BARKHAM, Sir Edward, 1st Bt. (1591-1667), of Southacre, Norf. and Tottenham, Mdx.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press




Family and Education

b. 19 Dec. 1591, 1st s. of Sir Edward Barkham, Leatherseller (later Haberdasher) of London and Southacre, ld. mayor of London 1621-2, by Jane, da. of John Crouch of Corneybury, Layston, Herts.1 educ. King’s, Camb. 1611, BA 1613; L. Inn 1614.2 m. 31 July 1622, Frances, da. of Sir Thomas Berney of Reedham, Norf. 3s. 7da. (4 d.v.p.). 3 cr. bt. 26 June 1623;4 kntd. 30 June 1623;5 suc. fa. in Norf. estates 1634.6 d. 2 Aug. 1667.

Offices Held

Freeman, Boston 1625;7 collector, subsidy, Norf. 1629;8 sheriff, Norf. 1635-6;9 commr. subsidy, Mdx. 1641, Poll Tax 1641, Irish Aid, 1642, assessment 1642, sequestration, 1643, accounts 1643, levying money, Mdx. and Norwich 1643, execution of ordinances, Mdx. 1643, defence of Eastern Assoc. 1643, vols. Mdx. 1643, maintenance of army 1644, assessment 1644-52, Mdx. and Norf. 1659-d., militia, Mdx. 1644, 1648, Mdx. and Norf. 1659, Mdx. 1660, New Model Ordinance, Mdx. 1645; j.p. Norf. by 1650-6, 1660-d.10

Trustee, Crown lands 1649, 1652, fee farm rents 1650.11


Barkham was the grandson of a Norfolk yeoman who was buried at Southacre in 1599. His father, who made a fortune in the City, allegedly started as a pedlar selling hobby-horses. He invested heavily in overseas enterprises, bought the Lincolnshire manor of Wainfleet by 1597, and his own birthplace ten years later. Knighted as lord mayor of London, his humble origins disqualified him from the baronetcy which was awarded to Barkham in the following year. He was one of the treasurers at war appointed by Parliament to receive the 1624 subsidies.12

Under his marriage settlement of 1622 Barkham stood to inherit not only his father’s Norfolk estates, but also lands at Skirbeck and Fishtoft, just outside Boston, which may explain his election both in 1625 and 1626. However, if an official recommendation were needed, it was doubtless supplied by Barkham’s uncle by marriage, lord president Mandeville (Sir Henry Montagu*). As was the borough’s custom with stranger MPs, Barkham was made a freeman without charge, on the ostensible grounds of ‘service heretofore performed for the benefit of this House’. Yet when the corporation had business to transact at London in the summer of 1625 they dispatched two townsmen, while Barkham left no mark on the records of either of the Parliaments in which he sat. His interest at Boston was perhaps weakened by Mandeville’s activity as a commissioner for the Forced Loan, which levy encountered stiff resistance at Boston, but his replacement at the 1628 election by the town’s recorder, Richard Bellingham II, may simply have been a matter of municipal precedence. He is not known to have stood again, even after his sister married local man Sir Anthony Irby*.13

On his father’s death in 1634, Barkham inherited everything bar the Wainfleet estate, which went to his brother. Although a Ship Money sheriff, he supported Parliament during the Civil War and held local office throughout the Interregnum. He died on 2 Aug. 1667, and was buried at Southacre. In his will of the same date he left his London property to his two younger sons, and £39,000 to his three surviving daughters. No other family member entered Parliament.14

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Paula Watson / Simon Healy


  • 1. St. Lawrence Jewry (Harl. Soc. Reg. lxx), 23; Lincs. Peds. (Harl. Soc. l), 84.
  • 2. Al. Cant.; LI Admiss.
  • 3. Lincs. Peds. (Harl. Soc. l), 84; PROB 11/102, ff. 348-9.
  • 4. CB, i. 219.
  • 5. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 182.
  • 6. C142/512/1.
  • 7. Boston Corp. Mins. ed. J.F. Bailey, ii. 474.
  • 8. E401/2445.
  • 9. List of Sheriffs comp. A. Hughes (PRO, L. and I. ix), 89.
  • 10. SR, v. 64, 86, 107, 141, 153; A. and O. i. 114, 140, 149, 170, 232-3, 293, 383, 400, 536, 556, 623, 1177, 1239; ii. 668, 1328, 1330, 1373, 1375, 1435.
  • 11. Ibid. ii. 170, 359, 692.
  • 12. D. Lysons, Environs of London, iii. 555; Lincs. Historian, ii (8), pp. 1-16; W. Blomefield, Norf. ii. 315; vi. 79, 83, 201; ix. 145, 146; W. Robinson, Tottenham, ii. 53-54; T.K. Rabb, Enterprise and Empire, 240; Holles 1624, p. 88.
  • 13. C142/512/1; Boston Corp. Mins. ii. 474, 477-8, 490, 494; R. Clutterbuck, Herts. iii. 435; R. Cust, Forced Loan, 131-2, 298-9.
  • 14. Smyth’s Obit. ed. H. Ellis (Cam. Soc. xliv), 76; PROB 11/102, f. 348.