James Pender (1841-1921)

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Sir James Pender was the first son of Sir John Pender. He served as M.P. for Mid-Northamptonshire between 1895 and 1900 and was created a baronet in 1897.


Bathgate Oil Co. Ltd. - Director (1883-)


SIR JAMES PENDER An excellent portrait and an interesting biography of Sir James Pender, Bart., appear "Baily's Magazine" for November. The biography deals mainly with Sir James a yachtsman. He is 67 years old, and he has been yacht racing for nearly half a century, for he owned his first yacht in 1860 when he was quartered with his regiment, the King's Own Borderers, at Athlone, and when he got some fine sport in racing on the lakes through which the Shannon flows. In Northamptonshire we know Sir James best as hunting man, a cricketer, and a politician. Of the hunting days Sir James says: "I have hunted fifty-four years, and still do in mild form in Wiltshire. best time was in the Shires when, with the Pytchley and Mr. Fernie's. I had many seasons of good sport I not ever remember such good seasons had with the Pytchley under Sir Herbert and Will Goodall.

Stolen fruit is always the sweetest, and Northamptonshire folk who have the pleasure of knowing Sir James will be able to imagine the glee with which told his interviewer of some of his early feats in boating. As a small boy he lived a great deal the banks ot the Clyde, and although he was rarely allowed to boat he alwavs took a great interest in the variety of vessels passing to and fro along that great waterway. At home on his little river, he found a salting tub, and with the help of a spade secured some capital fun in making perilous voyages, unknown to his people.

The Northampton Mercury, 30th October 1908




We regret to record the death of Sir James Pender, Bart., who passed away on Friday at 9, Curzon Street, London, in his 80th year. From 1835 to 1900 he sat in the House of Commons as Conservative member for Mid-Northants. Sir James Pender was the only son of Sir John Pender, and was educated at University College, London. From boyhood he was of a very active disposition, fond of athleticism particularly of cricket: he was an excellent bat. He entered the army on 1860 and served ten years at home and abroad with the King's Own Borderers. Two year before he retired from the Service he married Rose Mary Hopwood third daughter of Capt. Hopwood, of Hopwood, near Rochdale. In 1878 he undertook a mission to South Africa in preparation for the laying of the South African cable, which became one of the most important sections of the eastern cable system. A few years later he travelled extensively in America. On his return, Mr. Pender, as he then was, bought Thornby Hall and estate and settled down in Northamptonshire, becoming well known as a cricketer and in other ways. He was a stout Conservative and fought three elections in Mid Northants. The first was in 1892, when the Hon. C.R. Spencer (who had been returned by the constituency in 1885 and 1886) defeated Mr. Pender by a majority of 431. In 1895 Mr. Pender secured a majority over Mr. Spencer of 282–the only time the Conservatives won the Mid Division during the 33 years of his existence. He owed his victory largely to the efforts of Mrs. Pender, a political lady, who showed the qualities of courage and dash which distinguished her mother, for many years a conspicuous personality in south-east Lancashire. The Liberals of Mid Northants were surprised and disappointed by their defeat, and were resolute to regain the seat at the earliest opportunity. Mr. Spencer consented to contest the constituency again, and in the "Khaki election" of 1900, a bad time for Liberals, Mr. Pender was defeated by a majority of 794. He did not contest the Division again and not long afterwards left the county. Yachting most attracted him, and he won many trophies, including the King's Cup at Cowes, in 1902, when the schooner Meteor, owned by the German Kaiser, was one of the vessels entered. Sir James Pender's best known yacht, the Brynhild, won for him between 50 and 60 prizes. While he was member for the Mid Division he took part in the House of Commons Point-to-Point Steeplechases, and had the rare good fortune to run both first and second. His own mount was second, as he broke a stirrup bar just when victory seemed to be in his grasp. Mr. Pender's father was a Knight, and he himself was created a baronet in 1897. He was a leading cable magnate, being a director of the Globe, Telegraph, and Trust Company, and the Telegraph Construction and Maintenance Company. He was a Justice of the Peace for Northamptonshire, Wiltshire, and Linlithgow.


A memorial service for Sir James Pender, Bart., was held on Wednesday afternoon at St. James' Church, Piccadilly, London. It was conducted by Prebendary Cronshaw, the rector, and was largely attended. Among those present were representatives of the King's Own Scottish Borderers (in which regiment Sir James held a commission for some years) and of the yacht clubs and cable and telegraph companies with which he was associated.

The Northampton Mercury, 27th May 1921