James Clay (author)

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James Clay (20 December 1804, London – 26 December 1873, Brighton) was an English politician and a leading whist authority.[1] His son was the musical composer Frederic Clay.

Clay was MP for Kingston upon Hull from July 1847 until 1853, when he was unseated after a bribery inquiry. He regained the seat at an 1857 by-election and held it until his death.[2]

According to an obituary in the Westminster papers: a monthly journal of chess, whist, games of skill and the drama Clay had been "the acknowledged head of the Whist world" for the last thirty years before his death, spending much of his time and attention on whist and piquet. In 1863 he became chairman of a committee for settling the laws of whist.[3]


  1. ^ Culbertson, Ely, Editor (1935). The Encyclopedia of Bridge. New York: The Bridge World, Inc. p. 467.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  2. ^ M. C. Curthoys, ‘Clay, James (1804–1873)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, Oct 2006
  3. ^ "James Clay", The Westminster Papers, 6: 117f.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sir John Hanmer
Sir Walter James
Member of Parliament for Kingston upon Hull
1847 – 1853
With: Matthew Talbot Baines to 1832
Viscount Goderich from 1852
Title next held by
William Henry Watson
William Digby Seymour
Preceded by
William Henry Watson
William Digby Seymour
Member of Parliament for Kingston upon Hull
With: William Digby Seymour
Lord Ashley 1857–1859
Joseph Hoare 1859
Joseph Somes 1859–1865
Charles Morgan Norwood from 1865
Succeeded by
Charles Morgan Norwood
Joseph Walker Pease