Baron Northbourne

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Baron Northbourne, of Betteshanger in the County of Kent, is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom.[1] It was created in 1884 for Sir Walter James, 2nd Baronet, who had earlier represented Hull in the House of Commons as a Conservative. His son, the second Baron, sat as a Liberal Member of Parliament for Gateshead. As of 2010 the titles are held by the latter's great-grandson, the fifth Baron, who succeeded his father in 1982. Lord Northbourne is one of the ninety elected hereditary peers that were allowed to remain in the House of Lords after the passing of the House of Lords Act 1999, and sits as a cross-bencher. The James Baronetcy, of Langley Hall, in the County of Berkshire, was created in the Baronetage of Great Britain in 1791[2] for the first Baron's grandfather Sir Walter James, the last Warden of the Mint. Born Walter James Head, he assumed by Act of Parliament the surname of James only in 1778. His son and heir John James notably served as Minister Plenipotentiary to the Netherlands. The latter was the father of the second Baronet, who was raised to the peerage in 1884.

The Hon. Cuthbert James, second son of the second Baron, represented Bromley in the House of Commons as a Conservative between 1919 and 1930.

Baronets of Langley Hall (1791)

Barons Northbourne (1884)

  • The heir apparent is the present holder's eldest son the Hon. Charles Walter Henry James (born 1960).


  1. The London Gazette: no. 25411. p. 4753. 4 November 1884.
  2. The London Gazette: no. 13318. p. 363. 21 June 1791.
  3. Paull, John (2014) Lord Northbourne, the man who invented organic farming, a biography Journal of Organic Systems, 9 (1), pp. 31-53.