A Genealogy of the Barnum, Barnam and Barnham Family

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A One-Name Study for the BARNUM/BARNHAM Surname

Notes for Alice BRADBRIDGE

Alice Bradbridge/Brodbridge was born into a large and important family in Chichester, West Sussex. Her mercer father, William Bradbridge, was three times mayor of that ancient cathedral city and two of her brothers were high-ranking ecclesiasts. She married Francis Barnham (1516-1576) and had by him four sons, Martin (1548-1610), Stephen (1549-1608), Anthony (b. 1558) and Benedict (1559-1598). Francis made a merchant fortune in London and Martin and Steven became country gentlemen. Alice was a silkwoman, running that business in her own right.

A group portrait, oil on panel, dated 1557 and long mislabeled "Lady Ingram and Her Two Boys Martin and Stephen" has now been shown to be a portrait of Alice Barnham and her two oldest sons. In the portrait, she is dressed in expensive but not lavish clothing. She wears a dark gown lined with fur and trimmed at the neck and wrists with lace. On her head she wears what was known as a French hood, or coif. Above the head of each boy is a plaque giving his date and time of birth: Martin was born at 9 o'clock in the morning on March 26, 1548, and Stephen was born at 10 o'clock at night on July 21, 1549. Above Alice's head is a similar plaque which also gives her date of birth: September 30, 1523. However, it also reads "Tornid/fro that I was unto that/ye se A. Dni 1557" ("Turned from that I was into that you see, Ano Domini 1557"). This seems to indicate that in or before 1557, the date of the picture, her status changed in some way. The notable absence of the boys' father from the portrait suggests to some that perhaps he had been forced into hiding or even into exile because of his religious beliefs, and that Alice had become the head of the family in his place. However, Sir Francis was very much alive at the time and living in London. Thus, some other reason must be supposed for his absence from the family portrait.

In the 1550s, only a few women could read and write. These were activities associated with learning, religion, and business, all of which were dominated by men. By showing herself writing, Alice is declaring that she is now responsible for her family. Here she supervises Martin as he reads a copy of the Proverbs of Solomon, a popular Protestant text containing instructions for daily life. The portrait is therefore a picture of a remarkable and devout woman who looks to her Protestant faith for guidance in raising her two young sons.

Barnham, Alice wid. of Francis (fl. 1578). Parish of Saint Mary Colechurch 22; 132 24-5. Source: Index of Persons - B. Historical gazetteer of London before the Great Fire, Keene, D.J.; Harding, Vanessa. (1987).

In 1578 Alice, widow of Francis Barnham, and Stephen Barnham, citizen and draper, and his wife Anne, leased a tenement, probably identifiable as 22C, in Saint Mary Colechurch parish in Old Jewry, late held or occupied by John Payne, citizen and goldsmith, and now by John Cage, citizen and salter, to Cage, for 33 years from 1579 at £6 rent and a fine of £100. Cage was to spend £66. 13s. 4d. in repairs in the first 10 years, and thereafter to do all repairs. In 1583 Stephen Barnham and his wife Anne added another 7 years to Cage's lease from 1623 (the lease must already have been extended once), at the same rent. In 1583 Stephen Barnham and Anne leased 2 messuages (22D) in Old Jewry, in Saint Mary Colechurch parish, and a messuage, shop, and chamber in Coneyhope Lane, to Ralph Bressey, citizen and haberdasher, for 30 years from 1592 at £6 rent and £7. 6s. 8d. annuity, and £140 fine. One of the 2 messuages in Old Jewry was occupied by Bressey or his assigns and the other, adjoining it, was still inhabited by Thomas Slack. John Allen occupied the messuage (a dwelling house with its outbuildings and adjoining lands) in Coneyhope Lane and Bressey the shop and chamber over it. Bressey was to meet the cost of repairs. Also in 1583, Stephen Barnham and Alice leased the tenement (22B) on the S. side of the Rose in Old Jewry, with all shops, cellars, solars, etc., to Thomas Gawdbye, citizen and skinner, who was then occupying it, to hold for 28 years at £6. 13s. 4d. rent. Gawdbye was to repair, but not to alter or remove principal timbers in such a way as to damage the tenement, and he was to leave the wainscot and wainscot portals at present in the parlor or hall at the end of his term. Thomas Gadby had been a tithe-payer in the parish in 1571-4, but the position of his name in that list suggests he was then tenant of 26A on the S. side of Poultry; he was presumably the Thomas Gawdbie of Saint Mary Colechurch parish who died in or before 1589.

