1521-84); to son, Sir Alexander Barlow (1557-1620), kt.; to son, Sir Alexander Barlow (1579-1642), kt.; to son, Alexander Barlow (d. 1654); to half-brother, Thomas Barlow (c.1618-84); to son, Anthony Barlow (c.1663-1723); to son, Thomas Barlow (c.1686-1729); to son, Thomas Barlow (c.1720-73), who let to William Marriott (d. 1778); sold under a private Act of Parliament, 1785 to William Egerton (1749-1806) of Tatton Hall (Cheshire); to son, Lt-Col. Wilbraham Egerton (1781-1856); to son, William Tatton Egerton (1806-83), 1st Baron Egerton; to son, Wilbraham Egerton (1832-1909), 2nd Baron and later 1st Earl Egerton of Tatton; to brother, Alan de Tatton Egerton (1845-1920), 3rd Baron Egerton, who sold c.1914 to Manchester City Council. After its acquisition by the Egertons the house was normally leased. Tenants included, in 1802, William Myers, from 1816-47, Shakespeare Phillips esq. (d. 1855), and from 1848-1900, Sir William Cunliffe-Brooks (1819-1900), 1st bt. The house was leased by Chorlton-cum-Hardy Golf Club from 1905 and this arrangement was continued after the purchase of the estate by Manchester City Council.


Barlow family of Barlow Hall



Barlow, Ellis (c.1492-c.1521). Son of Roger Barlow (c.1461-c.1525) and his wife Catherine, daughter of Ellis Prestwich of Hulme (Lancs), born about 1492. He married Anne, daughter of Otes Reddish, esq., of Reddish, and had issue:
(1) Margaret Barlow (d. 1559); married, as his second wife, Edward Stanley (1509-72) KG, 3rd Earl of Derby, but had no issue; died 19 January 1558/9;
(2) Alexander Barlow (c.1521-84) (q.v.).
He died in the lifetime of his father, in about 1521. His widow's date of death is unknown.

Barlow, Alexander (c.1521-84). Only son of Ellis Barlow (c.1492-c.1521) and his wife Ann, daughter of Otes Reddish of Reddish, born about 1521. He was  a member of the Earl of Derby's Council, 1546; MP for Wigan, 1547-57; and a Trustee of Manchester Grammar School, 1556-81. He adhered to the Roman Catholic religion and was eventually arrested as a recusant and imprisoned. He married Elizabeth (c.1525-83), daughter of George Leigh of Adlington Hall (Cheshire) and had issue:
(1) Mary Barlow; married John Leigh, younger son of Richard Leigh of West Hall, High Legh (Cheshire);
(2) Margaret Barlow (d. by 1617); married Edward Scarisbrick (d. 1599) and had issue; died before April 1617;
(3) Anne Barlow; married, Richard Halsall (c.1552-1609) of Halsall;
(4) Elizabeth Barlow (d. 1578); died unmarried and was buried at Didsbury, 24 September 1578;
(5) Jane Barlow (fl. 1583); a Bridgettine nun on the Continent; wrote to her father in 1583 complaining that she was "in great distress and want in a foreign land" and that she was forced to borrow money for her profession as a nun;
(6) Sir Alexander Barlow (1557-1620), kt. (q.v.)
(7) Edward Barlow.
He inherited Barlow Hall from his grandfather as an infant and rebuilt it in the 1570s.
He died while under house arrest near Manchester and was buried at Didsbury, 26 August 1584. His wife was buried at Didsbury, 26 December 1583.

Barlow, Sir Alexander (1557-1620), kt. Elder son of Alexander Barlow (c.1521-84) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of George Leigh of Adlington Hall (Cheshire), baptised at Chorlton, 28 June 1557. He apparently conformed to the Protestant church and was knighted at the coronation of King James I, 1603, but he later recanted and died ‘a true and perfect recusant Catholic’, in the words of his will.  He was married 1st, 22 September 1562 at Middleton (Lancs), while a child of four, to Elizabeth Bellfield of Clegg, who was about the same age, but he refused to ratify the marriage on reaching his maturity, and obtained a divorce or annullment in 1574; he married 2nd, c.1580 at Handforth (Cheshire), Mary (d. 1627), daughter of Sir Urian Brereton of Handforth, and had issue, with two other sons and one daughter who died in infancy:
(1) Sir Alexander Barlow (1579-1642), kt. (q.v.);
(2) Margaret Barlow (1581-1628), baptised at Didsbury, 16 September 1581; married Sir John Talbot (c.1582-1659) of Salesbury Hall, Ribchester (Lancs), and had issue four sons and three daughters; died 26 December 1628;
(3) George Barlow (b. 1582; fl. 1617), baptised at Didsbury, 4 March 1581/2; living in 1617;
(4) William Barlow (c.1584-1656); educated at Douai College and Salamanca (Spain) (DD); professed as a Benedictine monk (Fr. Rudesind) in Spain, 1605; ordained priest 1608; monk at Douai Abbey; prior of St. Gregory's Abbey, Douai, 1614-21; professor of theology at Douai, c.1616-56; died at Douai, 1656;
(5) Edward Barlow (1585-1641), baptised at Didsbury (Lancs), 30 November 1585; converted to Roman Catholicism, 1607, and trained at the English College, Douai (France), and at Valladolid (Spain) as a Benedictine monk; ordained as a priest, 1617 (taking the name Father Ambrose Barlow); he then returned to England as a missionary and lived under the protection of Sir Thomas Tyldesley of Morleys Hall, Astley (Lancs); he suffered a stroke in about 1640 which left him partially paralysed, but continued his ministry until he was arrested while conducting mass on Easter Day, 1641, and taken to Lancaster, where he was tried and executed by hanging, drawing and quartering and being boiled in oil, 10 September 1641; his head was subsequently exposed on a pike but was rescued by his cousin, Francis Downes of Wardley Hall (now the residence of the RC Bishop of Salford), and the skull has been preserved there to the present day; one of the 'forty English martyrs' beatified in 1930 and canonised as St. Ambrose Barlow in 1970;
(6) John Barlow (d. by 1616); died in Spain, where he too was perhaps training for the priesthood;
(7) Robert Barlow (d. c.1633); professed as a monk at Douai Abbey, 1630; died there about 1633;
(8) Frances Barlow (fl. 1617);
(9) Mary Barlow (fl. 1616);
(10) Jane Barlow (b. 1589), baptised at Didsbury, 21 July 1589;
(11) Katherine Barlow (d. 1636); died 26 December 1636 and was buried at Brere (Essex).
He inherited Barlow Hall from his father in 1584, but two-thirds of the estate was seized by the Crown in about 1608, and granted away.
He was buried at Manchester Collegiate Church (now Cathedral), 20 April 1620; his will was proved at Chester and an inquisition post mortem was held in 1620. His widow was buried at Manchester Collegiate Church, 10 July 1627; will proved at Chester, 1627.

