HAMLYN, James (1735-1811), of Edwinsford, Carm. and Clovelly Court, Devon.

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



9 Apr. 1793 - 1802

Family and Education

b. Oct. 1735, 1st s. of Richard Hammett of Kennerland, Clovelly, Devon by Elizabeth, da. and h. of Philip Risdon. educ. L. Inn 1750. m. 11 June 1762, Arabella, da. and event. h. (1792) of Thomas Williams of Derllys and Edwinsford, Carm., 2s. 1da. suc. gt.-uncle Zachary Hamlyn of Lincoln’s Inn to Clovelly Court 1759 and took name of Hamlyn by Act of Parliament (33 Geo. II c. 15) 1760; cr. Bt. 7 July 1795.

Offices Held

Sheriff, Devon 1767-8.


By his marriage to the eventual heiress of Edwinsford, Hamlyn acquired with 10,000 acres a strong interest in Carmarthenshire, and on the elevation of George Talbot Rice to the Lords in 1793 took advantage of the vacuum to offer himself to the county. It was nearly 50 years since Edwinsford had provided the county Member, but with the assistance of John Vaughan† of Golden Grove, he was returned unopposed.1 In 1796 he met with a token opposition from Lord Dynevor’s brother-in-law, but was in no real danger. In 1802 he retired in favour of his son James Hamlyn Williams, his health not being up to a contest.2

Hamlyn made no mark in Parliament: no speech and only one minority vote (against the land tax, 9 May 1798) are known. His main activity consisted of service on local bill committees. In 1795 he obtained a baronetcy and he was thought, by his critics, to be ambitious of a peerage. A more friendly account, at the time of his first election for the county, had it that he was ‘a plain downright country gentleman totally devoid of all pride and affectation’.3 He died 28 May 1811.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne


  • 1. R. D. Rees, ‘Parl. Rep. S. Wales 1790-1830’ (Reading Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1962), ii. 372; Sir F. D. Williams Drummond, Edwinsford; D. L. Baker-Jones, Carm. Historian, v. 17.
  • 2. The Times, 25 Jan. 1802.
  • 3. Carm. RO, Cwmgwili mss 364.