Samuel Moulton-Barrett (brother)

Samuel Barrett Moulton-Barrett (1812–40)

As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 1, 290–291.

Born at Cheltenham on 13 January 1812, he was the fifth child and second son of Edward and Mary Moulton-Barrett. Generally known as Sam, he apparently lacked a nickname. He was not quite three years younger than Henrietta, and a special closeness existed between them. He showered her with talkative letters during the times when they were apart. As was the case with his brother Edward, his formal schooling was at prestigious Charterhouse in London, Sam’s stay there extending from 1822 to 1828, during which time he advanced from the twelfth to the sixth form. Written evidence depicts him as personable and mischievous. EBB was fond of Sam, though not so close to him as to Bro. His early death spared him from having to take sides in the family upheaval over her marriage to RB. During the late 1830’s, Sam spent much of his time in Jamaica, involved in management of the Moulton-Barrett plantations. He was there with his uncle Sam at the time of the latter’s death in December 1837. (Sam received £1,000 under the uncle’s will.) In 1838 Sam visited the United States, making several stops along the eastern seaboard, including New York City. He was active in Jamaican public affairs, reporting, for instance, in a letter to Henrietta dated 24 October 1839 (SD1065): “I attend the quarter Sessions on Tuesday next and take my seat as Magistrate.” Sam died of a tropical fever at the Cinnamon Hill estate in Jamaica on 17 February 1840, and was buried at Cinnamon Hill. His death, at the early age of twenty-eight, was a severe blow to the Moulton-Barretts, especially to EBB, ill at Torquay. By just under five months it preceded another family tragedy—Bro’s drowning.

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