Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Barham, Thomas Foster (1766-1844)

BARHAM, THOMAS FOSTER (1766–1844), musician and miscellaneous writer, the third son of Joseph Foster, who took the name of Barham by authority of a private act of parliament, and in accordance with the will of Henry Barham, was born at Bedford, 8 Oct. 1766, and educated at St. John's College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. as Thomas Foster in 1792. After his university course he travelled on the Continent. On his return he became connected with the mercantile house of Plummer & Co., but ill-health obliged him to leave London, and to retire into the west of England, where he finally settled at Leskinnick, near Penzance, Cornwall. He died there 25 Feb. 1844. He married in 1790 Mary Ann, eldest daughter of the Rev. Joshua Morton, of Blackheath, and by this lady had six children, of whom Charles, Francis, Thomas, and William are mentioned in separate articles in this work.

His principal publications are: 1. ‘Letter from a Trinitarian to a Unitarian,’ Penzance, 1811. 2. ‘Musical Meditations, consisting of original compositions, vocal and instrumental,’ Lond. 1811, 2nd set 1815. 3. ‘Abdallah or the Arabian Martyr, a Christian drama in three acts’ [and in verse], Lond. 1820, 2nd edit., Penzance, 1821. 4. ‘Elijah, a sacred poem in four cantos,’ Lond. 1822. 5. ‘Colonel Gardiner, a Christian drama in three parts,’ Lond. 1823. 6. ‘Pergolesi's celebrated Stabat Mater or Calvary; with English words written for the purpose, substituted in the place of the ancient Latin verses, and the instrumental parts arranged for the organ or pianoforte,’ &c., 1829. 7. ‘Lander Africanus. A musical drama,’ Penzance, 1834. 8. ‘Reliquiæ Seriæ, or Christian Musings. By Ἐλάχιστος,’ Lond. 1836.

[Boase and Courtney's Bibl. Cornubiensis, i. 12, iii. 1049; Pitman's Memorial of Francis Barham, 20, 121–3.]

T. C.