The Barnard Family

Notes by John Barnard
Updated 20 March 2023

Barnard Family Tree (18th-20th centuries)

Catalogue of Barnard source material

This page is currently a preliminary draft, which draws on the
results of my own research and on the information in BAR/72.
It will serve as a template for further expansion, with addition
of illustrations and further references to appropriate source material.

My Barnard ancestors were mainly well-to-do Cambridge-educated Anglican clergymen, and between the 17th and 20th centuries there were five consecutive generations of ordained ministers, my father being the first to break from the tradition, which also perpetuated itself down most of the collateral branches - in one case even to the present day.

My distant cousin, William Sedgwick Barnard, who contacted me some years ago through this website, has recently completed, and privately published, a comprehensive family history entitled The Quest for the Barnard Bear [BAR/72]. This describes the descent of various branches (including mine) from origins in Leeds, Yorkshire, in the seventeenth century, as well as other aspects of William's own ancestry.

The following paragraphs give brief details of my first six direct male-line ancestors, with some mention of the collateral branches also descended from them. William's book takes the family back a few generations beyond that, with more information about the Rosenhagen and Drake families - the latter incidentally has no known connection with the explorer Sir Francis Drake (c. 1540-1596), despite the frequent use of Francis as a given name. It also gives much more detail about other Barnard branches, especially the descendants of Rev Robert Cary Barnard (1758-1827). The Barnard family tree on this website shows the connections between these families and branches. Many of the Barnards had the given name Thomas, which can cause some confusion, and William gives some of them ordinal numbers; in the information below I distinguish them by means of their Parishes or other occupation, with references to the ordinal numbers used in BAR/72.

Rev. Thomas Barnard (Headmaster) (1686-1750) 

Designated Thomas 3rd in BAR/72, he was the first of the Cambridge-educated clergymen. He went on to serve for 38 years as headmaster of his old school, Leeds Grammar School, and is credited with doing much to improve its academic standards. He was twice married and both his wives were grand-daughters of Rev. Samuel Drake (1622-1679), Vicar of Pontefract. Samuel had been a Fellow of St John's College Cambridge, and Thomas also attended that college, beginning a Barnard association with it which (at least on William Sedgwick Barnard's branch) has continued to the present day. Thomas's brother-in-law, Francis Drake, FSA, FRS (1696-1771), was a well-known surgeon and antiquarian and his writing of Eboracum, or the History and Antiquities of the City of York (York: William Boyer, 1736) was encouraged by Thomas [Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, 1875, 3, 33-54]. 

Thomas's first wife, Ann Benson, died giving birth to their only child and both were buried at St Peter's Church in Leeds on 25 Jan 1714. By his second wife, Ann's cousin Frances Drake, he had two sons and a daughter. The daughter, also Frances (c. 1716-1784), became the wife of Rev. William Jackson, Rector of Adel, near Leeds, while the younger son, Charles Barnard (c. 1727-1785) was an attorney in Leeds. Their elder son, Thomas Barnard (Withersfield) followed his father (and his mother's forbears) to St John's Cambridge, and into Holy Orders.

Thomas is buried in St John's Church in Leeds (a church built by the founder of Leeds Grammar School) along with his wife, daughter and a grand-daughter, and there is a brass plate to their memory in the chancel, describing him as "a learned and useful scholar, a sincere and zealous Christian, a man of deep experience of religion, of great humility and unaffected piety".

Rev. Thomas Barnard (Withersfield) (1720-1781)

Designated Thomas 4th in BAR/72, he was educated at his father's school in Leeds, and was admitted to St John's Cambridge in 1737, graduating BA in 1740 and MA in 1744. He was clearly very academic and was appointed as a Fellow of the college in 1743, in which capacity he acted as tutor to one Philip Rosenhagen (1737-1798). The Rosenhagens were of German/Danish descent, and Philip's father, Arnold Rosenhagen (1697-1743) had been born in Hanover. Arnold became Chief Steward to Melosine von der Schulenburg, Duchess of Kendal, who had come to England herself in 1716 as one of King George I's mistresses. After the King's death in 1727 she continued to live in Kendal House at Isleworth in Middlesex, with Arnold running her household. He married Elizabeth Haydon (1711-1797) around 1733 and became a naturalised British subject, by special Act of Parliament, in 1735. Philip Rosenhagen was academically brilliant, graduating as 9th Wrangler (First Class of the Mathematics Tripos) in 1750, though his subsequent career was somewhat chequered: despite having taken Holy Orders, he was a notorious gambler, and finished up as Archdeacon of Columbo in Ceylon, where he died.