Barlow, Sir Alexander (1579-1642), kt. Eldest son of Sir Alexander Barlow (1557-1620), kt. and his second wife Mary, daughter of Sir William Brereton of Brereton Hall (Cheshire), baptised at Manchester Collegiate Church, 18 September 1579. He was knighted with his father at the coronation of King James I in 1603. He married 1st, Hon. Elizabeth, daughter of Edward Parker, 12th Baron Morley, and 2nd, 18 May 1616 at St Mary Mounthaw, London, Dorothy (b. 1584), daughter of Sir Thomas Gresley of Drakelow Hall (Derbys), and had issue:
(1.1) Alexander Barlow (d. 1655); evidently conformed to the Protestant religion; High Sheriff of Lancashire, 1652-53; married, 4 March 1632 at Northenden (Lancs), Frances (b. 1592; fl. 1655), daughter of William Brereton of Ashley and sister and co-heir of Thomas Brereton, but died without issue and was buried at Manchester Collegiate Church, 22 May 1655; will proved in the PCC, 15 December 1655;
(1.2) Dorothy Barlow (fl. 1631); married James Gorsuch (b. 1610) of Gorsuch in Scarisbrick (Lancs);
(1.3) Katherine Barlow (d. 1675); married Henry Norris (1601-76?) of West Derby (Lancs) and had issue; buried at Walton-on-the-Hill (Lancs), 6 December 1675;
(2.1) Thomas Barlow (c.1618-84) (q.v.);
(2.2) Henry Barlow (b. & d. 1619); baptised at Didsbury, 27 June 1619; died in infancy and was buried at Northenden (Lancs), 24 October 1619;
(2.3) Anne Barlow (1620-89), baptised at Didsbury, November 1620; professed as a nun (Sister Ann Mary) of the Poor Clares at Aine (France), 4 October 1652 and held office in that convent as sacristan, infirmarian, novice mistress, vicaress and sick mother & dispenser; died at Aine, 8 July 1689;
(2.4) William Barlow (b. & d. 1622), baptised at Manchester Collegiate Church, 25 March 1622; died in infancy and was and buried in the same place, 1 April 1622;
(2.5) Mary Barlow (d. 1662); married, c.1650, Caryll Molyneux (1622-1700), 3rd Viscount Molyneux, and had issue three sons and five daughters; died 6 February 1661/2 and was buried at Sefton (Lancs);
(2.6) Elizabeth Barlow (fl. 1654); married, by 1654, as his 4th wife, Thomas Vavasour (c. 1613-78) of Weston (Yorks), and had issue.
He inherited Barlow Hall from his father in 1620. After his death it passed in turn to his two eldest sons.
He was buried at Manchester Collegiate Church (now Cathedral), 6 July 1642; his will was proved at Chester, 8 July 1642. His first wife died in or before 1616. His widow's date of death is unknown.

Barlow, Thomas (c.1618-84). Eldest and only surviving son of Sir Alexander Barlow (1579-1642), kt. and his second wife, Dorothy, daughter of Sir Thomas Gresley of Drakelow Hall (Derbys), born about 1618. He married, 28 September 1657 at St Peter, Leeds (Yorks WR), Winifred (c.1622-90), daughter of Anthony Meynell of North Kilvington (Yorks) and widow of Thomas Killingbeck (1626-55) of Allerton Grange (Yorks), and had issue:
(1) Thomas Barlow (c.1658-74?);
(2) Alexander Barlow (fl. 1664; d. 1681?); married and had issue;
(3) Anthony Barlow (c.1663-1723) (q.v.);
(4) Mary Barlow (fl. 1664-88);
(5) Winifred Barlow (d. 1688), buried at Manchester Collegiate Church, 17 April 1688; her will proved at Chester, 1688.
He inherited Barlow Hall from his half-brother in 1654.
He was buried at Manchester Collegiate Church, 1 September 1684. His widow was buried at Manchester Collegiate Church, 11 July 1690.

Barlow, Anthony (c.1663-1723). Second son of Thomas Barlow (c.1618-84) and his wife Winifred, daughter of Anthony Meynell of North Kilvington (Yorks) and widow of Thomas Killingbeck of Allerton Grange (Yorks),  born about 1663. He married Magdalen (d. 1715), daughter of Sir Charles Golding, 2nd bt., of Colston Bassett (Notts), and had issue:
(1) Thomas Barlow (1686?-1729) (q.v.);
(2) Charles Barlow (d. 1698); died young and was buried at Manchester Collegiate Church, 16 December 1698;
(3) Anthony Barlow (d. 1722); his Jacobite sympathies led to his attainder for high treason after the 1715 rebellion, along with his brother, but he may have been pardoned before his death; buried at Manchester Collegiate Church, 1 September 1722; administration of his goods granted to his sister Winifred, 10 November 1722;
(4) Edward Barlow (d. 1735?); perhaps the man of this name buried at Manchester Collegiate Church, 3 February 1735;
(5) Magdalen Barlow (d. 1707); buried at Manchester Collegiate Church, 22 July 1707;
(6) James Barlow (d. 1718); buried at Manchester Collegiate Church, 19 June 1718;
(7) Winifred Barlow (d. 1753); buried at Manchester Collegiate Church, 11 February 1753;
(8) Mary Barlow (d. 1755); buried at Manchester Collegiate Church, 18 October 1755;
(9) Elizabeth Barlow (d. 1721?); perhaps the lady of this name buried at Manchester Collegiate Church, 3 October 1721;
(10) John Barlow (fl. 1725), of Manchester, gent.;
(11) Roger Barlow (d. 1763?), of Wigan, gent.; perhaps the man of this name buried at Manchester Collegiate Church, 8 December 1763.
He inherited Barlow Hall from his father in 1684, and as a papist registered his estate as the law required in 1715.
He died 8 September and was buried in Manchester, 10 September 1723; his will was proved at Chester, 24 May 1733. His wife was buried at Manchester Collegiate Church, 5 September 1715.

Barlow, Thomas (1686?-1729). Son of Anthony Barlow (c.1663-1723) and his wife Magdalen, daughter of Sir Charles Golding, 2nd bt., born about 1686. His Jacobite sympathies led to his attainder for high treason after the 1715 rebellion, but he was apparently pardoned before he succeeded his father. He was later accused of attempting to murder his wife and imprisoned at Lancaster Castle; she moved to Lincolnshire for about a year with her children (except for the youngest, who was still at nurse), returning after his death. He married, c.1716, Mary [surname unknown] (c.1686-1761) and had issue:
(1) Elizabeth Barlow (c.1718-94); professed as a nun (Sister Frances Clare) at the convent of Poor Clares, Gravelines, 1 January 1741, aged 23; died at Gravelines, 20 May 1794;
(2) Thomas Barlow (c.1720-73) (q.v.);
(3) Catherine Barlow (c.1720-95); married, before 1744, Francis Bredall (c.1718-88*) of Gt. Maddox St., London, citizen and apothecary in York and London, and had issue two sons and two daughters; probably buried at St Giles-in-the-Fields (Middx), 29 January 1795;
(4) Mary Barlow (d. 1734); buried at Manchester Collegiate Church, 1 April 1734;
(5) Humphrey Barlow (b. c.1726; fl. 1784); married and had issue;
(6) Dorothea Barlow (fl. 1784).
He inherited Barlow Hall from his father in 1723.
He died of gaol fever in Lancaster Castle and was buried at Manchester Collegiate Church, 15 July 1729. His widow was buried at Manchester Collegiate Church, 24 April 1761.
*Francis Bredall of London, a papist, was buried at Stourton (Wilts), 7 October 1788.

