Charles Badham (1813-1884), English scholar, was born at Ludlow, in Shropshire, on the 18th of July 1813. His father, Charles Badham, translator of Juvenal and an excellent classical scholar, was regius professor of physic at Glasgow; his mother was a cousin of Thomas Campbell, the poet. When about seven years old, Badham was sent to Switzerland, where he became a pupil of Pestalozzi. He was afterwards transferred to Eton, and in 1830 was elected to a scholarship at Wadham College, Oxford, but only obtained a third class in classics (1836), a failure which may have been due to his dislike of the methods of study then in fashion at Oxford, at a time when classical scholarship was in a very unsatisfactory condition. Shortly after taking his degree in 1837 Badham went to Italy, where he occupied himself in the study of ancient MSS., in particular those of the Vatican library. It was here that he began a life-long friendship with G. C. Cobet. He afterwards spent some time in Germany, and on his return to England was incorporated M.A. at Peterhouse, Cambridge, in 1847. Having taken holy orders, he was appointed headmaster of Louth grammar school, Lincolnshire (1851-1854), and subsequently headmaster of Edgbaston proprietary school, near Birmingham. In the interval he had taken the degree of D.D. at Cambridge (1852). In 1860 he received the honorary degree of doctor of letters at the university of Leiden. In 1866 he left England to take up the professorship of classics and logic in Sydney University, which he held until his death on the 26th of February 1884. He was twice married.
Dr Badham's classical attainments were recognized by the most famous European critics, such as G. C. Cobet, Ludwig Preller, W. Dindorf, F. W. Schneidewin, J. A. F. Meineke, A. Ritschl and Tischendorf. Like many schoolmasters who are good scholars and even good teachers, he was not a professional success; and his hasty temper and dislike of anything approaching disingenuousness may have stood in the way of his advancement. But it is strange that a scholar and textual critic of his eminence and of European reputation should have made comparatively little mark in his native country. He published editions of Euripides, Helena and Iphigenia in Tauris (1851), Ion (1851); Plato's Philebus (1855, 1878); Laches and Euthydemus (1865), Phaedrus (1851), Symposium (1866) and De Platonis Epistolis (1866). He also contributed to Mnemosyne (Cobet's journal) and other classical periodicals. His Adhortatio ad Discipulos Academiae Sydniensis (1869) contains a number of emendations of Thucydides and other classical authors.
A collected edition of his Speeches and Lectures delivered in Australia (Sydney, 1890) contains a memoir by Thomas Butler.