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Created July 1995, last modified 6 October 2018

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Wilmots in History

There is a painting of John Wilmot, the 2nd Earl of Rochester, hanging in the National Portrait Gallery in London. Thanks to Warren Lanning for sending a photo of the painting and its caption. (5 September 2018)

You might be interested in reading about Royal Wilmot and the garden founded in his name: University of Florida Wilmot Gardens When I was a child I lived on the same street as Dr.Wilmot, and played neighborhood football once with his son. (johnkrienke@me.com, 5 February 2017)

James Wilmot was a Baptist Minister in Hook Norton, Oxfordshire, England
who was imprisoned in 1664 for preaching: www.hook-norton- baptist-church.org.uk
(Jane Vale, janevale@btinternet.com, 18 July 2014)

Mr. John R. Wilmot, gored to death by a bull in 1974 in South Africa. Sent in by Wendy Iverson, 18 January 2014.

Searching for the identity of a D. Wilmot, artist from 1871

I am not a Wilmot but have recently bought a superb drawing by a one D. Wilmot, dated 28 July 1871. It is a charcoal and graphite drawing of a classical greek bust- male warrior/king. It looks like it could be a presentation piece done by students at the Royal Academy in London. However, I can find no reference to a D. Wilmot as an artist, which is surprising as the quality of this piece is very high. Is there an artist in your family by this name?

Plas Wilmot is the house in Oswestry, England where the poet Wilfred Owen was born. (Naomi Tinsley, 18 November 2009)

Johnny Wilmot
Johnny Wilmot was a Cape Breton fiddler who lived in Nova Scotia. More information can be found on the Wilmot Genealogy page. (15 November 2006)

Wilmot China
I´ve inherited some China which is made in England 1846. Underneath the signs etc. it says WILMOT. We´ve been looking for a maker of this china or a fabric but we can´t find any. Have you heard about white and blue china called WILMOT. Regards from Sweden. Best to mail to: chrisbe@alfa.telenordia.se (29 July 2003)

Lord Wilmot
I came across this link, and have since found others, that document a Lord Wilmot who assisted King Charles II in escaping England and Cromwell's forces.  Thus, a Wilmot has played a key role not only in the American Civil War, but also the British Civil War.  A pretty dangerous clan indeed!
(Steve Wilmot, 14 March 2003)

G'day! Thought that I would expand upon the entry in Wilmot History
Chester Wilmot was an Australian War correspondent during the Second World War.
His book "The Struggle for Europe" was considered a definitive account of the conduct of the War.
Chester also wrote an account of the "Tobruk" siege detailing the resistance put up by the Australian Imperial Force to Rommel and the Afrika Corps.
Peter Wilmot. 15 July 2002

Lady Eardley Wilmot is the photographer [1901-1910, ca.] who illustrated Laurence Hope's Songs from the Garden of Karma with images mainly of Indian landscapes, and Arnold's Light of Asia similarly. She well deserves to be looked at and remembered.
I think she was married to Sir Sainthill Eardley-Wilmot, born and trained as a forester in Tasmania, who served in the ICS and in the course of an excellent career became something like Inspector/Director of Forests for India; certainly this would have explained the breadth of Lady E-W's travels to gather photographs.
Am I right? Can anyone inform me?
Thanks in anticipation,
Dr Philip Stokes
Hon Research Fellow
The Nottingham Trent University
(Dr Philip Stokes, 25 January 2003)

The Wilmot Gun Company

We have received several letters with information or inquiries into the Wilmot Gun Company. All we know about it is what you send us, so if you have information, pictures, etc., please feel free to send our way. Here's what I have so far...