The Rosenhagen connection provided Thomas with a number of advantages. In the first place, it gave him a wife in the shape of Philip's sister Melosine Rosenhagen (1736-1811), who was named, obviously, after her father's employer, and they were married in 1757. It may also have provided some useful contacts and introductions which assisted his social advancement at a time when that depended very much on who one knew or was related to. This aspect is discussed extensively in BAR/72, and probably led to Thomas's appointment as Rector, first of Newmarket St Mary with Wooditton, and later of Withersfield in Suffolk, with its magnificent Rectory, where Thomas and Melosine settled. In 1762 he was also appointed as a Chaplain-in-Ordinary to King George III. The connection may also have enabled Rev. William Drake (bapt. 1723), the son of Thomas's uncle Francis Drake, to become Vicar of Isleworth.

I have a bound copy of a set of Thomas's Lenten lectures on the church catechism, which were copied out by hand by his grandson, Rev. Mordaunt Barnard [BAR/4].

Thomas and Melosine had six sons (the five who survived into adulthood all taking Holy Orders after graduating from Cambridge University) and a daughter:

Rev. Thomas Barnard (Great Amwell) (c. 1765-1799)

This Thomas Barnard (unnumbered in BAR/72) followed his ancestors to St John's College Cambridge, and was firstly Rector of Great Hormead, and later Vicar of Great Amwell, both in Hertfordshire. He married Everilda Dorothea Martin (c. 1767-1839), daughter of Sir Mordaunt Martin (c. 1740-1815) of Burnham Westgate Hall in Norfolk, whose mother was a grand-daughter of John Mordaunt, Viscount Mordaunt of Avalon (1626-1675). Viscount Mordaunt and his wife Elizabeth Cary were prominent Royalists during the Commonwealth, and helped arrange the restoration of Charles II in 1660. The Mordaunt name has been perpetuated extensively through all generations of Thomas and Everilda's descendants. 

The family bible [BAR/42] originally given to Thomas's elder brother John Gilbert Barnard contains inscriptions by Everilda recording the births and baptisms of their five sons, who were as follows:

Everilda's final inscription in the family bible records that "on the 14th of June 1799 it pleased Almighty God to deprive me and my five infant Boys of an indulgent and affectionate Husband and Father in the 35th year of his age". No cause of death is given, but his Will is dated the preceding August, so he may have developed a fatal illness of some sort.

Rev. Mordaunt Barnard (1795-1885)

My great-grandfather went to boarding school at Charterhouse, but departed from the Johnian tradition of his forbears when he went up to Christ's College Cambridge in 1813. He showed an early aptitude for poetry and anonymously published a collection of his poems while still an undergraduate [BAR/6] of which a manuscript version also survives [BAR/45]. His first clerical appointment following his ordination in 1820 was as Curate at Thornton-in-Craven in Yorkshire, shortly followed by the Perpetual Curacy at the nearby Gill Church in Barnoldswick. In 1826 he was appointed as Vicar of his father's old parish, Great Amwell in Hertfordshire, where he remained for many years. 

He was actually waiting for a vacancy in the extremely lucrative parish of Little Bardfield in Essex. This living had been held throughout the 18th century by three generations of successive Rev. Thomas Bernards (with various spellings), who owned the advowson, and were thus able to appoint themselves as Rectors. So far as I can tell they had no genealogical connection with my own Barnard family, but the last of them, who had no son of his own, specifically bequeathed the advowson to Mordaunt's father, Rev. Thomas Barnard (Great Amwell), in his Will (dated 23 August and proved 27 November 1773), presumably in order to ensure a continuance of Thomas Bernard/Barnard incumbents. The parishes are not far apart geographically (nor from Withersfield), and the various Rev. Thomases from the two families presumably knew each other. Thomas (Great Amwell) was only eight years old in 1773, and so the living of Little Bardfield went first to other clergymen including the testator's nephew Rev. Thomas Bernard Harrison who was appointed in 1781. Once installed, Harrison could not be removed until he resigned or died, which he finally did in 1844, aged 86, after nearly 64 years' incumbency. When Mordaunt took over, less than a month later, the living was valued at £590 per annum, equivalent to about £80,000 today.

Mordaunt had married in 1820, when first ordained, and he and his wife, Margaret Louisa Maria Bolton (1795-1857), had four daughters and a son. 

