The Barcham Family

The Norfolk Barchams
It is thought that the Barchams came originally from The Netherlands, because of religious persecution, and that they chose to settle in Norfolk using their skills as weavers. The earliest known member of the family is John Bawchen, who lived and farmed at Honing. John died in 1610. The spelling of the name varied until 1717, when Barcham became standard. These early Barchams were weavers. Later they became farmers, and it was when William Barcham Senior (1694-1748) married Mary Bacon in 1713 that he acquired what was to become the Edingthorpe family farm. Their eldest son, William Barcham Junior (1717-1782), inherited the farm. He married Sarah Dyball on 12 May 1743 and they had eight children. Three of their sons, William, John and Benjamin, each have sixth- and seventh-generation descendants living today in the United Kingdom and around the world.

John Barcham (1749-1828) lived and farmed the land at Church Farm, Edingthorpe. He was a deacon and benefactor of the Baptist Chapel at Meeting House Hill, Worstead, and his wife, Elizabeth (née Helsdon) (1752-1845), was ‘a Christian of a most dedicated character and devotional spirit' (see drawing). They had 12 children, one of whom, Asher Barcham (1786-1845), donated a clock to the new chapel, built in 1829, which is still in working order today. Their youngest daughter, Naomi, married John Rix Blakely, who was pastor of the chapel from about 1832 to 1836. Ezra Barcham (1792-1870), their youngest son, was involved in the agricultural revolt of 1830, when he had an altercation about the tithes he was paying to the rector of All Saints', Edingthorpe. This led to his appearance in July 1831 at the Norfolk Assizes. Ezra married Elizabeth Thompson and they had 11 children.   

During the 18th and 19th centuries, descendants of William and Sarah Barcham dispersed to various town and villages in North Norfolk and further afield. Benjamin Barcham (1758-1839), the seventh child of William and Sarah, was a farmer at Lower Sheringham. He married Mary Banfather (1759-1845) in 1780. Ezra Barcham's third son, Robert Barcham (1821-1888), married his cousin Louisa Fuller (1821-1908) in 1845. He was a veterinary surgeon and farmer in Paston. They had 12 children, two of whom, Samuel Barcham and Thomas Barcham, were vets at North Walsham.

William Barcham (1744-1782), the eldest son of William and Sarah Barcham of Edingthorpe, moved to Great Yarmouth about 1764. William may have died at sea. He had two children, Sarah (b.1770) who married James Paul, and William (1771-1859). He was Captain William Barcham, a master mariner, who founded the seafaring dynasty that continued through to World War II. William had six children by his first wife Judith Dyboll, and 12 by his second wife Elizabeth Lacy. The family moved to Mundesley before 1845 where William was a land agent. Some Barchams were shipbuilders in Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft, others were ship owners and/or master mariners who lived in Cromer, Mundesley and Sheringham and sailed all over the world in fast clippers trading in the Far East.


Elizabeth (née Helsdon) Barcham [after a drawing by  her grandson  John Blakely]

Naomi (née  Barcham) Blakely [from an ambrotype by W. Boswell of Norwich ca 1865]