John Foster Barham

1799 - 22nd May 1838


Eldest son of Joseph Foster Barham, Whig MP for Stockbridge, 1807-32, and Lady Caroline Tufton, daughter of Sackvill Tufton, 8th earl of Thanet. In September 1832 succeeded his father to estates in Pembrokeshire, Stockbridge and the West Indies. The Barham family had owned and operated the Mesopotamia estate for over a century and ‘took a special interest in their slaves’ by inviting missionaries to educate them. However, John Barham ‘never visited Jamaica and took little interest in his property there’.

By 1836 he was under medical superintendence and in March 1837 he was certified by a commission of lunacy as of ‘unsound mind’. He died in March 1838.

He married Lady Katherine Grimston, daughter of James Walter Grimston MP, 1st earl of Verulam on 14 January 1834. They had no children.

His widow administered his estate: those in Pembrokeshire and the West Indies were entailed on his brother Charles Henry (1808-78, q.v.) (briefly Whig MP for Appleby in 1832) (following problems with John Barham’s next of kin and brother William – who died shortly afterwards).


James Owen, 'Barham, John Foster (1799-1838)' forthcoming in the History of Parliament Online 1832-1868; FreeUKGen, England and Wales Free BMD Database, Deaths, 1837-1983 [database online]; Welsh biography online for the Barham family.

For Barham's lack of interest in his WI property: R.S. Dunn, ‘The story of two Jamaican slaves: Sarah Affir and Robert McAlpine of Mesopotamia Estate’, in R.B. Sheridan and R.A. McDonald (ed.), West Indies accounts: essays on the history of the British Caribbean and the Atlantic economy in honour of Richard Sheridan (1996), pp. 188-210; N. Draper, The price of emancipation: slave-ownership, compensation and British society at the end of slavery (2010), p. 40.

Barham’s papers and correspondence are held at the Bodleian Library, Oxford.

Further Information

Name in compensation records
John Barham
Lady Katherine Grimstone
Eton [?-1814 ]
Christ Church, Oxford [matriculated 1818 ]
Politician and landowner

Associated Claims (3)

£5,873 18s 11d
£5,612 0s 4d
Awardee (Owner-in-fee)
£2,752 15s 4d
Other association

Associated Estates (3)

The dates listed below have different categories as denoted by the letters in the brackets following each date. Here is a key to explain those letter codes:

  • SD - Association Start Date
  • SY - Association Start Year
  • EA - Earliest Known Association
  • ED - Association End Date
  • EY - Association End Year
  • LA - Latest Known Association
1832 [SY] - 1839 [LA] → Owner
1834 [EA] - 1837 [LA] → Owner
1832 [EA] - 1839 [LA] → Owner

Legacies Summary

Political (1)

election →
Stockbridge Hampshire
1820 - 1826
election →
Stockbridge Hampshire
1831 - 1832
election →
Kendal Westmorland
1834 - 1837

Relationships (6)

Grandson → Grandfather
Nephew → Uncle
Nephew → Uncle
Son → Father
Son-in-law → Father-in-law

Addresses (4)

Trecŵn, Pembrokeshire, South Wales, Wales
26 Queen Anne Street, London, Middlesex, London, England
Appleby Castle, Westmorland, Northern England, England
Stockbridge House, Stockbridge, Hampshire, Wessex, England