In 1866, some nine years after first wife's death, and aged 70, Mordaunt remarried. His new wife was his first cousin once removed, Adelaide Sophia Barnard (1834-1906), nearly forty years younger than him, and younger than all his children by his first marriage. Two years later she produced a son, my grandfather Percy Mordaunt Barnard (1868-1941) and my father told stories of Mordaunt's grandchildren (Agnes Neville-Rolfe was already 22) assisting in giving their infant uncle a bath. He had retired from his position at Little Bardfield and purchased a large house in Brighton, but nonetheless took on the Rectory of Preston Bagot in Warwickshire in 1867. How much he actually resided there is unclear (the census return for 1871 shows the family in Brighton, though with servants born in Warwickshire), but he retained the living until 1874, when he was 79. Even into his eighties he retained his vigour, publishing his own translation of the Odyssey of Homer in 1876 [BAR/2, BAR/3], and there is evidence that the family travelled extensively in Europe, crossing the major alpine passes by carriage. A year before his death, (which was about five weeks short of his 90th birthday) he published another collection of poems, combining humorous doggerel verse with Latin and Greek translations [BAR/1]. The Hastings and St Leonards Observer for 7 Nov 1885 recorded the words of the rector of the church he had attended in his final years: 

"For some time past he has had the honour of being the oldest man in the parish. To him, death has come at the close of a remarkably long life, and it is a sad event, for we cannot but sincerely grieve when we think that we shall never again see his familiar revered form worshiping among us. To know him was to love him, and to very many he had indeed endeared himself. A more gentle, patient, courteous, loving and faithful soul it can seldom be our lot to meet. To the very last he displayed a remarkable gentleness, sweetness of temper, unmurmuring patience, submission to God, and consideration towards man."

Rev. Percy Mordaunt Barnard (1868-1941)

My grandfather was known as Percy as a child, but seems to have used Mordaunt as his primary given name for most of his adult life, at least after the deaths of his father and half-brother, who were also both known by that name. In the following text I refer to him as Percy for simplicity. He followed his father and half-brother to Christ's College Cambridge, where he had a distinguished academic career in both classics and theology. He subsequently taught at St John's theological college at Leatherhead, and was appointed as Rector of Headley (near Epsom in Surrey) in 1898. He made a particular study of some of the writings of the early "church father", Clement of Alexandria, and his analysis, published in 1899 [BAR/8, BAR/43], is still being cited in the more esoteric parts of the theological literature. In 1904 he was short-listed for the prestigious Gresham Professorship of Divinity, but was not appointed.

At University he was also a sportsman, rowing for the college Eight, and playing football in the "scratch sixes". In 1897 he was elected to membership of the Alpine Club, having already amassed a substantial list of ascents dating back to 1893, mainly in the western Bernese Oberland in Switzerland and including the Diableret and a traverse of the Bietschhorn.

In 1905 Percy published his Interpretation of the New Testament in Modern Life and Thought [BAR/51], which took issue with some of the fundamentals of traditional Christian doctrine, including original sin and the virgin birth. Feeling he could not preach what he no longer believed himself, he resigned from his position at Headley in 1906, and set up in business as an antiquarian bookseller, initially at Saffron Waldon in Essex, moving to Tunbridge Wells in Kent the following year. Between then and 1934 he issued more than two hundred catalogues and stock lists to his customers, many with meticulous and detailed descriptions of the books and manuscripts offered for sale, some of which continue to be found useful by modern booksellers and bibliographers [BAR/78].

In 1900 he married Alice Mary Taunton (1872-1951), daughter of the vicar of the neighbouring parish of Kingswood. She had a particular interest in art (as well as being an amateur painter herself) and from about 1915 she started a sideline business in old master etchings and engravings, issuing catalogues under the name of Craddock and Barnard. It has been suggested that "Craddock" never actually existed, but it appears to have been a pseudonym for Alexander Gordon Winch Murray (1884-1919), who had been an assistant to her husband, and later became the librarian of Trinity College Cambridge. It is likely that, as a University don, he could not be seen to be "in trade", necessitating the pseudonym. Murray died in the 1919 influenza pandemic, aged only 34, but had in fact resigned as a partner in the business in 1916, possibly due to his wartime military commitments (he was adjutant to the university staff corps). Alice was later joined in the business by her younger son Osbert Howard Barnard, and on her retirement in 1941 (following Percy's death) her elder son Charles Mordaunt Barnard came into the partnership.

Percy and Alice had three children:

In the late summer of 1940 Percy and Alice joined Nea and her children at Criccieth in North Wales, where they had gone to escape the bombing raids over south-east England. Though it is not given as a formal diagnosis, surviving medical records [BAR/41] show that Percy, now aged 72, had developed the classic symptoms of late-stage Alzheimer's disease, and he was committed to the North Wales Mental Hospital at Denbigh in September 1940 for temporary treatment. This appears to have been the way in which Alzheimer's patients were managed at that time, and in March 1941 he was formally certified as insane; he died (of myocardial degeneration) just two weeks later - a very sad end for a man formerly of such intellectual vigour. He is buried in the Mount Road Cemetery in St Asaph. The family returned to Tunbridge Wells after the war and Alice lived there until her death in 1951; Nea continued to live in the same house at 17 Church Road until she suffered a serious stroke in 1981.

