Sir John Eardley-Wilmot, 2nd Baronet

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Caricature by Spy published in Vanity Fair in 1885.

Sir John Eardley Eardley-Wilmot, 2nd Baronet (16 November 1810 – 1 February 1892) was a politician and judge in the United Kingdom.

He served as Member of Parliament (MP) for South Warwickshire from 1874 to 1885.


Sir John E. Eardley-Wilmot wrote a number of works, including a work in Latin in 1829, and in 1853, an update of his father's Abridgement of Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England.[1] He also wrote, in 1860, an analytical review of Lord Brougham's Law Reforms, in which he listed "no less than forty Statutes which he has initiated and carried through Parliament, besides upwards of fifty Bills introduced by him at various periods. Great portions of the latter have formed the basis of Legislation, and have been incorporated into other Acts", with others remaining unadopted at that time.[2]

In 1855, he published A Tribute to Hydropathy,[3] in which he recounts his own experience of health improvement via hydropathy at an establishment, including typical adjuncts such as exercise, "simplicity of diet", and the application of various hydrotherapeutic techniques. He also praised Captain R. T. Claridge “for his strenuous exertions in the cause”, to which every hydropathist “owes a deep debt of gratitude”.[4] While Eardley-Wilmot's publications preceding and subsequent to this work were on the "comparatively dry subject of Law Amendment",[5] he indulged in some word-play in his preface to the fifth edition of Tribute to Hydropathy, while at the same time driving home pertinent points.

The Second Edition of this little Watery Tablet having been long out of print, I have been requested to allow a Third Edition to swim to the press. I considered at first that so fragile a memorial would have sunk, when it had no longer the fact of Hydropathy being a novelty to buoy it up, and when Stansted-Bury, the scene of the liquid discipline described, became forsaken for more commodious baths, or for more favourite resorts. But my friends remind me that sickness belongs to no certain period of time and to no particular locality.[6]

Nevertheless, his tribute to, and discussion of, hydropathy was in earnest. While acknowledging that some physicians of the day considered hydropathy to be a dangerous experiment by credulous people with a passing fad, until leaving room for "fresh fallacies, to deceive the unwary",[7] Eardley-Wilmot disagreed. He thought the underlying principles would prove sound, and that a solid foundation, simplicity of theory, and effective outcomes would outlast criticisms.

Medicine,[a] in truest acceptance of the word, is not the art of administering drugs, but the art of healing. He is the best physician as well as philosopher, who removes or assuages those evils to which the human frame is liable, with least violence done to Nature; and while he obviates the present inconvenience, endeavours, as far as lies in his power, to leave the vital powers unweakened, and undiminished by the remedies he applies.[8]

In 1859, he wrote a memoir on Thomas Assheton Smith, a famous fox hunter in the early 19th century. In 1893, the year after Sir John E. Eardley-Wilmot died, his son, William Assheton Eardley-Wilmot, who was named after the subject of the memoir, published a fifth edition of it. In the preface to the fifth edition, W.A. Eardley-Wilmot wrote: "The first edition appeared when I was a school boy at Old Charterhouse in the City, and I remember being sent to the office of the Sporting Magazine to copy out the verses on the celebrated Billesdon Coplow Run".[9]

Marriage and issue[edit]

On 17 April 1839 he married Eliza Martha Williams (1813–1887) at Leamington Priors in Warwickshire.[10] She was the daughter of Sir Robert Williams, 9th Baronet. With her, he had eight children:

  1. Selina Anne Mary Eardley-Wilmot (died 20 May 1922)
  2. William Assheton Eardley-Wilmot (16 May 1841 – 12 April 1896), succeeded to the baronetcy
  3. Revell Eardley-Wilmot (29 August 1842 – 14 June 1922), a major general in the British Army
  4. Edward Parry Eardley-Wilmot (23 December 1843 – 27 June 1898)
  5. Frederick Henry Eardley-Wilmot (3 March 1846 – 3 November 1873), lieutenant in the Royal Artillery. Killed in action during the Third Anglo-Ashanti War.
  6. Sydney Marow Eardley-Wilmot (3 October 1847 – 27 February 1929), later a rear admiral in the Royal Navy
  7. Hugh Eden Eardley-Wilmot (7 November 1850 – 10 March 1926)
  8. Emma A. E. Eardley-Wilmot (born c. 1851)

Published works as known[edit]


In 1840, when he was still known as John Wilmot, Eardley-Wilmot played in a first-class cricket match for Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) and was dismissed for nought in his only innings.[11]


a.' ^ Here Eardley-Wilmot draws on his knowledge of Latin (as also in other works), with a footnote stating: "Lat. 'Medeor,' to cure or heal".[8]


  1. ^ Eardley-Wilmot, Sir John E (1853). An Abridgement of Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England, by Sir J.E. Eardley-Wilmot. A New Edition, corrected and brought down to the present day by his son. London: Longman, Brown, Green and Longmans. Retrieved 2009-11-09.  Full text at Internet Archive (
  2. ^ Eardley-Wilmot, Sir John E (1860). Lord Brougham's Law Reforms: Comprising the Acts and Bills introduced or Carried by him through the Legislature since 1811; with an analytical review of them. London: Longman, Brown, Green, Longman and Roberts. p. v. Retrieved 2009-11-09.  Full text at Internet Archive (
  3. ^ Eardley-Wilmot, Sir John E (1855). A Tribute to Hydropathy (3rd ed.). London: Longman, Brown, Green, Longman and Roberts. Retrieved 2009-11-09.  Full text at Internet Archive (
  4. ^ Eardley-Wilmot, Sir John E. (1855), p.6
  5. ^ Eardley-Wilmot, Sir John E. (1860), p.vii
  6. ^ Eardley-Wilmot, Sir John E. (1855), pp.v-vi
  7. ^ Eardley-Wilmot, Sir John E. (1855), pp.108-109
  8. ^ a b Eardley-Wilmot, Sir John E. (1855), p.109
  9. ^ Eardley-Wilmot, Sir John E (1893) [1859]. A Famous Fox Hunter. Reminiscences of the late Thomas Assheton Smith, Esq., or The Pursuits of an English Country Gentleman (5th and cheaper ed.). London: Sampson Low, Marston & Co. p. iii. Retrieved 2009-11-09.  Full text at Internet Archive ( Preface to 5th edition by William Assheton Eardley-Wilmot, named after the memoir's subject.
  10. ^ Sir John Eardley-Wilmot, 2nd Baronet -
  11. ^ "R. Whitehead". CricketArchive. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Henry Christopher Wise and
John Hardy
Member of Parliament for South Warwickshire
With: Hugh de Grey Seymour, Earl of Yarmouth 1874–1880;
Gilbert Henry Chandos Leigh 1880–1884;
Sampson Samuel Lloyd 1884–1885
Constituency abolished
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Eardley-Wilmot
1847 – 1892
Succeeded by
William Eardley-Wilmot