Wilmot Carved Dbl. Shotgun
I have the exact gun referred to in June 9 of 2006 by Ray Gessler (below). Absolutely beautiful, elk carved stock, dbl barreled, fully engraved metal body of damascus steel. Can anyone possibly give me a value. A family heirloom from my grandfather from Sicily. (Dartanion Combs, dartanion.combs@worldnet.att.net, 4 December 2006)

I have an old double-barrelled shotgun, inscribed "Wilmot Gun Co.'" on each side near the trigger guard, and "Belgium Royal Damascus" on top between the barrells, and "choke bored" on one of the barrells. The hammers are on the outside. It has a fancy carved stock and hand hold. The stock carving is of the head of a deer or elk. It is a beautiful piece to look at, but unfortunately, it is not in working order. Also, the stock was broken at some point and has been rather crudely repaired. If anyone is interested in this old piece, contact me at rgessler@shaw.ca (Ray Gessler, 9 June 2006)

Sir, I and several other people I have come to know own very old (150+ year) firearms with the legend "Wilmot Gun Company" roll marked into the barrel. As I can only find one community in the northeast by the name of Wilmot, I am hoping there is a connection.

What, if anything, can you tell me about the Wilmot Gun company?

Thank you.
(Paul Voelker, Anaheim, CA. A "New England Yankee" by birth, 6 May 2002)

I have a Flobert boys rifle, acquired by my G.G. Grandfather sometime between1857 and 1862 with the following marking stamped into the barrel: "Wilmot Gun Company" (Paul Voelker, Anaheim, Ca. 6/25/2000)

Im not a Wilmot,But I do have a old .22 rifle  that is marked Wilmot gun company.Thats all no city where made.Do you know any Wilmots that had a gun co? Im trying to resarch the gun. Thanks ( Nancy 18 February 2002)

Dear Sir: I have an old percussion doublebarrel 12 gauge shotgun. On the one side is the word wilmot, and on top is written London fine twist. On the rear of the stock is a small plate with 1856 printed in it. I see in your web page that the Wilmots were gunsmiths, was this in England, and can you give me some history of their guns or who I might talk to about this gun. Any help you can give me I would be thakful for. (Larry Pitcher 28 November 2001)

Wilmot person. I'm curious if you know anything of the "Wilmot Gun Co.".
I have studied a gun which is marked Wilmot Gun Company and it is a most unusual piece. It was built in Belgium circa 1875-1885 for market hunting of waterfowl in this country. It's a double-barreled 8-gauge shotgun and is really quite a rare gun.
In practice, it is likely the owner of this gun would sit in a blind on or near a body of water or conceal himself in a small flat boat. He would then wait for a flock of ducks to settle on the water (if concealed in a blind) or would drift or paddle himself into the midst of a flock if he were in a boat. Then he would shoot at the ducks on the water with the first barrel and fire into the rising flock with the second barrel.
The objective, of course, was to put down as many ducks with one shot as possible. Ammunition was an overhead expense. He would then sell the cleaned ducks to restaurants or private homes.
At any rate, I believe the Wilmot in this case to be an importer rather than the building of the gun, but am not positive of that. I have seen reference to a "Wilmot gun" listed in an old Sears catalog, but I have not seen the catalog myself.
At any rate, thought you might be interested in knowing of this piece marked "Wilmot Gun Co." and that there might be an outside chance you would know something of that operation yourself.
If you do, would love to hear about it.
Mick Scheib  utopiard@netins.net 29 April 2001

Other sources of information:

If you search for "Wilmot" at http://www.gabelguns.com/QuestionsAndAnswers/Search.asp, you should find some information on the Wilmot Gun Company. The information there is copyrighted, so I cannot copy it here, but there seems to be more evidence for the guns being manufactured in Belgium. (n.b. Don't forget to try "wilmont"...a lot of people add that extra 'n'. It's also possible that there were both "Wilmot" and "Wilmont" guns made.).

The website oldguns.net has the following entry on the Wilmot Gun Company:

3/6/99 Where can I get information on the general value of old shotguns. My wife was given an old shotgun by her mother. Wilmot Gun Company, open hammer double Damascus barrel, silver inlays.