Barlow, Thomas (c.1720-73). Son of Thomas Barlow (d. 1729) and his wife Mary [surname unknown], born about 1720. He married, 11 December 1760, at St Lawrence Jewry, London, Mary Worrall (c.1732-85?), but had no issue.
He inherited Barlow Hall from his father in 1729. At his death he left his property to trustees to clear his debts, but they were eventually forced to sell the estate under a private Act of Parliament obtained in 1784.
He died 3 March and was buried at Manchester Collegiate Church, 5 March 1773; his will was proved at Chester, 8 June 1773. His widow may have been the person of this name buried at Manchester Collegiate Church, 21 February 1785, and whose will was proved at Lancaster, 28 February 1785.


Principal sources


J. Booker, A History of the Ancient Chapels of Didsbury and Chorlton, in Manchester Parish, 1887, pp. 288–91; B. Camm, Forgotten shrines, 1910, pp. 202-46; VCH Lancashire, vol. 4, 1911, pp. 297-302; Sir M. Barlow, Barlow family records, 1932; C. Hartwell, M. Hyde & Sir N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: Lancashire - Manchester and the south-east, 2004, pp. 412-13;


Location of archives


No significant archive is known to survive.


Coat of arms


Sable, a double-headed eagle displayed argent, beaked and membered or, standing on the limb of a tree raguled and trunked of the second


Can you help?


  • If anyone is able to provide additional genealogical information or portraits to augment the rather thin account above, I should be most grateful.
  • As always, any additions or corrections to the account given above will be gratefully received and incorporated.

Revision and acknowledgements


This post was first published 11 September 2019.

Friday, 30 August 2019

(389) Barkham of South and West Acre, Wainfleet and Tottenham, baronets

Barkham of South Acre and
Wainfleet, baronets
The story of the Barkhams begins, like so many other families, with a successful and rich Tudor merchant who invested in land and whose children joined the ranks of the gentry. But it is also a case study in how easily, in the disease-ridden 'killing time' of the late 17th and early 18th century, a family's male line could fail, its titles expire and its estates be scattered.

Sir Edward Barkham (c.1551-1634), kt., was the younger son of Edward Barkham (d. 1599) of South Acre (Norfk), yeoman. Like so many younger sons he was sent to London to try his luck in trade, but it would seem that his family lacked the means or the connections to enroll him as an apprentice with an established merchant, and he is said to have begun life as a street pedlar, selling hobby-horses (toys for children). Little is known of his early career, but it is clear that he quickly established himself on a more secure business footing and made money. He became involved in international trade and invested heavily in overseas trading companies, including the Virginia Company. He became a member of one of the smaller Livery Companies, the Leathersellers, and served as one of the two Sheriffs of London in 1611-12, but to achieve his ultimate goal of being Lord Mayor, he had to transfer to one of the twelve great livery companies which controlled the mayoralty, and after protracted negotiations he joined the Drapers Company and was duly elected as Lord Mayor in 1621-22 and as Master of the Drapers in 1622-23. The high price the Drapers exacted for his admission may be reflected in the charitable donations he made to the Company's charities in his will.

Sir Edward (he was knighted, as is traditional, during his term as Lord Mayor) was sufficiently advanced on his upwardly mobile trajectory by 1589 to marry the daughter of a Hertfordshire gentleman, and by 1597 he had bought the manor of Wainfleet St Mary (Lincs) and begun enlarging his estate there through a series of small purchases of land. In about 1610, he followed this up by buying an estate at Tottenham (Middx), which became his main residence, although he may also have used a house at Wainfleet from time to time. As his wealth continued to accumulate in the 1620s, Sir Edward also bought the manors of South Acre - the village where he had been born - and West Acre (both Norfk), in what must have been a satisfying demonstration of the rise in his social status. When he died in 1634, Sir Edward had two surviving sons, and he divided his property between them. The elder, Sir Edward Barkham (c.1595-1667), 1st bt., received South & West Acre, while the younger, Sir Robert Barkham (1599-1661), kt., received Wainfleet and the Tottenham property (although after his death the Tottenham property was sold to his brother).

Sir Edward Barkham (c.1595-1667) had been created a baronet in his father's lifetime, around the time that his father's municipal career had peaked with the Lord Mayoralty and his Mastership of the Drapers. The suspicion must be that his father would have been offered a baronetcy if his origins had not been so clearly plebeian, but since he failed the test of gentility at birth, the baronetcy was instead conferred on his eldest son, who had been born into wealth and educated as a gentleman at Cambridge and Lincoln's Inn. It is not clear whether he ever practiced as a lawyer, but he became a JP in Norfolk and was High Sheriff there in 1635-36, at the time when Charles I's levying of Ship Money, collected through the sheriffs, made the office more than usually onerous. It was perhaps this experience which inclined Sir Edward to side with the Parliamentarians during the Civil War, and he held a number of local offices throughout the Commonwealth, including service on the County Committee. In 1638, he rebuilt the church at West Acre, and it was perhaps at about the same time that he built a new house there (the predecessor of the present High House), which probably replaced the moated manor house at South Acre as the centre of the estate.

When Sir Edward Barkham died in 1667 he left three surviving sons, and like his father, he divided his property between them. The eldest, Sir Edward Barkham (1628-88), 2nd bt., received West Acre and South Acre. William (1639-95), later the 3rd baronet, received the Tottenham property, and the youngest, John (1642-70), who was in partnership with William as a mercer in London, received some houses and commercial property in Moorfields near the city. When Sir Edward died in 1688 he left no male heir, and he divided his property between his widow, Frances (d. 1706), who received South Acre, and his daughter Eleanor (1670-c.1728), the wife of Charles Yallop alias Spelman, who received West Acre. Frances and her second husband, Lord Cramond, settled South Acre on his daughter and her husband, who sold it in 17o3 to Andrew Fountaine of Narford Hall.  The Yallops' moiety of the estate passed in due course to their son, the eccentric self-taught classicist, writer and translator, Edward Spelman (d. 1767), who rebuilt the house in a brief period of prosperity, but sold it in 1761 when he ran into acute financial difficulties.

Sir Edward's brother, William Barkham (1639-95), succeeded him as 3rd baronet in 1688. It is not clear how long he continued in business as a London merchant after the death of his younger brother John in 1670, but seems to have divided his time between the family's Tottenham house and a property at East Walton (Norfk) which he may have bought or which may have been split off from his elder brother's adjacent Norfolk estate. At his death in 1695 he had no surviving son, so the baronetcy expired and his property passed to his daughters and it seems all to have been sold within the next few years.

The younger son of the first Sir Edward Barkham, Sir Robert Barkham (1599-1661), kt., received his father's Tottenham and Wainfleet estates. Although he was knighted in 1641, he seems to have followed the Parliamentarian path in the Civil War (indeed, one of his daughters married the son of a regicide). When he died, his Tottenham property was sold to his brother, Sir Edward Barkham (c.1595-1667), 1st bt., but his Wainfleet estate descended to his eldest son, Edward Barkham (1631-69), who was created a baronet in July 1661, just a few months after his father's death. He died just a few years later, when the Wainfleet estate and the baronetcy passed to his young son, Sir Robert Barkham (1657-1700), 2nd bt. He came of age in 1678 and in the following year married the daughter and sole heiress of Thomas Jeffery, who brought him property at Earls Croome (Worcs) and Wigtoft (Lincs). For reasons which are obscure, they lived at none of the places they had inherited, but at Great Rollright in Oxfordshire. When he died Sir Robert was succeeded by his son, Sir Edward Barkham (1680-1711), 3rd bt., who married a Lincolnshire heiress, and seems to have lived in that county, although he was buried at Tottenham. He and his wife had no issue, so his Wainfleet estate passed to his second cousin once removed, Edward Barkham (1673-1733), who lived in the Cathedral close at Lincoln. When he died, also without issue, he bequeathed his scattered rural Lincolnshire properties, including Wainfleet, to the Bethlem mental hospital in London to support their care of the incurably insane, by whose plight he had evidently been touched. It remained in the Hospital's possession until about 1919.


