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Whitelocke, Sir James

WHITELOCKE, SIR JAMES (1570-1632), English judge, son of Richard Whitelocke, a London merchant, was born on the 28th of November 1570. Educated at Merchant Taylors' School, London, and at St John's College, Oxford, he became a fellow of his college and a barrister. He was then engaged in managing the estates belonging to St John's College, Eton College and Westminster College, before he became recorder of Woodstock and member of parliament for the borough in 1610. In 1620 Whitelocke was made chief justice of the court of session of the county palatine of Chester, and was knighted; in 1624 he was appointed justice of the court of king's bench. He died at Fawley Court, near Reading, an estate which he had bought in 1616, on the 22nd of June 1632. His wife, Elizabeth, was a daughter of Edward Bulstrode of Hedgerley Bulstrode, Buckinghamshire, and his son was Bulstrode Whitelocke.

Sir James was greatly interested in antiquarian studies, and was the author of several papers which are printed in T. Hearne's Collection of Discourses (1771); his journal, or Liber famelicus, was edited by John Bruce and published by the Camden Society in 1858.

Whitelocke's elder brother, EDMUND WHITELOCKE (1565-1608), was a soldier in France and later a courtier in England. He was imprisoned because he was suspected of being concerned in the Gunpowder Plot, and although he was most probably innocent, he remained for some time in the Tower of London.

The soldier JOHN WHITELOCKE (1757-1833) was doubtless a descendant of Sir James Whitelocke. He entered the army in 1778 and served in Jamaica and in San Domingo. In 1805 he was made a lieutenant-general and inspector-general of recruiting, and in 1807 he was appointed to command an expedition sent to recover Buenos Aires from the Spaniards. An attack on the city was stubbornly resisted, and then Whitelocke concluded an arrangement with the opposing general by which he abandoned the undertaking. This proceeding was regarded with great disfavour both by the soldiers and others in South America and in England, and its author was brought before a courtmartial in 1808. On all the charges except one he was found guilty and he was dismissed from the service. He lived in retirement until his death on the 23rd of October 1833.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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