Wilmot shotguns were listed on page 672 of the 1907 Sears Roebuck catalog for $12.35. As with most "house brand" shotguns of that period there is little collector interest and values run in the $50-150 range mainly as wall hangers. They should not be shot with modern ammunition. Colt Single Action Army revolvers were selling for about the same amount then, and now run in the $1000-2000 range. Looks like Grandma bet on the wrong horse! John Spangler

Hi….Although not a Wilmot, in my youth I heard the name mentioned quite often by my grandparents. They owned a home in very rural British Columbia that had been built by a Wilmot somewhere between 1911-1916. What made it remarkable was that the home was the inspiration for what was quite a famous song in the first half of the 20th century: “My Little Grey Home in the West”. It was co-written by an Eardley-Wilmot, who I believe was the builder and original owner of the house, a beautiful mansion overlooking picturesque KootenayLake.
(Conrad Nay, 12/30/02)

Capt. William Wilmot was the last person killed in the Revolutionary War, 14 Nov 1782. He had another Brother Lt. Robert Wilmot. He was an artillary officer in the same war. After the war he was awarded 2000 + acres for his service to our country. (Dan Cornia, 5/9/2000. See the Genealogy section for information on Dan's relationship to William Wilmot)

I have a very old hymnal with a song entitled "Wilmot". (Ruth Wilmot Light, 4/12/2000)

Mark Wilmot writes: I believe that the name wilmot comes from Norman England. William was the second most common name (after John). As a pet name some williams were called william "the helmet",which was then taken as a surname eventually being shortened to wilmot. (Mark Wilmot 11/2/99)

Robert Wilmot, 1568-1608, was the author of "The Tragedie of Tancred and Gismund", a play based on Boccaccio and is the oldest English play of which the plot was taken from an Italian novel. Robert was the rector of North Ockendon in 1582 and of Horndon-on-the-Hill in 1585.

John Wilmot (1647-1680), was the Earl of Rochester. An English poet and courtier in the reign of Charles II.

David Wilmot wrote the Wilmot Proviso.

WILMOT, David, (1814 - 1868)

Senate Years of Service: 1861-1863 Party: Republican

WILMOT, David, a Representative and a Senator from Pennsylvania; born in Bethany, Pa., January 20, 1814; completed preparatory studies in the academy at Aurora, N.Y.; studied law; admitted to the bar of Bradford County, Pa., in 1834 and commenced practice in Towanda, Bradford County, Pa.; elected as a Democrat to the Twenty-ninth, Thirtieth, and Thirty-first Congresses (March 4, 1845-March 3, 1851); was not a candidate for renomination in 1850; was the author of the 'Wilmot Proviso' relative to slavery in newly annexed territory; took a leading part in the founding of the Republican Party in 1854; presiding judge of the thirteenth judicial district 1851-1861; unsuccessful Republican candidate for governor of Pennsylvania in 1857; elected as a Republican to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Simon Cameron and served from March 14, 1861, to March 3, 1863; was not a candidate for reelection in 1862; member of the peace convention of 1861, held in Washington, D.C., in an effort to devise means to prevent the impending war; appointed by President Abraham Lincoln a judge of the United States Court of Claims in 1863 and served until his death in Towanda, Pa., March 16, 1868; interment in Riverside Cemetery.


Dictionary of American Biography; Duff, James H. "David Wilmot, the Statesman and Political Leader." Pennsylvania History 13 (October 1946): 283-89; Going, Charles. David Wilmot, Free-Soiler: A Biography of the Great Advocate of the Wilmot Proviso. 1924. Reprint. Gloucester, Mass.: P. Smith, 1966.

(Provided by ThomaWi@cs.com 25 August 2006)

The Wilmot Proviso called for the exclusion of slavery from any territory acquired from Mexico, and is credited with leading to the secession of the South, thus starting the US Civil War. The Wilmot Proviso is also considered one of the causes of the Republican Party.