South Acre Hall, Norfolk

The site of the house occupied by the Barkham family and their predecessors as lords of the manor is now marked only by two moated platforms, sited a few yards downstream from Castle Acre Priory on the opposite side of the infant River Nar. Both the moated sites contain the visible remains of substantial masonry structures, including buildings, and in the area between them are the buried remains of another building, which has been identified as a free chapel built by the Harsicks for their private use before 1387. The western of the two moats, which is normally still flooded, was crossed by a bridge at the eastern end of its southern arm, and contains earthworks towards its southern side which contain fragments of flint rubble masonry and exposed wall footings up to a metre thick, representing the remains of buildings set around a rectangular, walled courtyard.

The eastern moat is now dry and partially silted, but was originally approached by a causeway on its western side. Within the moat, the outlines of parts of two large buildings can be traced, defined by flint rubble wall footings and by earthen mounds covering fallen and upstanding masonry. The larger of the two buildings occupies the central and western part of the moated site, facing the causeway, and was probably an E-plan manor house of the 16th century, about 100 feet in length, with a central block 23 feet wide set at a slight angle to the moat, and wings projecting on its west side at either end, Another, smaller extension some 20x13 ft projects eastwards from the southern end of the central block, and may represent a staircase added to the original house. The rectangular second building on the platform stands immediately south east of this extension, is on a similar alignment, and measured about 80x24 ft; it was perhaps a barn or stable block. No visual record of this house, which was probably taken down after it was sold to the Fountaines of Narford Hall in 1703, if not earlier, appears to survive. By 1807, when Francis Blomefield described the site, there seems to have been no more left of the house than there is today. The name South Acre Hall is now attached to a farmhouse further south-west.

Descent: Sir John Harsyck (fl. 1361); to son, John Harsyck (d. 1381); to son, Sir John Harsyck (d. 1384); to son, John Harsyck; to brother, Sir Roger Harsyck (d. 1454); to daughters Margaret, wife of William Dorward and Joan, wife of Richard Dorward; on the death of Joan and her husband without issue the estate passed to Margaret and William's daughter, Elizabeth Dorward, wife of Thomas Fotheringay of Brockley (Suffk); to daughter Margaret, wife of Nicholas Beaupré; to son, Edmund Beaupré; to daughter Dorothy, wife of Sir Robert Bell, Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer; to son, Sir Edmund Bell (d. 1607), kt.; sold 1610 to Sir Edward Barkham (c.1551-1634), kt.; to son, Sir Edward Barkham (c.1595-1667), 1st bt.; to son, Sir Edward Barkham (1628-88), 2nd bt.; to widow, Frances (d. 1706), later wife of William Richardson (1650-1702), 3rd Lord Cramond; to daughter, Hon. Elizabeth, wife of William Jenny, who sold 1703 to Andrew Fountaine of Narford Hall, with which it descended thereafter.


High House, West Acre, Norfolk


High House, West Acre: an engraving of the entrance front in 1818, showing it before modifications by Donthorn.

It is thought that Sir Edward Barkham, 1st bt. constructed a new house here in the early 17th century (perhaps about 1638, when he rebuilt the church), but nothing seems to be known of its appearance. It fell into disrepair in the early 18th century when Charles Yallop alias Spelman (d. c.1736) and his wife encountered financial and legal difficulties. The present house is a rebuilding for their son, Edward Spelman (d. 1767), an eccentric classicist, writer and translator, who experienced a brief period of prosperity in the 1750s. The house, which had recently been completed in 1756, has an entrance front of two storeys and seven bays, of which the central five are deeply recessed. The upper storey forms a piano nobile, and has much larger windows than the ground floor below it. The window surrounds of rustication in alternating sizes seem to belong to the 1750s. 


High House, West Acre: the garden front in 1874. Image: Historic England.
Spelman was once more in financial difficulties by 1761, when he was obliged to sell the house and estate to Richard Hamond (d. 1776). After he inherited the property, Richard's son, Anthony Hamond (1742-1822), added flanking wings in line with the rear elevation of the original block, creating a thirteen-bay garden front, and perhaps also the castellations on the entrance side, which were in place by 1818. Further changes were made by Anthony's great-nephew, another Anthony Hamond (1805-69), who in c.1829 employed W.J. Donthorn to update the house. He altered the fenestration of the long garden front, so that the centre has just three windows in place of its original seven, while the wings have groups of three windows rather than being evenly spaced like the centre. He also rebuilt the stables as single-storey ranges around a small courtyard with higher corner towers and a carriage arch under a pediment on the east side. 


High House, West Acre: the gallery in 1874. Image: Historic England.
Inside, the most remarkable feature of the house is the principal room, built as a picture gallery, which runs the entire width of the central block on the garden front, and has a cartouche in the centre of the ceiling with a head of Medusa and the inscription 'Solonos' in Greek characters. The room opens from a transverse corridor running the width of the house, which in turn is approached from the entrance front up a long flight of stairs with a single landing half-way up, set under a shallow coffered segmental vault supported on Ionic pilasters. The gallery, staircase and corridor existed already in 1756, but were remodelled by Donthorn in 1829.

Since Donthorn's work, only relatively minor changes seem to have taken place, including refurbishment and redecoration under the guidance of J. Fletcher Watson after the Second World War. More recently, Sir Anthony Gormley asked David Chipperfield architects to prepare a scheme for remodelling the stable court, but this seems not to have gone ahead.

Descent: sold c.1620 to Sir Edward Barkham (c.1551-1634), kt.; to son, Sir Edward Barkham (c.1595-1667), 1st bt.; to son, Sir Edward Barkham (1628-88), 2nd bt.; to daughter, Eleanor (1670-c.1728), wife of Charles Yallop alias Spelman (d. c.1736); to son, Edward Spelman (d. 1767); sold 1761 to Richard Hamond (d. 1776); to son, Anthony Hamond (1742-1822); to great-nephew, Anthony Hamond (1805-69); to son, Anthony Hamond (1834-95); to brother, Thomas Astley Horace Hamond (1845-1917); who sold 1897 to Henry Birkbeck (1853-1930); to son, Henry Anthony Birkbeck (1885-1936); to Henry Birkbeck (1915-2003); to son, Henry Charles Birkbeck (b. 1952), who sold c.2010 to Sir Anthony Gormley (b. 1950), sculptor.


Wainfleet Hall, Lincolnshire


Wainfleet Hall today

The present Wainfleet Hall is largely early-to-mid 19th century, but it is apparent that the site was occupied much earlier than this. The Ordnance Survey 2" drawing of 1818 shows a house in a formally landscaped setting, and although there seems to be no unambiguous earlier visual record, there is clear documentary evidence that there was a 'capital messuage' at the centre of the estate by 1733. Since the Barkham family built up an estate in Wainfleet St Mary by a series of small purchases in the early 17th century, it is probable that they also built the first house on this site, but when must remain speculative. In the early 20th century, the house was occupied by Mr. Tindall, agent for the Bethlem estate and also for the Lincolnshire property of Magdalen College, Oxford. It is now a boarding house for Spalding Grammar School.

