Joseph Barnett was the ninth child of Thomas Barnett and Sarah Williams born in Remenham, Berkshire, on August 4th, 1796 and christened on September 11th, 1796 at Remenham.
Joseph married Hannah Watts, a widow, on February 7th, 1834 at St Mary Abbot, Kensington, Middlesex. Hannah was the widow of the late Thomas Watts, formerly of St Bartholemew’s Hospital, London. Thomas was buried at Remenham on July 19th, 1832. There is evidence that Hannah’s maiden name was Allingham from the birth certificate of son Arthur George Barnett, & there is a marriage for Hannah Allingham, spinster, to Thomas Watts on May 27th, 1826 at St Bartholemew the Less, London. However, the Berkshire Chronicle of February 22nd, 1834 & the Ipswich Journal of February 1834 state in a wedding announcement for Hannah & Joseph that Hannah was the daughter of the Rev T P Slapp of Old Buckenham, Norfolk.
Picture courtesy of Digital Library, University of Cambridge
The Reverend Thomas Peyton Slapp, was a very wealthy gentleman. In his will of May 24th, 1849 he appointed his nephew, Richard Reeve of Old Buckenham, sole executor. Thomas gave generous legacies to family members, his staff & various hospitals & charities. He also left a legacy to Hannah Barnett on his death of £200 and any number of books not exceeding 50 volumes of entire works. He also left her all his miniature pictures in black frames & the picture in crayons or chalk representing a likeness of himself. Hannah was also to receive an annual sum of £300 from Richard Reeve, to be raised from the property at Carelton Rode, Norfolk, left to him by Thomas. As well as Hannah’s legacy he also provided generously for Hannah’s 4 surviving children. Rev Slapp was obviously of some importance to the Barnett family, as the miniature was mentioned in the will of Charles James Barnett [b.188.8.131.52] as a bequest to his niece Norah Barnett [b.184.108.40.206.4]. (Rev Thomas Slapp is known to have married Olivia Beatty in Dublin in 1807. However a relative of Olivia Beatty has stated that they had no children.) The identity of Hannah’s parents remains a mystery!
In 1841 Joseph & Hannah were living at Common Barn Farm, Remenham with their children Thomas (7), Charles (5), Walter (4), Arthur (3) & Olivia (9 months).
A substantial amount of property at Aston Farm, Remenham which had belonged to Joseph’s father was offered for sale in 1844, according to the Reading Mercury of September 21st & 28th of that year. Joseph & one of his sisters were proprietors of Aston Farm at that time & the sale was related to the dissolving of their partnership. The sale included livestock (8 horses, 13 cows, 300 sheep & lambs, 50 pigs), & much farming equipment, as well as a large quantity of the household furniture (including a set of mahogany dining tables) & kitchen equipment (including brewing utensils, stoves & coppers).
In 1851 Joseph was a farmer of 380 acres employing 11 labourers and 4 boys
at Common Barn Farm. He was 53 years old and his wife Hannah was 45. At home
were Thomas, Arthur & Olivia.
Common Barn Farm, 2005
In 1853 Joseph suffered an almost fatal accident! It was reported in the press that Joseph had purchased a black draught & pill from a Mr Kinch, as well as a bottle of mixture for applying to the rot in the feet of sheep. On returning home he placed both bottles on the mantelpiece of his sitting room. The next morning, about 4.30a.m. he asked his servant to bring the draught to the kitchen for him to take. Instead of the draught however, the girl mistakenly brought the poisonous mixture of butter of antimony & Friar’s balsam which Joseph immediately took. The mixture almost suffocated Joseph according to the report, but fortunately he had the presence of mind to take warm water & salt which removed some of the poison from his stomach. Mr Brooks of Henley, a physician, attended all that day & the following night but held out little hope for Joseph. The next day however the doctor was more hopeful for Joseph’s recovery, although he was still suffering intensely.
The 1861 census gave Joseph's residence as Common Barn Farm, Horseshoe Common, Remenham. He was still listed as a farmer of 360 acres employing 9 men and 4 boys. Living at home was son Arthur George (21) & a grand daughter Eva May (2), who was the daughter of Joseph’s eldest son Thomas Barnett whose wife died after giving birth to Eva. Also visiting was niece Fanny Barnett (31) daughter of Joseph’s brother William Barnett.
Joseph appears in the 1864 Post Office Directory for Berkshire under Remenham as a farmer.
Joseph was still involved with farming at Aston Farm as evidenced by a court case in March 1865 (Reading Mercury March 18th, 1865). A foreman for Joseph who lived at the farm house, Aston farm was accused of stealing poultry, the property of Joseph Barnett. The accused, Henry Rogers, stated that he had been 33 years in Mr Barnett’s service who had been a good master & he hoped that he would be forgiven. The prosecution having recommended mercy in view of Rogers long service, sentenced him to hard labour for 2 months.
Joseph died aged 69 on November 24th, 1865 at Remenham Hill. Cause of death, according to the death registration, was disease of brain. He was buried on November 28th, 1865 in the churchyard at Remenham where his parents and grandparents were also buried.
Barnett graves at St Nicholas church, Remenham
Joseph's Will was proved at the Principal Registery on December 29th, 1865 by Hannah Olivia Barnett of Remenham Hill, Berks, widow, the Relict and George Sturgeon of 3 Lower Kenningston Lane, in the County of Surrey, gentleman, the Executors. Effects were valued at under £1000 and resworn in August 1868 as under £300.
In the 1871 census Hannah is listed as Anna O Barnet, an annuitant, living at 10 Linzan St, St Mary, Reading with granddaughter Eva May Barnet, aged 12.
Hannah died on April 24th, 1875 at St Margaret's, Downshire Road, Reading, Berks. She was 73 years old. She was buried on April 28th , 1875 at Remenham. Probate of Hannah’s will which had 3 codicils was granted on June 3rd, 1875 to son Arthur George of Hampstead Farm. Her effects were under £3,000. The Berkshire Chronicle of May 15th 1875 announced the sale of the contents of Hannah’s house, St Margaret’s. It comprised a large amount of excellent household furniture, water colour & oil paintings, engravings, old china, glass, books, stuffed birds & a pianoforte in walnut. Also available were brass & iron French bedsteads, linen, a pair of globes & many kitchen articles.
The children of Joseph Barnett and Hannah Olivia Watts (nee Allingham) were:
b.2.9.1 Thomas Barnett christened September 22nd, 1834 at Remenham; died on February 18th, 1880 at Warsash, The Dargle, Peter Maritzburgh, S Africa.
b.2.9.2 Charles Barnett born c1835 at Remenham; died January 2nd, 1860 at Hambleden, Bucks
b.2.9.3 Walter Joseph Barnett born c1837 at Remenham; died June 1843 at Remenham
b.2.9.4 Arthur George Barnett born June 20th, 1839 at Remenham; died December 18th, 1913 at Hardenhuish
b.2.9.5 George Arthur Barnett born June 20, 1839 at Remenham; died December 28th, 1839 at Remenham
b.2.9.6 Olivia Barnett born August 24th, 1840 at Remenham; died August 25th, 1873 at Brixton