David Wilmot and Nick Bardoni both sent me information about their grandfather Charles Mandeville Wilmot (1904-1981). Charles apparently build the first model aircraft that actually flew! He founded a company called FROG (an acronym: First Rise Off Ground). He later sold this company to Lines Brothers, who eventually became Jetex and, later, Airfix (he was also involved with Wilmot Packaging Ltd, ConCargo and the Bouncing Bomb fame). Charles was a Gloucester man (two of his uncles, both Townends, played for Gloucestershire County Cricket Club). He was a scratch golfer and captain of his Club, Lyndhurst, in Hampshire. He was always certain he was a descendant of Rochester's (but, then, so do all Wilmots - maybe we all are...). (8/13/99)

Update: Peter van Lune has a great website called www.frogpenguin.com, which is dedicated to the worlds oldest range of plastic model kits, made by FROG.
(Peter van Lune, The Netherlands, 2004 June 16)

There is a book called "Struggle for Europe" written by someone named Wilmot. It's Dewey Decimal catalog number is 940.53. The existence of that book was the impetus for this website and my "obsession" with Wilmot, as before that I thought that the name "Wilmot" only applied to a humble little stuffed animal. I was in high school when I saw the book and started collecting references to Wilmot.

Wilmot was the name of the three principal characters in Lillo's "The Fatal Curiosity"

The Encyclopedia Britannica (15th Edition, copyright 1975) lists four references to Wilmot. They are "Frank Leslie Thompson Wilmot", "John Wilmot, 2nd earl of Rochester", "Wilmot Proviso", and "Wilmot River".

Bob Wilmot points out that Ghana's Ambassador to the United Nations and Chairman of the Executive Board of the UN Development Programme is Jack Wilmot. (8/4/99)

Wilmot Castle Company

Wilmot coffee grinder Rochester, NY
Good morning: There was a man by the last name of Darling who worked for Wilmot Castle. He had a patent on a coffee grinder which he sold to Wilmot Castle. I believe that I have the prototype of this grinder. It was probably made around 1920. The coffee grinder they made was similar but not the same. I am looking for information and patent drawings on the original grinder. I believe I have the only one in existence. I would appreciate any information you might have on this subject. Sincerely Herbert J. Conklin (stonedg@rochester.rr.com, 12 February 2007)

Wilmot copper sterilizer
I am trying to find some information on an antique copper sterilizer made my Wilmot Castle Co. around 1940. The peice is about 3' x 2' square in mint condition super shiny copper. Are there any old Wilmots that might know about old Wilmot Castle Co. products? I have searched all over and even antique medical apprasors are baffled. Any information about this unique peice would be appreciated. Brad Eversull (12 June 2006)

Wilmot Castle general information
Judy Lazar of Newark, CA reports: Founded in 1883, Wilmot Castle Co., of Rochester, NY, manufactures laboratory, medical, dental and hospital equipment, including various types of sterilizers, operating tables, and surgical and dental lights. Castle was a subsidiary of Sybron Corporation (formerly Ritter Pfaudler Corporation) and is now a division of a medical equipment corporation called MDT. No, I never worked for Mr. Wilmot Castle. But I'm aware of the company through being a medical, dental and podiatry patient, a veterinary client, a former bench microbiologist, and a reader of SCIENCE magazine in the 1960's and '70's, when Castle was one of their advertisers. (Their slogan was "Big ideas take great new shapes at Castle".) One of my students in undergraduate microbiology lab at the University of Colorado in the early '70's told me he had a buddy from Rochester who was a descendant of old Wilmot C. I've always liked the name Wilmot. As a student at the University of Colorado, I owned a four-foot, black and white mottled stuffed snake, purchased in the student union bookstore in the fall of my freshman year, whom I named Wilmot, in honor of Mr. Castle.I kept Wilmot until I finished my Ph.D. at Colorado, when I passed him on to my thesis advisor's kids. Happy Wilmotting! (9/18/97)

Mark Ynys-Mon has taken the time to type in some of the poems of John Wilmot the Earl of Rochester. Warning! This stuff is pretty explicit, both for the 17th century and the 20th! (7/15/96, link updated 4/4/99)

The real name of noted Australian poet Furnley Maurice (1881-1942) was Frank Leslie Thompson Wilmot. I wonder why he thought "Furnley" was better than "Wilmot"? (Art Lassagne 5/28/96)