Descent: estate formed by Sir Robert Barkham (1599-1661), kt.; to son, Sir Edward Barkham (1631-69), 1st bt.; to son, Sir Robert Barkham (d. c.1701), 2nd bt.; to brother, Sir Edward Barkham (c.1680-1711), 3rd bt.; to cousin, Edward Barkham (1673-1733), who bequeathed it to the Bethlem Hospital, which retained it until c.1919 when it was dispersed by sale.


White Hall, Tottenham, Middlesex


The first house of the Barkham family at Tottenham seems to have been a large house on the east side of High Cross Green which is thought to have been converted into an inn (the Ship Inn) after Sir Edward Barkham's death in 1634. It was apparently superseded by a house known as Crokes Farm on White Hart Lane, which occupied a plot that occupied the west side of the High Road from White Hart Lane south to the later Church Road; Love Lane may have marked its rear boundary. The tiny sketch of it on the Earl of Dorset's survey of Tottenham in 1619 suggests it may have been constructed around a courtyard, and by 1664, when the house may have been enlarged or rebuilt, it was assessed on 21 hearths, indicating a building as large as many country houses. The house was rebuilt again in the mid 18th century, probably for Sir William Beauchamp-Proctor, 1st bt., who renamed it White Hall. 


White Hall, Tottenham: this mid 18th century mansion replaced the 17th century or earlier house of the Barkhams.

This was a seven bay, three storey house with the central three bays broken forward and carrying a pediment, and projecting three-bay, single-storey wings. No architect is recorded for the building, but it is much in the style of the London-based second generation Palladian, John Sanderson, who is known to have made alterations to Beauchamp-Proctor's country seat (Langley Park in Norfolk) in 1757. In 1790 a new owner of the house built a tan-yard in the grounds, and even though this was removed by his successor, the character of the area was probably already changing from a landscape dominated by the suburban villas of the gentry to an area of more mixed development. In the 1830s, when the house was still screened by trees from the High Road and faced south across a lake, a new entrance was made to the property from the High Road, and by the 1860s the house and lake had been removed and the site was being developed for terraced housing.

Descent: John Croke (d. 1477); to son, John Croke... William Dalby; to son, Lionel Dalby, who sold c.1610 to Sir Edward Barkham (c.1551-1634), kt.; to younger son, Sir Robert Barkham (c.1598-1661), kt.; sold after his death to his brother, Sir Edward Barkham (c.1595-1667), 1st bt.; to younger son, Sir William Barkham (1639-94), 3rd bt; to daughters, who sold to Ephraim Beauchamp (d. 1728); to grandson, William Beauchamp (from 1744 Sir William Beauchamp-Proctor (1722-73), 1st bt.; to son, Sir Thomas Beauchamp-Proctor (1756-1827), 2nd bt.; sold 1790 to Mr. Abrahams, tanner; sold c.1810 to Mr. Andrews; sold to Henry Hunt; sold to William May Simmonds; sold 1827 to Charles Soames (fl. 1843); demolished by 1863.


Barkham family of South Acre, baronets


Sir Edward Barkham (c.1551-1634), kt.
from his monument at South Acre
Barkham, Sir Edward (c.1551-1634), kt. Son of Edward Barkham (d. 1599) of South Acre (Norfk), yeoman, and his second wife, Elizabeth Rolfe, born about 1551. He came to London as a young man, and allegedly started as a pedlar selling hobby-horses, but quickly progressed to more general mercantile concerns and made a fortune. He invested heavily in overseas trading concerns and was a member of the Virginia Company. He was Master of the Leathersellers Company, 1605-06, 1608-09 and of the Drapers Company, 1622-23; Alderman for Farringdon Within Ward, 1611-21 and Cheap Ward, 1621-34; Sheriff of London, 1611-12; Lord Mayor of London, 1621-22. He was knighted, 16 June 1622. He married, 27 May 1589 at Layston (Herts), Jane (c.1573-1654), daughter of John Crouch of Cornbury (Herts), and had issue:
(1) Elizabeth Barkham (c.1593-1632); married, 6 May 1611 at St Mary Aldermary, London, Sir John Garrard (c.1590-c.1637), 1st bt., of Lamer Park, Wheathamstead (Herts) (who m2, 20 December 1636 at Wheathamstead, Jane (d. 1673), daughter of Sir Thomas Lowe and widow of Sir Moulton Lambarde of Sevenoaks (Kent)) and had issue six sons and eight daughters; died 17 April 1632 and was buried at Wheathamstead;
(2) Sir Edward Barkham (c.1595-1667), 1st bt. (q.v.);
(3) Susan Barkham (1596-1622), baptised at St Lawrence Jewry, London, 18 January 1595/6; married, 1614 at St Mary Bothaw, London, Robert Walpole (1593-1663) of Houghton (Norfk) and had issue one son and two daughters; buried at Houghton, 9 November 1622;
(4) John Barkham (b. & d. 1597), baptised 28 October 1597; died in infancy and was buried 16 November 1597;
(5) Sir Robert Barkham (1599-1661), 1st bt. [for whom see below, Barkham of Wainfleet];
(6) Jane Barkham (1602-61), baptised at St Lawrence Jewry, London, 16 May 1602; married, 1626/7 at St Mary Bothaw, as his second wife, Sir Charles Adelmare Caesar (1589-1642) of Benington (Herts), Master of the Rolls, son of Sir Julius Caesar, kt., who held the same office, and had issue six sons and three daughters; died 16 June 1661 and was buried at Benington, where she is commemorated by a monument;
(7) Margaret Barkham (1602-03), baptised 16 May 1602; died in infancy and was buried 15 June 1603;
(8) Margaret Barkham (1603-40), baptised 18 December 1603; married, c.1632, as his third wife, Sir Anthony Irby (1605-82), kt., of Boston (Lincs), but had no issue; died 28 November 1640;
(9) John Barkham (b. 1604), baptised 7 December 1604; probably died young;
(10) Thomas Barkham (b. & d. 1606), baptised 2 June 1606; died in infancy and was buried 29 November 1606;
(11) Hugh Barkham (1610-28), baptised in London, 23 December 1610; died unmarried and was buried at South Acre, 20 October 1628.
By 1597 he had bought the manor of Wainfleet in Lincolnshire and he enlarged his estate there through piecemeal purchases. About 1610 he built up an estate of freehold and copyhold land at Tottenham (Middx) that included Crokes Farm (later White Hall). He lived, however, in a house on Tottenham High Road that became the Ship Inn after his death. By the early 1620s he had bought the South Acre and West Acre estates in Norfolk.
He died 15 January 1633/4 and was buried at South Acre where he and his wife are commemorated by a large monument erected in his lifetime; his will was proved 17 January 1633/4. His widow was buried at South Acre, 10 June 1654; her will was proved 27 June 1654.

