Richard Harris Barham, an English humorist, born at Canterbury, Dec. 6, 1788, died in London, June 17, 1845. He was educated at London and Oxford, studied law, but afterward devoted himself to theology, took orders, and obtained a living in Kent. While confined with a broken leg, he wrote a novel called "Baldwin," which attracted little notice. In 1821 he was elected minor canon of St. Paul's cathedral, and removed to London. His leisure was there devoted to writing for Gorton's "Biographical Dictionary," and occasional pieces for periodicals, and contributing to "Blackwood's Magazine" a serial story of college life entitled "My Cousin Nicholas." In 1824 he was appointed priest of the chapel royal, and presented to the united metropolitan livings of St. Mary Magdalene and St Gregory by St. Paul. In 1837, on the establishment of "Bentley's Miscellany," Mr. Bar-ham contributed, under the pseudonyme of Thomas Ingoldsby, the "Ingoldsby Legends," a series of humorous stories, chiefly in verse, which became very popular. Three volumes of these legends were finally collected, to the last of which was prefixed a life of the author. In 1840 Mr. Barham succeeded for a year to the presidency of Sion college.
In 1842 he waa promoted to the divinity readership of St. Paul's, and allowed to exchange his living for that of St. Faith.