Wilmot, John Eardley Eardley- (DNB00)

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WILMOT, Sir JOHN EARDLEY EARDLEY- (1810–1892), baronet, barrister and politician, born on 16 Nov. 1810, was eldest son of Sir John Eardley Eardley-Wilmot, first baronet, and grandson of John Eardley-Wilmot [q. v.] He was educated at Winchester, where he received the gold medal in 1828, and at Balliol College, Oxford, where he matriculated on 22 March 1828, and obtained a scholarship. He gained the chancellor's gold medal for Latin verse in 1829, graduating B.A. in 1831. On 19 May 1830 he became a student at Lincoln's Inn, and he was called to the bar on 28 Jan. 1842; he joined the midland circuit and Warwick, Coventry, and Birmingham sessions. From 1852 until 1874, when he resigned the post, he was recorder of Warwick, and he was judge of the county court at Bristol from January 1854 to 1863, and subsequently from 1863 to 1871 of the Marylebone district in London. He represented South Warwickshire in parliament in the conservative interest from 1874 to 1885, where he introduced bills in 1875 and 1876 to amend the criminal law by differentiating two classes of murder, and to further extend the jurisdiction of county courts.

Wilmot was never a very successful advocate, though a practised speaker. He took great interest in the question of local government for Ireland, advocating the development of Irish industries and the establishment of a royal residence in Ireland, and acting as chairman of a harbour board in Ireland. His persevering efforts procured the release of Edmund Galley, who had been wrongly convicted of murder and sentenced to penal servitude for life. Wilmot died at his residence in Thurloe Square, London, on 1 Feb. 1892. He married, on 27 April 1839, Eliza Martha, fifth daughter of Sir Robert Williams, ninth baronet. She died on 23 Oct. 1887, and had issue six sons and two daughters. He was succeeded in the title by his eldest son, William Assheton Eardley Wilmot, of the Northumberland Fusiliers, who was born in 1841, married in 1876 Mary, third daughter of David Watts Russell of Biggin, Northamptonshire, and died in 1896.

Wilmot was author of: 1. ‘A Digest of the Law of Burglary,’ London, 1851, 12mo. 2. ‘Lord Brougham's Acts and Bills from 1811 to the present time, now first collected and arranged, with an Analytical Review, showing their results upon the Amendment of the Law,’ London, 1857, 8vo. 3. ‘Reminiscences of the late Thomas Assheton Smith,’ London, 1860, 8vo; 5th edit. 1893. 4. ‘A Safe and Constitutional Plan of Parliamentary Reform,’ London, 1865, 8vo. He also edited his father's ‘Abridgment of Blackstone's Commentaries,’ London, 1853, 8vo; 1855, 12mo. He frequently contributed letters to the ‘Times’ and other newspapers on the legal and political subjects in which he was interested, besides writing and publishing various pamphlets.

[Times, 2 and 3 Feb. 1892; Law Times, 6 Feb. 1892; Law Journal, 6 Feb. 1892; Debrett's House of Commons and Judicial Bench; Burke's Peerage; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1715–1886; Foster's Men at the Bar; Official Returns of Members of Parliament; private information.]

R. J. S.