Whalley, George Hammond (DNB00)

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WHALLEY, GEORGE HAMMOND (1813–1878), politician, born on 23 Jan. 1813, was the eldest son of James Whalley, a merchant and banker of Gloucester city, by his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Morse of Gurshill, Gloucestershire. Educated at University College, London, where he gained the first prize for rhetoric and metaphysics, he entered Gray's Inn on 20 April 1835, was called to the bar in 1839, and went the Oxford circuit. From 1836 to 1847 he acted as an assistant tithe commissioner. He possessed great knowledge of the law of tithes, and between 1838 and 1842 wrote weekly articles on tithe commutation in the ‘Justice of the Peace.’ They also appeared separately in serial form. In 1838 he published ‘The Tithe Act and the Tithe Amendment Act; with Explanatory Notes … together with the Report of the Tithe Commissioners’ (London, 8vo); and in the following year issued separately ‘The Tithe Amendment Act’ (London, 12mo). In 1848 he enlarged his treatise under the title ‘The Tithe Act and the Whole of the Tithe Amendment Acts … with a Treatise on the Recovery of Tithe Rent Charge’ (London, 12mo); and in 1879 another edition appeared which he had prepared, entitled ‘The Whole of the Tithe Acts to the Present Time’ (London, 12mo). The latest edition, revised by George Pemberton Leach, appeared in 1896 (London 8vo). Whalley unsuccessfully contested Leominster in 1845 and Montgomery in 1852; but on 6 Dec. 1852 he was returned for Peterborough in the liberal interest. In May 1853 he was unseated on petition, but was again returned on 30 April 1859 at the general election, and retained his seat until his death nineteen years later. During the famine of 1847 he established fisheries in the west of Ireland, and in his yacht explored the fishing banks off the coast, receiving for his services the thanks of the British Association. In 1853 he was appointed examiner of private bills for parliament. In 1863 he introduced a bill for ‘Abolishing Committees as a Court for Private Bill Legislation,’ and in 1865–6 another for ‘Abolishing Turnpikes in England.’ He served the office of sheriff of Carnarvonshire in 1852, and was also deputy lieutenant of Denbighshire and captain of the Denbighshire yeomanry. At the time of the Crimean war he volunteered the service of his troop, and received the thanks of the war office. Whalley was an ardent protestant, and made himself notorious by the frequency and bitterness of his denunciations of the jesuits, whom he suspected of all manner of intrigues. He warmly espoused the cause of the Tichborne claimant, and was so intemperate in his advocacy that he was committed to prison by Lord-chief-justice Cockburn for contempt of court. He died on 8 Oct. 1878 at King William's Tower, near Llangollan in Denbighshire, and was buried on 12 Oct. in the family vault at Ruabon. He married at Brighton, on 25 Jan. 1846, Anne Wakefield, eldest daughter of Richard Attree of Blackmoor, Selborne, Hampshire. By her he had a son and two daughters.

[Nicholas's Annals of Counties and County Families of Wales, 1875, i. 416; Times, 9 Oct. 1878; Law Times, 12 Oct. 1878; Wrexham Advertiser, 12 Oct. 1878; Peterborough Advertiser, 12 Oct. 1878; Llangollan Advertiser, 11 Oct. 1878; Official Return of Members of Parliament; Hansard's Parliamentary Debates.]

E. I. C.