James Parkinson (1730–1813)

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Not to be confused with the famous physician James Parkinson.

James Parkinson (baptised 28 February 1730, St Mary's Church, Shrewsbury – 1813) was an English land agent and museum proprietor.


He was the son of James Parkinson and his wife, Jane Birch. His first training was as a law stationer, but he then became a land agent and accountant. In 1769 he helped in the settlement of Sir Thomas Robinson's tangled estates at Rokeby, Yorkshire. This success made his reputation. He later became involved in the Ranelagh Gardens.

On 23 March 1786, Parkinson won the lottery for the disposal of the Holophusicon collection of Sir Ashton Lever. The formation of the collection had bankrupted Lever. Parkinson spent nearly two decades trying to make a success of its display, at the Blackfriars Rotunda. In the end he put it up for auction in 1806, and the collection was dispersed.