Charles Mordaunt Barnard (1901-1983)

My father was called "Karl" as  child, as the family employed a German governess, but later became known as "Mordo", as a contraction of Mordaunt; he never used the name Charles. He was a day-boy at Tonbridge School, but joined the Royal Flying Corps at the age of 16 towards the end of the First World War. He was involved in scientific work using the then recently-discovered X-rays to detect faults in metal parts used for building aircraft. The dangers associated with X-rays were poorly understood at the time, and he suffered serious burns to his right hand, necessitating the amputation of two and a half fingers, and a series of skin grafts (some of them performed by the pioneer plastic surgeon Archibald McIndoe) that continued into his seventies. He was discharged from the RAF as unfit for service in 1921, and after an extended family holiday in the Austrian Alps in 1922 (where their guide was Hannes Schneider, who went on to found the Arlberg Ski School), he trained as a dyestuffs chemist. A patent on the manufacture of aniline dyes seems to have secured him a research job with the British Alizarine Company in Manchester [BAR/70], and several more patents followed [BAR/71]. It appears that he submitted a portfolio of these to London University for the award of a PhD on the strength of a body of research work.

Manchester was a good base for visits to the Lake District (most especially Wasdale) and North Wales in pursuit of the rock-climbing and mountaineering interests shared by the whole family, and in 1927 Mordo made the first ascents of some minor routes on Green Gable in the company of some of the leading Lake District rock-climbers of the period. My distant cousin William Sedgwick Barnard (author of BAR/72) has said that he recalls his father, Peter Nevin Barnard (1910-1988), telling him that as a teenager (also living in Manchester in the 1920s) he had made some visits to the Lake District with an older cousin called Mordaunt, so it appears that there may at that point still have been contacts between the two branches of the Barnard family (Mordo and Peter would have been third cousins).

In 1926 Mordo married Annie Ottalie Walker (1894-1943) but the marriage was not a success, and they separated around 1930, with Mordo returning to Tunbridge Wells. He then seems to have used his chemical expertise to do art restoration work, working with a print dealer named West [BAR/69] but it was not until 1941 that he became a partner in Craddock and Barnard with his brother Osbert, following the retirement of their mother from the business. At some point in the 1930s he started to live with a woman called Dorothy Louisa Drury (née Higgins) (1896-1952), who was separated from her husband. Neither of them was divorced, so they never married, but Dorothy changed her name to Barnard by deed poll, and they lived together as husband and wife. 

In 1945 Mordo and Osbert purchased a large Victorian house in Highbury, London (the area where Dorothy had come from) and the three of them moved there from Tunbridge Wells. Craddock and Barnard was now operating from a shop/gallery ("the office") on Museum Street, close to the British Museum, and Osbert managed that end of the business, while Mordo carried out the cleaning and restoration work at Highbury. 

In 1952 Dorothy died of cancer, and it was during an extended stay in Wasdale later that year Mordo met Pascha Trevenen James (1919-1978), who was staying in the same hotel. They were married two years later (Mordo's first wife Annie having died in 1943), with John Mordaunt Barnard (myself) born in 1956, and my sister Anne Trevenen Barnard two years later. For many years family holidays were rooted in Wasdale which, in addition to Mordo's long association with it, was where Pascha's parents had honeymooned in 1912. Later, we visited some of Mordo's youthful alpine destinations in Switzerland and Austria.

Pascha died of cancer in 1978, aged only 58, after which Mordo retired from Craddock and Barnard and spent a couple of years living in a private hotel in Bournemouth, which was run by ex-professional bridge players, giving him the opportunity to pursue another of his interests. He died in 1983 at a nursing home in Woking, Surrey.

Other Barnard Families

There are and have been numerous other Barnard families (with various spellings) in England over the past few centuries, which appear to be unrelated to my own Barnard ancestors, though at least two of these included successive generations of Anglican clergymen. The 18th century Rev. Thomas Bernards of Little Bardfield have already been mentioned in connection with my great-grandfather Mordaunt Barnard's succession as Rector of that parish. Another clerical Barnard family included an 18th century Provost of Eton College. In addition there was the family of Sir John Barnard (c. 1685-1764) who was an MP and Lord Mayor of London, and his coat of arms seems to have been "borrowed" by some of my own ancestors. There have been claims that my own Leeds ancestors were descended from the mediaeval Barnards of Cave Castle in Yorkshire, but there is no documentary evidence to support this.