Edward William Barnett1,2

#3900, (1835 - 1895)


Emily Bonnycastle (1841 - 1901)

Life Events

BirthEdward William Barnett was born in 1835 in Walsall, Staffordshire.2,3
MarriageHe married Emily Bonnycastle, daughter of Humphrey Bonnycastle and Jane Cottrell, on 7 Oct 1867 in St George's Cathedral, Madras, India.4 
Newspaper Published 25 Nov 1867 in the London Times.

Married by the Revs J Griffiths, E Stone, and JW Wynch; E.W. Barnett, Esq, of Walsall, Staffordshire; Emily youngest daughter of the late Humphrey Bonnycastle Esq of Woolwich, Kent. No Cards.4
Newspaper Published 1872 in the The Illustrated London News.


This institution was opened by the Duke of Edinburgh when his Royal Highness visited India. The foundation-stone of the building had been laid by Lord Napier, Governor of the Madras Presidency, four years before. The building, of which we give an Illustration, stands on the sea-beach, and the surf broke within a short distance of its front during the great storm of the 2nd ult. The Presidency College was the first attempt, in this part of India, to introduce proper building materials, and to use them truthfully. Every structure before had been externally coated with "stucco." Here the materials are red brick, grey granite, and black limestone. The black, polished columns are of a close-grained gneiss, found near St Thomas's Mount, which is capable of receiving a very high degree of polish. The capitals and bases are of terra-cotta, made in the local School of Arts. The whole of the interior is executed in the fine chunam common to this part of the country. This material, for interior decoration, is perhaps the finest to be met with in any part of the world; it affords peculiar facilities for rendering ornamentation in the most effective manner. The building contains class-rooms, lecture-rooms, a spacious examination hall, library, and reading-room. It measures 350 ft in length, and covers a superficial area of 28,000 square feet. It was constructed by Messrs. Barnett and Bonnycastle, contractors, from the designs of the Government architect, and cost a little over £30,000.5
Research Note The contractors Barnett & Bonnycastle were brothers-in-law. Edward William Barnett married Harry Cottrell Bonnycastle's sister Emily. 
Newspaper Published 25 Sep 1873 in the London Times.

The New Member for Dover.
-- Mr Edward William Barnett, of 25, Lancaster-gate, Hyde Park, who has just been returned to Parliament in the Conservative interest as member for Dover in the place of Sir George Jessel, now Master of the Rolls, is the fourth son of the late Mr. Horatio Barnett, by Frances Elizabeth, daughter of Dr. Baker, of Brereton, in Staffordshire. He was born in the year 1835, and was educated at the Grammar School at Walsall and at Appleby, Leicestershire. He served his apprenticeship as a Civil Engineer with Messrs. M'Clean and Stileman, of Great George-street, Westminster, and has been engaged in many important engineering works, especially in the Madras Presidency, and is now engaged in carrying out works of magnitude in England, India, and America. Mr. Barnett married in 1866 Emily, daughter of Mr. Humphrey Bonnycastle, of Paris.2
ResidenceHe lived in 11 St Petersburg Place, Kensington Gardens, London, in 1888.1 
1891 CensusE.W. and Emily Barnett appeared on the 1891 Census of Paddington, London, at 11 St Petersburg Place, enumerated 5 Apr 1891. EW was 56, a Retired Civil Engineer, and was born in Walsall, Staffordshire. Emily was 48 and born in Greenwich, Kent. They had one general servant.3 
Newspaper Published 10 Jul 1891 in the Dover Express. Number 40 in a series of brief biographies of members for Dover covered Mr Edward William Barnett, of Lancaster-gate, Hyde-park, London, Civil Engineer. He was Member for almost five months but was chosen at a bye-election during the autumn recess and he did not take his seat in the House of Commons. The paper commented that he was a successful engineer but made a very poor figure on a platform and was the worst political speaker we ever heard. His short speech was included in the newspaper article along with other details about him.6 
Death RegistrationHis death was registered in the quarter ending Mar 1895 in Paddington RD, age 59.7 
Last Edited2 Oct 2013


  1. J.A., comp Venn, Alumni Cantabrigienses (n.p.: Cambridge University Press, 1921), viewed on Ancestry.com.
  2. The London Times (Times Digital Archive), 25 Sep 1873, p 12, column B.
  3. Online image of the 1891 Census for England & Wales (Ancestry.com, www.ancestry.co.uk), RG12/17 folio 23.
  4. The London Times (Times Digital Archive), 25 Nov 1867, p1, col A.
  5. The Illustrated London News, Volume 60 1872 Jan-Jun. Viewed at Hathi Trust Digital Library.
  6. Dover Express, 10 July 1891, Page 8. Image accessed online at Find My Past.
  7. Website FreeBMD (http://freebmd.rootsweb.com/).
  8. Inferred from analysis of data.