Barkham, Sir Edward (c.1595-1667), 1st bt. Son and heir of Sir Edward Barkham (c.1551- 1634), kt., Lord Mayor of London, and his wife Jane, daughter of John Crouch of Cornbury (Herts). Educated at King's College, Cambridge (matriculated 1611; appointed MA 1613) and Lincoln's Inn (admitted 1614). He was created a baronet in the lifetime of his father, 28 June 1623 and knighted at Greenwich, 30 June 1623. He was a freeman of Boston (Lincs) from 1625 and MP for Boston, 1625-26; High Sheriff of Norfolk, 1635-36; JP for Norfolk 1650-56, 1660-67, and possibly earlier. In 1638 he substantially rebuilt the church at West Acre, which was already 'wholly decaied and ruynated' in 1602. He supported the Parliamentarian side in the Civil War and held local office throughout the interregnum. He married, 31 July 1622 at Tottenham (Middx), Frances (d. 1667), daughter of Sir Thomas Berney, kt. of Reedham (Norfk), and had issue:
(1) Jane Barkham (c.1623-28); eldest daughter; buried at St Mary Bothaw, London, 6 February 1627/8;
(2) Frances Barkham (1624-1703), baptised 16 September 1624; married 1st, 14 August 1649 at Tottenham, William White of [place not stated] (Yorks); married 2nd, 10 June 1671 at St Andrew, Holborn (Middx), Sir Robert Williams (1629-78/80), 2nd bt., of Penrhyn; buried at St Ann, Soho, London, 31 January 1702/3; will proved 8 February 1702/3;
(3) Margaret Barkham (b. 1626; fl. 1679), baptised at St Mary Bothaw, London, 9 May 1626; married, before 1658, Sir Edmund Jennings (1626-91), MP for Ripon, 1659-61, 1673-79, 1685-89, 1690-91, son of Jonathan Jennings of Ripon, and had issue four sons and four daughters; living 1679;
(4) Sir Edward Barkham (1628-88), 2nd bt. (q.v.);
(5) Jane Barkham (1630-82), baptised at Tottenham, 8 September 1630; married, 22 February 1648/9 at St Mary Aldermanbury, London, Anthony Deane (1630-76) of Dynes Hall (Essex) (which he sold in 1653) and the Inner Temple, son of Sir Drew Deane (d. 1638), and had issue seven sons and three daughters; buried at Tottenham, 2 March 1682;
(6) Elizabeth Barkham (b. 1631), baptised at St Mary Bothaw, London, 3 November 1631; married, 1670 (licence 20 June), John Lister (d. 1715) of Linton-on-the-Wolds (Yorks ER); living in 1679;
(7) Thomas Barkham (b. 1633), baptised at St Mary, Bothaw, London, 14 February 1632; probably died young;
(8) Mary Barkham (1634-98), baptised at St Mary Bothaw, London, 16 October 1634; married, 24 June 1656 at Tottenham, Norton Curteis (1618-99) of Gatton (Surrey) and later of Poplar (Middx), and had issue two sons and two daughters; died 1 July and was buried in the chancel at Sundridge (Kent), 17 July 1698;
(9) Susanna Barkham (1635-74), baptised at Tottenham, 6 October 1635; married Anthony Smithson (d. 1688) of Armine (Yorks) and Tottenham (Middx), second son of Sir Hugh Smithson, bt., and had issue one son; died 30 November 1674 and was buried at Stanwick St. John (Yorks), where she and her husband are commemorated by a monument;
(10) Anne Barkham; married, 15 October 1663 in Ripon Cathedral, Sir Jonathan Jennings (1633-1707), kt., MP for Ripon, 1659, 1689-90, second son of Jonathan Jennings of Ripon and brother of Sir Edmund Jennings of Ripon, and had issue one daughter; living in 1701;
(11) Sir William Barkham (1639-95), 3rd bt. (q.v.);
(12) Lucy Barkham (1640-81), baptised at Tottenham, 20 February 1639/40; married. c.1670 (licence 26 December), Francis Wall of Aldeby (Norfk) and had issue; died 30 June 1681 and was buried at Gayton Thorpe (Norfk), 5 June 1681, where she was commemorated by a monument which gave her date of death incorrectly as 1691;
(13) [Unnamed son] (b. & d. 1641); buried at Tottenham, 6 March 1640/1;
(14) Juliana Barkham (1642-99), baptised 22 February 1641/2; married, 23 February 1679/80 at St Bride, Fleet St., London, Leonard Sowersby (d. 1694), and had issue; will proved 19 January 1699/1700;
(15) John Barkham (1643-70), baptised at St Mary, Aldermanbury, London, 11 December 1643; in partnership with his brother William as a mercer in London; inherited his father's property in Moorfields; died unmarried and was buried at South Acre, 29 July 1670; will proved 9 May 1671;
(16) Joanna Barkham (1644-45), baptised 3 November 1644; died in infancy and was buried 13 February 1644/5.
He inherited the West and South Acre estates from his father and lived at the High House, West Acre, where he probably built a new mansion. He also bought his brother's house at Tottenham (Middx) in or soon after 1661.
He died 2 August 1667 at his house at Tottenham, but was buried at South Acre; his will was proved 6 August 1667. His wife was buried at South Acre, 25 July 1667.

Barkham, Sir Edward (1628-88), 2nd bt. Son of Sir Edward Barkham (c.1595-1667), 1st bt. and his wife Frances, daughter of Sir Thomas Berney, kt. of Reedham (Norfk.), born 1628. He succeeded his father as 2nd bt., 2 August 1667. High Sheriff of Norfolk, 1667-68. He married 1st, 1651, Grace (1623-58), daughter of Sir Lewis Watson, 1st Baron Rockingham, and 2nd, 1660/1 (licence 24 January), Frances (d. 1706), daughter of Sir Robert Napier, 2nd bt. of Luton Hoo (Beds), and had issue:
(2.1) Mary Barkham (d. 1671); buried 22 May 1671;
(2.2) Edward Barkham (1665-68), baptised at Westacre, 20 January 1665; died 23 July and was buried at South Acre, 24 July 1668;
(2.3) Penelope Barkham (1668-75), baptised at Westacre (Norfk), 20 April 1668; died young on 11 July and was buried at South Acre, 13 July 1675;
(2.4) Ellen alias Eleanor Barkham (1670-c.1728), baptised at West Acre, 8 June 1670; inherited West Acre High House from her father in 1688; she was implicated as a minor figure in the Atterbury Plot, 1722, when she carried letters between the Duke of Norfolk, George Jernegan and others; married, by 1692, Charles Yallop alias Spelman (d. c.1736) of Bowthorp (Norfk), and had issue one son; died about 1728.
He inherited the West Acre & South Acre estate from his father in 1667, and lived at the High House, West Acre. At his death his property was divided between his widow and daughter.
He died in 1688 and his will was proved 31 August 1688. His first wife was buried at Southacre, 30 March 1658; her husband was granted administration of her goods, 18 June 1661. His widow inherited the South Acre estate from her husband and married 2nd, Henry Richardson (1650-1702), 3rd Baron Cramond; she died in Norwich and was buried at South Acre (Norfk), 19 November 1706.

