TOWNSHEND, Lord James Nugent Bernardo Boyle (1785-1842), of Yarrow House, Bintree, Norf.

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



1818 - 1832
1835 - 1837

Family and Education

b. 11 Sept. 1785, 6th s. of George Townshend, 1st Mq. Townshend, being 2nd s. by 2nd w. Anne, da. and coh. of Sir William Montgomery, 1st Bt., MP [I], of Magbie Hill, Peebles; half-bro. of Lord Charles Patrick Townshend* and Lord John Townshend*. educ. Eton 1796; Harrow 1797-9. m. 8 May 1813, Elizabeth, da. of P. Wallis, government cooper, of Halifax, N.S., s.p. KCH 1835.

Offices Held

Entered RN as midshipman; lt. 1806, cdr. 1806, post-capt. 1809, ret. 1840.

Maj. commdt. Norf. rangers 1822; capt. Norf. yeoman cav. 1831.


Townshend joined the navy and saw action off Saint Domingo in 1806. Later that year William Windham* who had fallen out with his mother, Anne Marchioness Townshend, over Norfolk politics, tried to placate her by offering to secure her son’s return for Great Yarmouth, at an anticipated by-election, after his candidature there at the general election in October had been frustrated. Nothing came of this, but Lady Townshend, thanking Thomas Grenville at the Admiralty for securing naval promotion for her son (14 Nov. 1806), said that it ‘made full amends for all the disappointments etc about Yarmouth’.1 Townshend continued his naval career, commanding the Halifax (1807) and the Aeolus. He captured six American merchantmen during the war of 1813.

It was not until 1818 that he entered Parliament after a contest at Helston, on the interest of his brother-in-law the Duke of Leeds. He made no known speech in his first Parliament. He voted with government against Tierney’s censure motion, 18 May 1819, after taking six weeks’ leave of absence. Subsequently described as a Whig,2 he died 28 June 1842.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne


  • 1. Arundel Castle mss, Lady Townshend to Hoste, 24 Oct. 1806; Add. 37885, f. 19; 41856, f. 277.
  • 2. Gent. Mag. (1842), ii. 423.