EWING, James (1784-1852), of 18 Park Crescent, Regent's Park, Mdx.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1820-1832, ed. D.R. Fisher, 2009
Available from Cambridge University Press



1830 - 1831

Family and Education

b. 11 Jan. 1784, s. of ?James Ewing and w. Margaret.1 educ. Westminster 1801. m. (1) 18 Nov. 1812, Mary Ann Carige (d. 27 Oct. 1813), 1da.;2 (2) 13 Feb. 1816, Jane Morton (d. 28 Aug. 1842),3 at least 3da. (1 d.v.p.);4 (3) 23 Oct. 1843, Louisa, da. of Mungo Dick of Richmond Hill, Surr.,5 1da. d. 18 Dec. 1852.

Offices Held

Writer, E.I. Co. (Bengal) 1802; asst. to magistrate at zillah ct., Chittagong 1807; register to ct. of appeal, Dacca 1807, officiating register of city ct. 1810; register and asst. to magistrate, Bhaugulpore 1810, officiating magistrate 1812, officiating judge and magistrate 1813-14; judge and magistrate of zillah ct., Sylhet 1814; deputed to visit interior parts of Sylhet on public duty 1820; officiating judge of provincial ct., Dacca 1821; at home 1823-8; judge of diwani adalat and magistrate, Dacca 1828; officiating judge, Patna 1828; at home 1828-34, out of service 1834.


Ewing was an obscure Irishman, whose family it has not been possible to trace. He may have been the son of James Ewing of Prussia Street, Dublin, whose will was proved in 1790, or James Ewing of Templemoyle, county Londonderry, whose will was proved in 1791.6 When Ewing applied for a writership in the East India Company in April 1803, he was unable to provide proof of his date of birth, other than in a statement from his mother, then resident at Great Neston, Cheshire, but he noted that he believed himself to have been born in St. Paul’s parish, Dublin.7 Following his appointment, which was backdated to July 1802, he arrived in India in February 1804, and there held a series of minor legal offices, was twice married and evidently made a considerable fortune.8 On the death of his uncle Robert Ewing, formerly of Londonderry and York Place, Portman Square, London in December 1827, he inherited two thirds of his estate, which included personal wealth sworn under £60,000. The other third went to his sister Margaret, wife of the Rev. William Curwen, rector of Harrington, Cumberland, a younger son of John Christian Curwen, Member for Carlisle and Cumberland. His other sister, Martha, was disinherited for having contracted a clandestine marriage with one Francis Wheatley, ‘a man of the most depraved and worthless character’.9 Following a five-year spell on furlough in the mid-1820s, he returned again to England in 1828 and left the Company’s employment six years later.

At the general election of 1830 he was returned unopposed for the seat he had purchased at Wareham from its patron, John Calcraft, paymaster of the forces in the duke of Wellington’s administration.10 As ‘John Ewing’, he was listed by ministers among their ‘friends’; ‘do not know’ was written beside his name. He was absent from the division on the civil list which led to their downfall, 15 Nov. 1830, but voted against the second reading of the Grey ministry’s reform bill, 22 Mar., and for Gascoyne’s wrecking amendment, 19 Apr. 1831. He made no reported speeches in the Commons, which he left at the dissolution in 1831, when Calcraft, who had rejoined his Whig friends, made the seat available to government for a reformer. He died at Richmond, Surrey in December 1852, dividing his real and personal property between his wife and daughters.11 The sole surviving executor was his second daughter (the first with his second wife) Anna Caroline Morton, who married in 1843 Caledon Du Pré Alexander of Auberies, Essex, son of Josias Du Pré Alexander*, former Member for Old Sarum. The eldest daughter, Mary Ann, had married in 1836 her first cousin Robert Ewing Curwen, and the youngest daughter, Louisa, married in 1863 her first cousin Winthrop Mackworth Praed of Mickleham Downs, nephew and namesake of the former Member for St. Germans, Great Yarmouth and Aylesbury.

Ref Volumes: 1820-1832

Author: Stephen Farrell


Not to be confused with the Glasgow merchant and lord provost James Ewing (1775-1853), Member for Glasgow, 1832-4.

  • 1. BL OIOC J/1/19, f. 74; the ‘Robert’ mentioned as Ewing’s father in Rec. of Old Westminsters, i. 317 (using this information) was in fact his uncle. His father’s Christian name certainly began with ‘J’ (Gent. Mag. (1831), i. 365) and is presumed to have been James.
  • 2. OIOC N/1/9, ff. 34, 119.
  • 3. Ibid. N/1/10, f. 15; Gent. Mag. (1842), ii. 441.
  • 4. Margaret Eliza Ewing (OIOC N/1/10, f. 311).
  • 5. Gent. Mag. (1843), ii. 648.
  • 6. Index to Prerogative Wills of Ireland ed. Sir A. Vicars, 159; Indexes to Irish Wills ed. G. Thrift, v. 41.
  • 7. OIOC J/1/19, f. 74.
  • 8. Ibid. f. 70; H.T. Prinsep, Bengal Civil Servants, 115-16.
  • 9. Gent. Mag. (1827), ii. 646; PROB 11/1735/17; IR26/1160/30.
  • 10. Dorset Co. Chron. 5 Aug. 1830; [W. Carpenter], People’s Bk. (1831), 249.
  • 11. Gent. Mag. (1852), i. 218; PROB 11/2165/21; Cent. Kent. Stud. Scott mss U1471 T92 (NRA 20728).