Barkham, Sir William (1639-95), 3rd bt. Son of Sir Edward Barkham (fl. 1623), 1st bt. and his wife Frances, daughter of Sir Thomas Berney, kt. of Reedham (Norfk.), baptised at Tottenham (Middx), 26 February 1638/9. In partnership with his younger brother John (until the latter's death in 1670) as a mercer in London; citizen and draper of London. He succeeded his elder brother as 3rd bt., 1688. He married, 1674 (licence 17 April), Judith (1655-1724), daughter of Sir John Halsey, kt. of Gaddesden (Herts), Master in Chancery, and had issue:
(1) Dorothy Barkham (b. 1678), born and baptised at All Hallows, Honey Lane, London, 15 December 1678; co-heir; living in 1703;
(2) Frances Barkham; born about 1680; married, 1701 (licence 31 July) Richard Noyes of the Middle Temple; co-heir to her father; living in 1703; 
(3) Jane Barkham (1683-84), baptised at All Hallows, Honey Lane, London, 12 February 1682/3; died in infancy and was buried at Tottenham, 26 October 1684;
(4) Mary Barkham (1686-1724), baptised 23 March 1685/6; died unmarried and was 'carried away from St Giles in the Fields' (Middx) to be buried, 28 December 1724;
(5) Theodosia Barkham (1687-1711), baptised at All Hallows, Honey Lane, London, 21 March 1686/7; died unmarried and was 'carried away from St Giles in the Fields' to be buried at Tottenham, 5 June 1711;
(6) Anne Barkham (b. 1688), born 24 December and baptised at All Hallows, Honey Lane, London, 25 December 1688; living in 1708;
(7) Jane Barkham (c.1690-1724?), perhaps born c.1690; co-heir; living in 1703 and perhaps the woman of this name buried at Tottenham, 25 October 1724;
(8) Edward Barkham (1692-95), born 2 November and baptised at St Andrew, Holborn, 9 November 1692; died young and was buried at South Acre, 20 December 1695;
(9) Elizabeth Barkham (b. & d. 1696), born posthumously and baptised at St Andrew, Holborn, 21 April 1696, but died in infancy and was buried there, 23 April 1696.
He inherited his father's house at Tottenham, 1667, but lived in Hatton Garden, London and at East Walton (Norfk). At his death his property passed to his surviving daughters as co-heiresses and was sold.
He was buried at Southacre, 28 December 1695, when the baronetcy became extinct; his will was proved in January 1696, but because he died before he could sign it before witnesses it was necessary to obtain an Act of Parliament to give effect to it. His widow married 2nd, 19 June 1697, at Westminster Abbey, John Holsworthy (d. by 1735); she was buried at Woolwich, 19 March 1723/4; administration of her goods was granted 15 December 1735.


Barkham family of Wainfleet, baronets



Barkham, Sir Robert (1599-1661), kt. Second son of Sir Edward Barkham (c.1551-1634), kt., Lord Mayor of London, and his wife Jane, daughter of John Crouch of Cornbury (Herts?), baptised 18 March 1598/9. Educated at Kings College, Cambridge (matriculated 1618). Knighted 1641. He married, 24 November 1625 at Tottenham, Mary (d. 1644), daughter of Richard Wilcox of London and Tottenham (Middx), and had issue:
(1) John Barkham (d. 1638); died young and was buried at Tottenham, 10 January 1637/8;
(2) Elizabeth Barkham (b. 1628), baptised at St Bartholomew the Great, London, 27 March 1628; married, 27 August 1649 at Wainfleet St Mary, James Uxley esq.;
(3) Margaret Barkham (1629-53), baptised 15 November 1629; died unmarried and was buried 20 January 1652/3;
(4) Sir Edward Barkham (1631-69), 1st bt. (q.v.);
(5) Jane Barkham (b. 1632), baptised at St Bartholomew the Great, London, 31 October 1632; married, 3 August 1657 at St Clement Danes, London, John Alured (d. 1668), son of Col. John Alured of Hull Charterhouse, the regicide, and had issue one son and one daughter;
(6) Alice Barkham (1634-76), baptised at St Bartholomew the Great, London, 5 May 1634; married, April/May 1655, Robert Coney (d. 1688) of Walpole (Norfk) and had issue eight sons and six daughters; died 3 October 1676 and was buried at Walpole St. Clement, where she is commemorated by a floor slab with an unusual inscription;
(7) Robert Barkham (1635-41), baptised at Tottenham, 17 August 1635; died young and was buried at Tottenham, 3 April 1641;
(8) Dorcas Barkham (1636-1720), baptised at Tottenham, 29 September 1636; married 1st, 13 May 1662 at St Nicholas, Cole Abbey, London, as his second wife, Sir William Delaune (d. 1667) of Sharsted Court (Kent), merchant, and had issue one son and one daughter; married 2nd, 2 September 1669 at St Giles, Camberwell (Surrey), Sir Edward "Red Ned" Dering (1633-1703), merchant and Baltic agent to the Navy, but had no further issue; died 31 October and was buried at Doddington (Kent), 8 November 1720;
(9) Mary Barkham (d. 1662); married, 12 July 1654 at St Andrew, Holborn (Middx), Richard Nelthorpe (fl. 1688) of Scawby (Lincs), and had issue one son; buried 30 October 1662;
(10) Susanna Barkham (1640-49), baptised at St Martin, Ludgate Hill, London, 8 August 1640; died young and was buried at Tottenham, 20 September 1649.
(11) Frances Barkham (b. 1641); baptised at Stoke Newington, 21 August 1641;
(12) Robert Barkham (1643-91) (q.v.);
He inherited his father's Tottenham and Wainfleet estates in 1634.
He died after 27 February and before 18 July 1661 and was buried at Tottenham, where he and his wife are commemorated by a large monument designed by Edward Marshall and erected in Sir Robert's lifetime; his will was proved 18 July 1661. His wife died 7 December and was buried at Tottenham, 16 December 1644.

Barkham, Sir Edward (1631-69), 1st bt. Son and heir of Sir Robert Barkham (1599-1661) of Wainfleet and Tottenham (Middx) and his wife Mary, daughter of Richard Wilcox of London, born 20 March and baptised at St Bartholomew-the-Great, London, 24 March 1630/1. He was created a baronet by King Charles II, 21 July 1661. High Sheriff of Lincolnshire, 1664-65. He married, 31 August 1656 at St Clement Danes, London, Anne (b. 1643?), daughter and heir of Sir Robert Lee of Billesley (Warks) and had issue:
(1) Sir Robert Barkham (1657-1701), 2nd bt. (q.v.);
(2) Edward Barkham (1659-60), baptised at Langton-by-Spilsby (Lincs), 15 October 1659; died in infancy and was buried in the same place, 6 May 1660;
(3) Mary Barkham (b. 1660), baptised at Langton-by-Spilsby, 26 October 1660;
(4) Edward Barkham (b. 1664), baptised at St Botolph, Boston, 29 May 1664; probably died young.
He inherited his father's property at Wainfleet (Lincs) in 1661. He and his wife also inherited her father's Billesley (Warks) estate in 1659, but sold it later the same year to her uncle, Charles Lee.
He died 14 September 1669 and was buried at Wainfleet. His widow married 2nd, 1671 (licence 21 December), John Hodges of the Inner Temple, Recorder of Ipswich; and was living in 1682.

