Barnett Nathan was born in Canterbury in 1793, son of the Jewish cantor at the Canterbury synagogue. His older brother Isaac is the subject of a separate article.
He enjoyed moderate success as a dance instructor, master of ceremonies, entertainer and impresario. In his early career as a dancing teacher he moved to Kennington near Lambeth. Here he adopted a new name 'Baron Nathan', partly to impress but partly to mimic the well-known Baron Nathan Rothschild.
Baron Nathan dancing the egg hornpipe