James Milnes Gaskell

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James Milnes Gaskell (19 October 1810 – 5 February 1873) was a British Conservative politician.

James Milnes-Gaskell was the only child of Benjamin Gaskell (1781–1856) of Thornes House, Wakefield, West Yorkshire and Clifton Hall, Lancashire. He was born on 19 October 1810 and was educated at Eton College and Christ Church, Oxford. His political interest may have been influenced by meeting lifelong friend William Ewart Gladstone as a school contemporary, and receiving visits during term from George Canning.[1] An uncle, Daniel Gaskell, also entered Parliament as first M.P. for Wakefield in 1832, at same general election as James.[2]

It was at Gaskell's then home in Tilney Street, London, in 1834, that Gladstone met his future wife, Catherine Glynne.[1]

He was M.P. for Wenlock in Shropshire from 1832 until retiring in 1868. He served as a Lord of the Treasury from 1841 to 11 March 1846 under Sir Robert Peel's administration.

In 1832 he married Mary Wynn, daughter of the Rt Hon. Charles Williams-Wynn, (also a Member of Parliament) and they had two sons and two daughters. One son, Charles Milnes Gaskell, also became a Member of Parliament, as a Liberal.

It was from his wife's cousin, Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn, that Gaskell bought in 1857 the site of Wenlock Priory, whose ruins he restored and whose Prior's Lodge he made into a family home.[1][3]

He died at 28 Norfolk Street, Park Lane, London on 5 February 1873, aged sixty-two, and was buried in the parish churchyard at Much Wenlock.[4]


  1. ^ a b c Weyman, Henry T. (1902). "Members of Parliament for Wenlock". Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological Society, Third Series, Volume II. pp. 353–354.
  2. ^ Burke's Landed Gentry, 1937. Burke's Peerage Ltd. p. 869.
  3. ^ Gamble, Cynthia (2015). Wenlock Abbey 1857-1919: A Shropshire Country House and the Milnes Gaskell Family. Ellingham Press. ISBN 978-0993007316.
  4. ^ "Death of J. Milnes Gaskell, Esq". Shrewsbury Chronicle. 14 February 1873. p. 6.
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Wenlock
With: George Weld-Forester
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Junior Lord of the Treasury
Succeeded by