Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Barham, Charles Foster

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BARHAM, CHARLES FOSTER, M.D. (1804–1884), physician—the second christian name was rarely used—was the fourth son of Thomas Foster Barham [q. v.] (1766–1844), and was born at Truro on 9 March 1804. He was educated privately at several places in Cornwall and at Saffron Walden, proceeding from the latter town to Downing College, Cambridge, where he matriculated in October 1821. In the following January he migrated to Queens' College, and became a foundation scholar in May 1823. The bent of his family was for medicine, and after studying at Edinburgh, as well as at Paris and in Italy, Barham took the degree of M.B. at Cambridge in 1827, qualifying for the higher degree of M.D. in 1860. For a few years he practised at Tavistock, but in August 1837 he settled at Truro, and remained there until his death. In the following year he was appointed senior physician to the Royal Cornwall Infirmary, and when he resigned that post in 1873 was elected consulting physician. On his settlement at Truro Dr. Barham threw himself with energy into its political and civic life, and on 28 Sept. 1839 became more closely identified with the town by his marriage to Caroline, the second daughter of Clement Carlyon, M.D., who belonged to an old Truro family. In all the proceedings of the Royal Institution of Cornwall Dr. Barham took an active part, and to its ‘Reports’ and ‘Journal’ he contributed many articles. He died at Truro on 20 Oct. 1884, leaving a large family behind him.

Though Dr. Barham was interested in antiquarian and geological pursuits generally, the two subjects which had especial charm for him were the climate of Cornwall and the diseases of the miners who contributed to its wealth. The names of many papers written by him on these topics are enumerated in the ‘Bibliotheca Cornubiensis,’ vols. i. and iii. His services were engaged in 1842 by a commission on the employment of children, and his report, with the evidence which he collected, was printed in the first and second reports of the commission.

[Bibl. Cornubiensis; Western Morning News, 22 Oct. 1884.]

W. P. C.