HULKES, James (1770-1821), of Rochester, Kent.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1802 - 1806

Family and Education

b. 1770, s. of Alderman Thomas Hulkes, brewer, of Strood (d.1805). educ. Rochester. m. Penelope.

Offices Held

Mayor, Rochester 1797.


The Hulkes family were prominent members of the corporation at Rochester, where their business interests included mills at Strood, brewing and banking. James Hulkes was a second generation partner in the bank of Day, Hulkes, Tray, Sabb and Gilman of Rochester. In 1802 he stood for Parliament and was placed second on the poll, after starting late, but with the advantage of being ‘the schoolfellow of almost every man in the town and much beloved by them all personally’.1

Hulkes, who took a month’s leave from the House for health reasons on 28 Feb. 1803, did not apparently oppose Addington’s administration until its last month, when he appeared in the minorities of 12, 23 and 25 Apr. 1804. He was listed ‘Fox’ in May and ‘Fox and Grenville’ by the Treasury in September 1804, voting against Pitt’s additional force bill in June and for its repeal on 6 Mar. 1805. He also voted against hostilities with Spain, 12 Feb. 1805, and in both majorities against Melville, 8 Apr. and 12 June. He was listed ‘Opposition’ in July. No speech of his is known. He refused to seek reelection in 1806 but remained active behind the scenes at Rochester elections, considered as a leader of the independent interest among resident freemen.2 He died 29 Jan. 1821, administration of effects valued at £10,000 being granted to his widow.3

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Authors: P. A. Symonds / R. G. Thorne


  • 1. F. F. Smith, Rochester in Parl. 148; H. Smetham, Strood, 341, 343; Sidmouth mss, Smith to Addington, 29 May 1802.
  • 2. Oldfield, Rep. Hist. iv. 67.
  • 3. PCC admon. act bk. 1821.