BARNHAM, William (d.1675), of Norwich, Norf.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

m. Mary (d.1659), da. of William Grigson, rector of Hardingham, wid. of Francis Booty, s.p.1

Offices Held

Freeman, Norwich 1619, common councilman 1646, sheriff 1648-9, alderman 1649-50, 1651-62, mayor 1652-3; commr. for assessment, Norwich 1649, 1652, Jan. 1660-3, militia, Norwich 1659, Norf. Mar. 1660, oyer and terminer, Norwich Oct. 1660.2


Barnham was probably born in Thetford and became a hosier in Norwich. A parliamentary sympathizer in the Civil War, he held municipal office from 1646 and throughout the Interregnum, and was returned to Richard Cromwell’s Parliament for the city. He signed the address to George Monck for a free Parliament, and was re-elected in 1660. He was listed by Lord Wharton as a friend, but his only known activity in the Convention was on the committee to encourage shipping and woollen manufactures. He was heavily defeated at the general election, and displaced as alderman by the commissioners for corporations, although he had subscribed £8 to the voluntary gift to the King. Several times re-elected, he never resumed office because, as a hard-shell Presbyterian, he would not renounce the Covenant. He was buried at St. John Maddermarket on 22 Mar. 1675. After extensive charitable bequests to Thetford, he left property in Horsham St. Faith and Beeston to two kinsmen, Thomas and John Barnham. The latter was court candidate for Norwich in 1688, but no other member of this family entered Parliament.3

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: M. W. Helms / John. P. Ferris


  • 1. Vis. Suff. ed. Howard, ii. 80-81; Vis. Norf. ed. Buller, ii. 284.
  • 2. Reg. Freemen Norwich ed. Millican, 86; information from Miss J. Kennedy, Norf. County Archivist; J. T. Evans, 17th Cent. Norwich , 233; H. Le Strange, Norf. Official Lists, 112-13; Blomefield, Norf. iii. 405.
  • 3. Norf. Arch. ii. 284; Address from Gentry of Norf. ed. Rye, 30; Hist. of Parl. Trust, W. W. Bean, ‘List of Polls’; Norwich Vol. Gift (Norf. Rec. Soc. i), 79; Vis. Norf. (Harl. Soc. lxxxv), 13-14; Vis. Norf. ed. Buller, ii. 284; information from Miss Kennedy; Evans, 246.