James Barber

christened: 22 November, 1778, Fressingfield, Suffolk, England

d. 13 May, 1853, Fressingfield, Suffolk, England

buried: 19 May, 1853, Fressingfield, Suffolk, England

married: St. Donis Back Church, Lime Street, London, England

Spouse: Elizabeth Chase

born ca 1780

d. 17 January, 1851, Fressingfield, Suffolk, England



James Barber

christened: 7 July, 1804, Fressingfield, Suffolk, England

d. 15 February, 1806, Fressingfield, Suffolk, England

Mary Barber

christened: 4 May, 1806, Fressingfield, Suffolk, England

James Barber

christened: 4 March, 1808, Fressingfield, Suffolk, England

Edwin Barber

christened: 1 June, 1810, Fressingfield, Suffolk, England

Benjamin Barber

christened: 13 May, 1811, Fressingfield, Suffolk, England

Clement Charles Barber

christened: 12 June, 1812, Fressingfield, Suffolk, England

George Barber

christened: 18 December, 1813, Fressingfield, Suffolk, England

Harriet Matilda Barber

christened: 3 March, 1815, Fressingfield, Suffolk, England

Chase Barber

b. 9 February, 1816, Fressingfield, Suffolk, England

John Barber

christened: 21 August, 1817, Fressingfield, Suffolk, England

d. 22 September, 1840, Ipswich, Suffolk, England

buried: 28 September, 1840, Fressingfield, Suffolk, England

Elizabeth Barber

christened: 3 June, 1819, Fressingfield, Suffolk, England

d. March, 1826, Fressingfield, Suffolk, England

Lydia Barber

christened: 14 September, 1820, Fressingfield, Suffolk, England

d. 21 March, 1835, Fressingfield, Suffolk, England


In the 1841 Census, James and Elizabeth Barber are recorded as living at Wilkinson's Farm, Little Whittingham Green, but none of their children are shown on the return.

In the 1851 Census (Elizabeth having died 17 January, 1851 - i.e. before the Census was taken), James is farming 43 acres at Wittingham (sic) Green, presumably still at the Wilkinson farm; with his sons, George and Clement helping on the farm. (These are the only three members listed of this family on this Census form.)

James kept a diary and account books that are very revealing and helpful of the family, and of the times. The Caddick family has diaries for 1807, 1809, 1813 and 1816. These diaries reveal that he was a farmer, though from that for 1801, it would seem that he was getting a run-down farm into order, as he refers in the early part of the year to a great deal of draining and ditching, and he seems to have needed to buy fodder for his livestock. It also appears that his sister, Mattilda, lived with the family, as housekeeper.

James died on 13 May, 1853, but did not leave a Will. He was buried on 19 May, 1853, and on his gravestone are the words: "late of this parish."

Donald Caddick sent a copy of the diaries of James Barber to E. J. T. Collins, esq., BA., PHD - the Director of the Institute of Agricultural History and Museum of English Rural Life, at Reading University, who made the following comments on them: "They seem a very fair record indeed and for the date, unusually detailed. From internal evidence - land tax, rent, inventory - I would deduce that James Barber farmed about 150 acres, principally grass. In the early years he seems to have been working and managing land on behalf of other members of the family, and other farmers and landowners. He also appears to have been something of a dealer and carrier. I suspect his acreage in 1801 was smaller than in 1809-16. However, he was, clearly, no typical small farmer. The social pattern - wines, shooting, hunting, excursions - suggest a man of some substance, well-connected, and an established member of the rural middle class.

"The most interesting part, at least from my point of view, are the references to the purchase of a threshing machine in 1809. This was very early indeed, and the earliest manuscript evidence I have seen for a traveling (i.e. portable) thresher. Barber seems to have set up as a machine contractor, threshing grain for neighbouring farmers at so much a day."

Copies of the diary have also been deposited with the Science and Technology Department, of the City of Birmingham Central Libary, and the Suffolk Record office, which has also photcopies the printed sectios of the diaries (where they are held under reference: P644).

Many of James Barber's farming activities and transactions seem to have been with his relatives, particularly James Clutten, his uncle, in 1801. There are also references to Samuel Clutten, his mother's cousin, and Mrs. Clutten, to Robert Barber (Uncle Bob), to Mr. Barber Senior, presumably his father, and to brothers, Charles, William and Robert.

On 16 February, 1816, he records the burial of his grandmother, aged 100 years - Catherine Clutton (nee Catchpole). He also notes the burial of Mrs. Samuel Clutten (nee Ann Gedney), on 9 July, 1801. The only birth of his children that he records is that of George Barber, which he enters on 18 December, 1813, as 'George Barber born at 1/2 past 10 in evening.' ('George' appears to have been added later, presumably after his Christian name had been decided.)

There are occasional references to Miss C and Miss S; possibly Elizabeth Chase and Maria Sharman, whom he and his brother Charles, respectively, married. After his marriage he alway refers to his wife as 'Mrs. B'. She went on one occasion on a fortnight's visit to London.

James seems to have had a puritanical streak. In 1801 he wrote some entries backwards. He refers to his sister as 'Adllitam Rebrab'; when went to a dance, he wrote 'encad'; and when he had a mare 'served', he entered 'Esroh koot yggom eram.' He seems to have had a close association with the vicars of Fressingfield, Sir Henry Pix Heyman, Barb (1797-1808) and Thomas Allsop (1808-1845). His arithmetrical calculations are without error.


(Again, I am indebted to a distant cousin, Mr. Donald Caddick for much of the research that traces James Barber (1434 - 1489) through to James Barber (1778 - 1808) - and the latter's descendants. My line departs from the research of Donald Caddick at James Barber, as I am descended through James' brother, Robert (1747 - 1815).)