BULLER, James II (1772-1830), of Saltash, Cornw.

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



1802 - Jan. 1805
1806 - Jan. 1812

Family and Education

b. 9 Nov. 1772, 3rd s. of John Buller of Morval, and bro. of Anthony Buller*, Charles Buller* and John Buller II*. educ. Westminster 1788; I. Temple 1790, called 1795. m. 23 June 1795, Mary, da. of James Templer of Stover House, Devon, 4s.

Offices Held

Commr. of bankrupts c. 1797-1807.

Ld. of Admiralty Apr. 1807-Mar. 1812; clerk in ordinary to Privy Council Jan. 1812-d.


James Buller had a residence at Saltash, where he was a member of the corporation, and kept an eye on the family interest in the borough. He entered Parliament for the other family borough of West Looe in 1802. It seems clear that he gave a general support to administration, like other members of his family, without any known speech. When Pitt returned to power in 1804 he was at first listed ‘doubtful’, but so were many others who went on to support Pitt, including his own kinsmen. In January 1805 he vacated his seat to make way for Ralph Allen Daniell, but was returned with the latter at the 1806 election. While no minority vote against the Grenville ministry is known, he was a supporter of the succeeding ministry, whose head the Duke of Portland provided him with the place on the Admiralty Board vacated by the Duke of Newcastle, ‘for the purpose of fighting Saltash’.1 He retained this place until January 1812 without drawing attention to himself, the Whigs merely noting him as being ‘against the Opposition’ in 1810, when he voted assiduously with ministers during the Scheldt debates. He opposed sinecure reform, 17 May 1810, and parliamentary reform, 21 May, as well as criminal law reform on 1 May.

Buller left Parliament on being appointed clerk in ordinary to the Privy Council. In his office he did not impress.2 When he died, 14 Nov. 1830, Greville the diarist reported of him: ‘He was a very honourable, obliging and stupid man, and a great loss to me, for I shall hardly find a more accommodating colleague’.3

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne


  • 1. Geo. III Corresp. iv. 3425; Fremantle mss, D/FR box 46, Buckingham to Fremantle [5 Apr. 1807].
  • 2. Colchester, ii. 362. He had been calendared as clerk extraordinary since 1782.
  • 3. Greville Mems. ed. Strachey and Fulford, ii. 58.