BULLER, James (1717-65), of Morval, nr. Looe, Cornw.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1741 - 1747
27 Apr. 1748 - 30 Apr. 1765

Family and Education

bap. 17 June 1717, 1st s. of John Francis Buller of Morval and bro. of John Buller. educ. Balliol, Oxf. 1735. m. (1) 19 Nov. 1739, Elizabeth (d.Apr. 1742), da. and coh. of William Gould of Downes, Devon, 1s.; (2) Apr. 1744, Jane, da. of Allen Bathurst, M.P., 1st Baron Bathurst, 3s. 3da. suc. fa. 1751.

Offices Held

Mayor, East Looe 1752.


‘A most staunch and determined Tory’, Buller was returned for East Looe in 1741 on the recommendation of his uncle, Edward Trelawny, voting consistently against the Administration. He did not stand in 1747. On 10 Mar. 1748, when the death of one of the knights of the shire for Cornwall was imminent, his brother-in-law, Henry Reginald Courtenay, wrote to him:

All the gentlemen of Cornwall that are in town are thinking with great regret of the vacancy that in all probability must too soon happen by the loss of Sir Coventry Carew, and till lately their fears were much alleviated by the hopes they had that you would fill his place, as only a person of great property and established character can preserve the peace of the county and, if a proper person does not accept of that trust, too many will have their views in disturbing it. Having heard this subject so much talked of [I] can’t omit representing it to you without being wanting in that regard I shall ever have for you and your family, and am certain your own judgment will make you do that which conduces most to the interest of that party you always have and will espouse, and I may add what appears equally to the interest of your own family in all future elections, as the obligation to the gentlemen will be such that it must give the greatest additional strength to your interest whenever in any other part of your life you may care to exert it. ... Give me leave to add one thing more, which is that attendance so strictly required in the late Parliament is not the case at present with any, much less would it be expected from you, who only comply with the desire of the gentlemen to preserve the interest of the county, and I think I may venture to affirm you would never be solicited to attend whenever it was either inconvenient or disagreeable to you.

On Carew’s death, Buller’s father pleaded with him (28 Mar.) to accept on the ground that: ‘there is none that will be unexceptionable to the county but yourself, therefore I still dread the consequences of your declining’. When he accepted, Sir John Molesworth, the other county Member, wrote to him (18 Apr.):

I am persuaded there will be no attempt to oppose you, and now the county will remain in peace. Whatever assistance I can give you, you may command. As for retaining counsel or agents, as I am persuaded you will meet with no opposition, there is no occasion for the putting yourself to that expense, and enclosed I send you the particulars of my first election, with a few hints for your servants, directions how to act, and if any of my servants can be of the least service on the occasion, I beg you would command them. Probably you will have applications from a number of people for their friends to draw drink, but I would advise you to fix your houses and resolve not to give any further orders, or there’ll be no end to it.

Returned unopposed, he continued to represent the county until his death, 30 Aug. 1765.1

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. Namier, Structure, 331; Buller mss at county RO, Truro; Buller mss at Antony.