Barkham, Sir Robert (1657-1700), 2nd bt. Only surviving son of Sir Edward Barkham (fl. 1661), 1st bt. and his wife Anne, daughter and heir of Sir Robert Lee of Billesley (Warks), baptised at Tottenham, 29 July 1657. He succeeded his father as 2nd baronet, 14 September 1669. Educated at Trinity College, Cambridge (matriculated 1675/6). He married, 20 May 1679, at Westminster Abbey, Esther (d. 1691), daughter and sole heiress of Thomas Jeffrey of Wigtoft (Lincs) and Earls Croome (Worcs), and had issue:
(1) Sir Edward Barkham (1680-1711), 3rd bt. (q.v.);
(2) Anne Barkham (b. & d. 1681), baptised at Great Rollright (Oxon), 26 February 1680/1; died in infancy and was buried at Great Rollright, 9 August 1681;
(3) Mary Barkham (1682-1742), baptised at Great Rollright, 25 September 1682; married, 11 December 1709 at Louth, Samuel Newcomen (1676-1730) of Bag Enderby (Lincs); died without issue, 15 March 1741/2;
(4) William Barkham (d. 1686); buried at Great Rollright, 22 February 1685/6;
(5) Robert Barkham (d. 1707); died without issue and was buried at Wainfleet All Saints, 17 April 1707;
(6) Hester Barkham (d. 1713); married, 2 March 1705/6 at Cheltenham (Glos), James Smallpiece (d. 1714), and had issue three sons; buried at Cheltenham, 15 September 1713;
(7) Katherine Barkham (d. 1688); buried at Great Rollright, 23 October 1688;
(8) Fleetwood Barkham (d. 1690); buried at Great Rollright, 17 May 1690.
He inherited Wainfleet from his father in 1669, and he and his wife inherited the manor of Earls Croome (Worcs) from her her brother, which he sold in 1694. Despite these holdings, they seem to have lived at Great Rollright (Oxon) throughout their married life.
He died 17 October 1700 and was buried at St Mary Magdalene, Lincoln; administration of his goods was granted 23 June 1701.  His wife died 1 May and was buried at Earls Croome (Worcs), 11 May 1691.

Barkham, Sir Edward (1680-1711), 3rd bt. Eldest son of Sir Robert Barkham (1657-1700), 2nd bt., and his wife Hester, daughter of Thomas Jeffrey of Wigtoft (Lincs) and Earlscoombe (Worcs), baptised at Great Rollright (Oxon), 2 March 1679/80. Educated at Brasenose College, Oxford (matriculated 1695). He succeeded his father as 3rd baronet on 17 October 1700. He married, 11 March 1704/5 at Louth (Lincs), Mary (1686-1709), daughter and co-heir of John Woolley of Alford (Lincs), but had no issue.
He inherited the Wainfleet estate from his father in 1700. At his death it passed to his second cousin once removed, Edward Barkham (1673-1733) (q.v.).
He died in London, 13 February 1710/11, when the baronetcy became extinct, and was buried at Tottenham, 15 February 1710/11; his will was proved 13 June 1711. His wife was buried at South Thoresby, 19 December 1709.

Barkham, Robert (1643-91). Second son of Sir Robert Barkham (1599-1661), kt. (q.v.), of Wainfleet and Tottenham (Middx), and his wife Mary, daughter of Richard Wilcox of London, baptised at Tottenham, 10 September 1643. Educated at Grays Inn (admitted 1660/1). He married, 29 January 1666/7 at Burwell (Lincs), Frances (1644-1712), second daughter of Sir Martin Lister, kt., of Burwell, and had issue:
(1) Frances Barkham (b. & d. 1667); baptised at Burwell, 8 October 1667; died in infancy and was buried at Burwell, 6 December 1667;
(2) Susanna Barkham (b. 1668), baptised at Burwell, 15 December 1668; married [forename unknown] Astry; living in 1711;
(3) Mary Barkham (b. & d. 1670), baptised at Burwell, 7 May 1670; died in infancy and was buried there the following day;
(4) Robert Barkham (1672-1711), baptised at Louth, 12 July 1672; apprenticed to Sir Stephen Evans, kt, citizen and goldsmith of London, 1690; at court as Groom of the Privy Chamber, 1699-1711; died unmarried; by his will, proved 8 September 1711, he left all his property to his mother and asked her to pay his debts;
(5) Edward Barkham (1673-1733) (q.v.);
(6) Michael Barkham (1679-1711), born 2 April and baptised at St Mary Magdalene, Lincoln, 17 April 1679; an officer in the army (Ensign, 1705; Lt., 1706; Capt., 1708; Capt-Lt., 1709; Capt., 1710; probably resigned about January 1711); married, 13 November 1707 at Norton Disney (Lincs), Jane (1687-1759), Bedchamber Woman to the Princess of Wales in 1741 (who m2, 8 June 1717 at Lincoln's Inn Chapel, Lt-Col. Daniel Leighton MP (1694-1765) of the Inner Temple and Boreham (Essex), younger son of Sir Edward Leighton, 1st bt., of Wattlesborough and had further issue two sons and two daughters), daughter of Nathaniel Thorold of Lincoln, and had issue one son (who died in infancy); apparently died around May 1711; in his will, proved 15 June 1711, he is inexplicably described as 'of Kingston upon Hull' although his burial describes him as 'of Lincoln', and no mention is made of his military rank or service.
He lived at Burwell (Lincs) with his parents-in-law until their deaths around 1671, and thereafter perhaps in Lincoln.
He died 19 May and was buried at Burwell, 22 May 1691. His widow was buried at Wainfleet St Mary, 26 March 1712; her will was proved 9 May 1712.

Barkham, Edward (1673-1733). Eldest son of Robert Barkham (1643-91) and his wife Frances, daughter of Sir Michael Lister of Burwell, baptised at Kelstern (Lincs), 6 November 1673. In 1693 he was apprenticed for seven years to John Johnson of London, who was  member of the Drapers Company. In his lifetime he paid for the refurnishing of the chancel of Wainfleet St Mary church, and for the provision of a new set of communion plate, and by his will he augmented the stipend of the curate of the church by £35 a year. He was evidently much moved by the plight of the incurably mad inmates of the Bethlem Hospital in London, and bequeathed his estate at Wainfleet for their support. He married, 11 July 1728 at St Andrew, Holborn (Middx), Mary Wheeler (d. 1762?), but had no issue.
He inherited the Wainfleet estate from his cousin, Sir Edward Barkham, 3rd bt., in 1711. At his death it was bequeathed to the Bethlem Hospital in London. He also had a house in the Cathedral close at Lincoln, which was left to his widow and after her death or remarriage to the Bethlem Hospital.
He died 4 March, and was buried at Wainfleet St. Mary, 10 March 1732/3, where he is commemorated by a monument designed by William Palmer; his will was proved 19 May 1733. His widow married 2nd, 3 July 1735 at Grays Inn Chapel, Tobias Rustat (d. 1741) of Lincoln; she may be the Mary Rustat buried at Water Newton (Hunts), 12 July 1762.


Principal sources


Burke's Extinct and Dormant Baronetcies, 2nd edn., 1841, pp. 37-38; G.E.C Complete Baronetage, vol. 1, 1900, p.219 and vol. 3, 1903, p.222; Sir N. Pevsner, J. Harris & N. Antram, The buildings of England: Lincolnshire, 2nd edn., 1989, p. 778;
https://www.stirnet.com/genie/data/british/bb4ae/barkham1.php;
http://www.archive.org/stream/lincolnshirepedi01madd#page/n199/mode/1up.


Location of archives


No significant accumulation is known to survive, although some later papers relating to the Lincolnshire estate will be found in the archives of the Bethlem Hospital at the Bethlem Museum of the Mind.


Coat of arms


Both families used the arms: Paly of six, argent and gules, a chevron or.

Can you help?

  • If any can supply more information about the history and development of South Acre Hall or Wainfleet Hall, or any further illustrations of these buildings or of High House, West Acre or White Hall, Tottenham, I should be most interested.
  • I should be most grateful if anyone can provide photographs or portraits of people whose names appear in bold above, and who are not already illustrated.
  • As always, any additions or corrections to the account given above will be gratefully received and incorporated.

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 30 August 2019 and was updated 1 September 2019. I am most grateful to Rory O'Donnell for information about High House.