BATEMAN, Sir James (c.1660-1718), of Shobdon Court, nr. Leominster, Herefs. and Soho Sq., London.
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Family and Education
b. c.1660, 1st s. of Joas Bateman, London merchant and alderman, of Tooting by Judith, da. of John de la Barre, London merchant. m. (lic. 3 Dec. 1691, aged ‘about 31’) Esther, da. and coh. of John Searle, merchant, of Finchley, Mdx.,1 4s. 3da. Kntd. 14 Dec. 1698. suc. fa. 1704.
Sheriff, London 1701-2, alderman 1708, ld. mayor 1716-17; member of Loriners’ Co. 1708; prime warden, Fishmongers’ Co. 1710-12.
Director, Bank of England 1694-1703 (with statutory intervals), dep. gov. 1703-5, gov. 1705-7, director 1707-11; director, New E.I. Co. 1698-1700, 1703-4, 1707-9 and United E.I. Co. 1709-10; sub-gov. South Sea Co. July 1711-d.
The son of a Flemish immigrant who made a fortune as a London merchant,2 Bateman became one of the greatest financiers of his day, with ‘the best interest and credit abroad’.3 After contesting London unsuccessfully in 1710, he entered Parliament for Ilchester in 1711, when he resigned from the Bank of England to become head of its rival, the new South Sea Company. Defeated at Ilchester in 1715, he was returned for a Cornish borough, voting for the septennial bill in 1716. During the split in the Whig party, he seems to have adhered to the Opposition, for his re-election as sub-governor of the South Sea Company in 1718 was reckoned as a triumph of the Prince’s party ‘over the King’s people’.4 He died shortly afterwards, 10 Nov. 1718, bequeathing his Herefordshire estates to his eldest son, William, his Tooting and Kent estates to his second son, James, and his Essex estates to his youngest son, Richard.5