WILDMAN, James (1747-1816), of Chilham Castle, Kent.

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



12 Feb. 1796 - 1802

Family and Education

b. 20 Mar. 1747, 6th s. of Edward Wildman of Scambler House, Melling, nr. Ormskirk, Lancs. by Elizabeth née Baggott; bro. of Thomas Wildman*. m. 1787, Joanna, da. of J. Harper of Jamaica, 3s. 5da.

Offices Held

Sheriff, Kent 1814-15.

Capt. E. Kent vol. inf. 1803, 1 E. Kent militia 1811.


Wildman became manager of the Jamaican estates of William Beckford*, a wealthy client of his brother Thomas’s, in 1782. In 1794 he purchased the Chilham Castle estate. In 1796 he succeeded his brother as Beckford’s nominee for Hindon in Parliament. As expected by Beckford, he voted against the abolition of the slave trade, 15 Mar. 1796. He supported Pitt’s administration silently, voting for the assessed taxes, 4 Jan. 1798. On 14 Dec. 1801 he was in the minority favouring the renewal of the ban on distillation from grain.

By 1802 relations between Beckford and the Wildman brothers were severed, they having presented him with a bill for £86,000 for their services and taking his Esher plantation in Jamaica in lieu of payment. Wildman made no attempt to return to Parliament. He died 23 Mar. 1816.

Information from G. S. Brown; Morrison Coll. Nelson and Hamilton Pprs. ii. 192; Gent. Mag. (1816), i. 375.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: M. H. Port