WALWYN, James (1744-1800), of Longworth, Herefs.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer



11 Apr. 1785 - 2 Oct. 1800

Family and Education

b. 4 Oct. 1744, o.s. of Richard Walwyn of Dorchester by Mary, da. of Rev. William Floyer of Whitbourne. educ. Magdalen, Oxf. 1762. m. 3 Feb. 1767, Sarah, da. of Thomas Phillipps of Lower Eaton, sis. of Robert Phillipps, 2s. 1da. suc. fa. 1750; gdfa. 1766.

Offices Held

Sheriff, Herefs. 1784-5.


Walwyn had joined the Whig Club a week before his election for Hereford. Abetted by the 11th Duke of Norfolk, he retained the seat for life. He voted against Pitt’s Russian policy on 12 Apr. 1791 and 1 Mar. 1792, and was listed a supporter of repeal of the Test Act in Scotland in April 1791. His name was queried on a list of Portland Whigs in December 1792 and, though invited, he did not attend Windham’s ‘third party’ meetings on 10 and 17 Feb. 1793. It would appear that he meant to associate with them and withdraw from the Whig Club, but ‘perhaps I may not ... immediately’, he informed Sir Gilbert Elliot on 1 Mar. 1793.1 In that year he became senior partner in the reputable London bank of Walwyn & Co. which in the next few years participated in the public loan consortium. He resumed voting with Fox on 21 Jan. 1794 and from then until 24 Mar. 1795 voted steadily for peace negotiations, against the conduct of the war and against repression at home. He was a defaulter on 24 Nov. 1795 and his only surviving vote for the rest of that Parliament was for Grey’s motion in favour of negotiations, 15 Feb. His only known speech was on the innkeepers’ petition against their losses from billeting, 23 Jan. 1795.

Walwyn voted steadily with the Whigs until 3 Mar. 1797 in the first session of his last Parliament and subsequently on the naval mutiny, 10 May; for parliamentary reform, 26 May; against the triple tax assessment, 14 Dec. 1797 and 4 Jan. 1798; on the plight of Ireland, 22 June 1798, and against the refusal to negotiate with Buonaparte, 3 Feb. 1800. ‘No variation in times or circumstances’, he had assured his constituents in 1796, ‘shall ever induce me to swerve one moment from those constitutional and independent principles, which have ever directed my political conduct.’2 He died 2 Oct. 1800. ‘The death of his only daughter [the wife of John Scudamore II*] a short time since, of whom he was dotingly fond, hastened his own dissolution. His large fortune goes to his elder son Captain [James] Walwyn.’3

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: E. A. Smith


  • 1. NLS mss 11196, f. 105.
  • 2. Glocester Jnl. 16 May 1796.
  • 3. Gent. Mag. (1800), ii. 1009.