This was where Wilberforce met with those wanting the abolition of slavery. Barham Court was owned by Charles Middleton, 1st Baron Barham. Middleton was an Admiral and an MP. His wife particularly was anti-slavery and it is said that it was Middleton who suggested that Wilberforce be approached to get the anti-slavery bill through Parliament. He was an evangelical Christian. Being such a powerful figure in the Navy he was able to get Thomas Clarkson permission to get into the Royal Navy shipyards for his research.