James Craggs the Elder


James Craggs the Elder

James Craggs the Elder (bap. 10 June 1657 – 16 March 1721), was an English politician and the father of James Craggs the Younger.

A son of Anthony Craggs of Holbeck, Durham, he was baptized on 10 June 1657. After following various callings in London, Craggs, who was a person of considerable financial ability, entered the service of the Duchess of Marlborough, and through her influence became in 1702 member of parliament for Grampound, retaining his seat until 1713. He was in business as an army clothier and held several official positions, becoming joint Postmaster-General in 1715; and, making the most of his opportunities in all these capacities, he amassed a great deal of money. Craggs also increased his wealth by mixing in the affairs of the South Sea Company, but after his death an act of parliament confiscated all the property which he had acquired since December 1719. He left an enormous fortune when he died in disgrace for his involvement in the South Sea Bubble, a month after the death of his son. It is possible that Craggs the elder committed suicide.

His wife was Elizabeth Richards, daughter of Jacob Richards. Their children included James Craggs the Younger, and Anne Craggs, wife of Robert Nugent, 1st Earl Nugent.


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