The lease of the Rose (22A) current in 1543 was due to expire in 1591. A new lease was probably made then or earlier to John Cornelis, citizen and goldsmith, who occupied it in 1591. In that year Stephen Barnham and his wife Anne leased to Cornelis another two messuages in Old Jewry for 50 years at £8. 13s. 4d. rent and £37 fine. One of the messuages, in Saint Mary Colechurch parish, was 22B, said to be sometime held or occupied by Thomas Gawdby or his assigns, under the lease of 1583, and 'now or late' occupied by one Hill. The other messuage, said to be in the parishes of Saint Olave and Saint Mary Colechurch, 'or either of them' probably corresponding to 142/X, was lately occupied by John Cheke, citizen and mercer, under a lease of 1576, and now by the same Hill. It lay on the N. side of the entry to the Rose, and measured on the ground floor 14 ft. (4.27 m.) N.-S. by 22 ft. 7 in (6.88 m.); on the first floor it included the space over the entry, and measured 22 ft. 2 in. (6.76 m.) N.-S. Cornelis was to repair and cleanse the 'privyes, sinckes, and seiges' at his own cost, and pay the quit-rents and other charges. The interests of the assigns of John Cheeke and Thomas Gawdbye, under their existing leases, were to be preserved. It is notable both here and in Saint Mildred Poultry parish that the rents reserved under these new leases were considerably higher than those due on the long leases current in 1538 and 1543.
In the early 17th century there appear to have been 5 tenants in Barnham's property in Saint Mary Colechurch parish in Old Jewry. In a tithe account of 1602 they were Mr. Cornelius, with a house worth about £6, Mr. Barnes or Barnesh, for one worth over £8, Mr. Binckes, for one worth about £4, Mr. Leigh, for one worth about £8, and Mr. Brooke, for one worth about £2. In a rate assessment of 1612, John Cornelius, Walter Clapton, Giles Bynckes, John Wythall, and Thomas Brook probably held the same 5 properties. In 1622 the occupants were David Bunnell, Ambrose Mudford, Giles Binckes, Thomas Cullicke, and Thomas Brookes. In 1628 William, viscount Aire, mortgaged his properties to John Mannyng, citizen and skinner. The part in Old Jewry was described as a great messuage or tenement, with a shop lying on the N. side of the great gate or entrance, (both) now or late held by David Bonnell, merchant, or his assigns; a messuage or tenement and shop adjacent to the S. side of the great gate, now or late held by Ambrose Mudford, gentleman, or his assigns; a messuage or tenement and shop adjacent to the last, to the S., now or late held by Giles Bynckes or his assigns; another great messuage or tenement adjacent to the S. side of Binckes' house, now or late held by John Beholt, merchant, or his assigns; and another messuage or tenement and shop adjacent to the S. side of Beholt's house, now or late held by Thomas Brooke or his assigns. The properties in Poultry and Coneyhope Lane, conveyed in the same deed, are described under 132/24-5.

From: 'Saint Mary Colechurch 105/22', Historical gazetteer of London before the Great Fire: Cheapside; parishes of All Hallows Honey Lane, St Martin Pomary, St Mary le Bow, St Mary Colechurch and St Pancras Soper Lane (1987), pp. 540-49. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?compid=11052&strquery=barnham.

Alice had a will dated 1604. She was enough of a public figure in her own right to have appeared in the 1617 edition of the Survey of London as one of forty-three 'citizens' wives deserving memory for example to posterity'.

Orlin, Lena Cowen. Locating Privacy in Tudor London. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007, is a case study of Alice (Bradbridge) Barnham (1523-1604), who was a subject of one of the earliest family group paintings from England, a 1557 panel long misidentified as ‘Lady Ingram and Her Two Boys Martin and Steven’ which has been revealed as representing instead Alice Barnham and her two sons. Her story is touched by many of the changes – in social structure, religion, the built environment, the spread of literacy, and the history of privacy – that define the sixteenth century. The book is of interest to literary, social, cultural, and architectural historians, to historians of the Reformation and of London, to historians of gender and women's studies and, above all, to genealogists and descendants of the Barnham family.

Having been born ten years to the day before Elizabeth I, she narrowly outlived the last of the Tudors, dying in May 1604 at the age of 80.
Alice has noted that she was born on a Sunday.

A Research Guide to the Genealogy of the Barnum/Barnam/Barnham Family Worldwide




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