William was a hosier, served as Alderman for the South Conisford Ward, Norwich in 1688. He is sometimes shown as Mayor of Norwich in 1652 but that is an apparent error. The person who held the office of Mayor was another William Barnham (1606-1676), who was a great uncle of this William Barnham.
From the London Evening Post (London, England), Tuesday, December 19, 1752, Issue 3923: Norwich December 17. Lately died here, of a Mortification (N.B., in medicine and pathology, another word for gangrene or necrosis) in one of her Toes, Mrs. Austin, Relict. Of Richard Austin, late of Enfield in Hertfordshire, Esq; it is remarkable that her father, William Barnham Esq. died of the same Disorder, occasioned by cutting a Corn. The last mentione'd Gentleman having acquir'd an Estate of 800 £. a Year, had retired from business in the latter Part of his Life; he had been an eminent Tradesman at Norwich, and was the first Person who kept a Coach in that City.
He was baptised in the Church of Saint John Maddermarket.
William died in June 1718 of a "mortification of the toe" (N.B., in medicine and pathology, another word for gangrene or necrosis) and is buried at Ranworth under a black marble slab, measuring 33 by 67 inches, located on the south side of the chancel aisle at Saint Helen's. The inscription reads “Here resteth ye body of William Barnham lat of ye city of Norwich gen who died June ye 19th 1718 aged 66 years. Also ye body of Mary ye beloved wife of ye said William Barnham who died ye 17th of August aged 46 years”
William was buried in the Church of Saint Helen. Ranworth Church, Saint Helen, is known as the Cathedral of the Broads. There are Saxon foundations from an earlier church underneath the chancel. The church is mainly fifteenth century although there was substantial restoration at the beginning of the twentieth century, including the chancel and the roof. There are magnificent views from the tower, and the interior is very fine. The chancel screen is one of the finest surviving in the country, of a quality worthy of a cathedral and unusual in a country church. It dates from the late fifteenth century and originally would have been surmounted by a rood cross.
William's inscription reads: "Here resteth ye body of William Barnham late of ye city of Norwich gen who died June ye 19th 1718 aged 66 years. Also ye body of Mary ye beloved wife of ye said William Barnham who died ye 17th of August 1720 aged 46 years."