FOSTER BARHAM, Charles Henry (1808-1878), of Trecwn, Pemb. and Stockbridge, Hants.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1820-1832, ed. D.R. Fisher, 2009
Available from Cambridge University Press



24 May 1832 - 1832

Family and Education

b. 16 May 1808,1 3rd s. of Joseph Foster Barham* (d. 1832) and Lady Caroline Tufton, da. of Sackville, 8th earl of Thanet; bro. of John Foster Barham*. educ. Charterhouse 1821-5; Christ Church, Oxf. 1827. m. (1) 20 Jan. 1836,2 Elizabeth Maria (d. 1861), da. of William Boyd Ince of Ince, Lancs., s.p.; (2) 11 Feb. 1863,3 Ellen Katherine, da. of Edward Taylor Massy of Cottesmore, Pemb., s.p. suc. bro. William to Trecwn 1840. d. 15 Aug. 1878.

Offices Held

Rect. Barming, Kent 1834-48; Kirkby Thore, Westmld. 1848-52.


Barham, as he was usually known, appears to have owed his brief appearance in the Commons to happenstance. According to his father’s correspondence, plans were laid for him to visit Geneva after he left Charterhouse, but its uncertain whether he went or which of the three brothers was dangerously ill in September 1826.4 Within a year of graduating from Oxford Barham was returned to Parliament for the doomed borough of Appleby in place of his uncle, Henry Tufton, who had succeeded as 11th earl of Thanet. His address was then given as Queen Anne Street, Marylebone, his father’s London residence. He was sworn in, 1 June, and voted in the Grey government’s majority on the Russian-Dutch loan, 12 July 1832. Perhaps deliberately, lest it should compromise his intended career in the church, no other parliamentary activity by Barham was reported. He plumped for the Liberal candidate, Thomas Law Hodges*, in West Kent at the elections of 1837 and 1847, but raised no objection to the return of the Conservative James Bowen for Pembrokeshire at the 1866 by-election.5

Barham, whose paternal grandfather had ‘embraced many of the Moravian views of religion’, became an Anglican deacon in 1833 and a priest the following year.6 After the deaths of his eldest brother John in 1838 and his brother William in 1840, he succeeded to the encumbered Trecwn estate and the family’s remaining property in Jamaica, which he disposed of together with certain properties in Kent, partly in order to cover William’s bequests.7 Thanet’s death in 1849 made him the senior legitimate representative of the family, but he was not styled Lord Tufton, nor did he succeed to the hereditary shrievalty of Westmorland, which Thanet had attempted to devise to his illegitimate son.8 The resultant controversy prompted legislation in 1849 which made office an annual appointment, as in other counties.9 Barham gave up his Westmorland living in 1852 and retired to Pembrokeshire, where he and his first wife earned a reputation for beneficence. As a widower in 1863, he married a neighbouring landowner’s daughter nearly thirty years his junior.10 He died without issue at Trecwn in August 1878 following a period of prolonged ill health, having (by his will, dated 12 Aug. 1873, and proved, 12 Sept. 1878) left most of his personal estate to his widow. He was succeeded at Trecwn, where he failed to realize the high rental income he aspired to after renegotiating leases and settlements on farms and slate quarries in Buckett, Barnard’s Well, Cilglynnau, Henry’s Moat, Llanstinian, Maenclochog, Revel Fach and Temple Druid, by his sister Caroline’s son, Francis William Robins (1841-1926), who, as required, took the name of Barham.11

Ref Volumes: 1820-1832

Authors: Margaret Escott / Howard Spencer


  • 1. E.L. Arrowsmith, Charterhouse Reg. 1769-1872, p. 19 erroneously gives his birthdate as 16 May 1809. He was baptized at St. Marylebone, Mdx. on 17 June 1808 (IGI), and his birth was announced in Gent. Mag. (1808), i. 458.
  • 2. IGI (Kent).
  • 3. The Times, 14 Feb. 1863.
  • 4. Bodl. Clarendon dep. c. 388, bdle. 1, Sir C. Hamilton to Joseph Foster Barham, 19 June [n.d.], 6 Sept. 1826.
  • 5. F.F. Barham, Foster Barham Genealogy, 16; NLW, Llwyngwair mss 6780.
  • 6. Beds. and Luton Archives MO2000/165; F.F. Barham, 15; Arrowsmith, 19.
  • 7. A.H.F. Barham, Descendants of Roger Foster, 58-59; PROB. 11/1930/472; IR26/1538/533.
  • 8. F.F. Barham, 16.
  • 9. The Times, 16 Aug. 1849; R.S. Ferguson, Cumb. and Westmld. MPs, 334.
  • 10. Arrowsmith, 19; IGI (Pemb.); DWB.
  • 11. NLW, Williams and Williams mss (1) 1289, 12890, 2302-5, 4710-12, 5931-48, 6878, 6879, 7538, 7539, 7635-43; ibid. (3) 21633, 21933, 21934, 22195-97; Pemb. Co. Hist. ed. D. Howell, iv. 16; Haverfordwest and Milford Haven Telegraph, 21 Aug. 1878; A.H.F. Barham, 59; DWB.