James Wildman of Chilham Castle

20th Mar 1747 - 23rd Mar 1816


Son of Edward Wildman of Scambler House, Lancashire, and Elizabeth nee Baggott. Brother of Thomas (1740-1795) and Henry (1733-1816), both of whom q.v. James Wildman went to Jamaica in 1782 where he acted as the agent and attorney of William Thomas Beckford (q.v.), for whom James Wildman's brother Thomas, a London lawyer, had been appointed guardian in 1770. In Jamaica James Wildman married Joanna Harper and came into ownership of real estate and slaves previously owned by her father, Thomas Harpur, before returning to England in 1794 possessed of sufficient wealth to purchase Chilham Castle, Kent from Thomas Heron.

MP for Hindon 1796-1802, following the death of his brother Thomas, the previous MP, in 1795. His son James Beckford Wildman (q.v.) inherited Chilham Castle and his father's plantations in Jamaica.

See his entry in History of Parliament online and LBS entry for his niece Frances Wildman for more information on the Wildman family.


History of Parliament online, http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1790-1820/member/wildman-james-1747-1816 [accessed 26/09/2014].

Wildman family profile in Twickenham museum: Thomas Wildman

Note of Marriage to Joanna Harper (though the entry says "Harpur") given in Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette 21/08/1777.

Information on the inheritance of land from Thomas Harpur is contained in item PCAP 6/2/23, National Archives: "Printed Appeal to an Appeals Committee of the Privy Council from JAMAICA [Caribbean]. Appellants: James Wildman esq and Joanna his wife, formerly Joanna Harpur. Respondents: William Jackson esq in right of his wife Joan Harpur . . ."

We are grateful to William Norton and Jim Brennan for their help compiling this entry.

Further Information

Joanna Harper
James Beckford Wildman
A will but no further details
Politician and plantation owner

Associated Estates (7)

The dates listed below have different categories as denoted by the letters in the brackets following each date. Here is a key to explain those letter codes:

  • SD - Association Start Date
  • SY - Association Start Year
  • EA - Earliest Known Association
  • ED - Association End Date
  • EY - Association End Year
  • LA - Latest Known Association
1788 [EA] - 1791 [LA] → Receiver

Shown simply as in possession in all but one year, when he was shown as Receiver

1798 [EA] - 1798 [LA] → Attorney
1795 [EA] - 1797 [LA] → Owner
1796 [EA] - 1816 [LA] → Owner

Although the Accounts Produce show 'heirs of James Wildman' for 1796, this appears to be erroneous.

1809 [EA] - → Other
1809 [EA] - 1816 [EY] → Owner
1809 [EA] - 1815 [LA] → Owner

Legacies Summary

Political (1)

West India interest 
election →
Hindon Wiltshire
1796 - 1802

Relationships (7)

Business associates
Notes →
James Wildman appointed overseer of Beckford's Jamaican properties in 1782. Subsequently on council administering William Beckford of Fonthill's...
Father → Son
Uncle → Nephew
Uncle → Niece
Nephew → Uncle

Addresses (1)

Chilham Castle, Canterbury, Kent, South-east England, England