Cornwallis, James an English prelate, was born in 1743. He received the early part of his education at Eton, whence he removed to Merton College, of which he became a fellow. He was appointed chaplain to the marquis of Townshend, when that nobleman was lordlieutenant of Ireland, and on his return therefrom was made a prebendary of Westminster in 1770, and presented to the valuable rectories of Wrotham, in Kent, and of Newington, in Oxfordshire. In 1775 he was installed dean of Canterbury, and in 1781 consecrated bishop of Lichfield and Coventry. In 1791 he succeeded to the deanery of Windsor and Wolverhampton, which, in 1794, he exchanged for that of Durham. On the death of his nephew, marquis Cornwallis, without male issue, Aug. 16, 1823, the dignities of earl Cornwallis and viscount Brome devolved upon him. He died in 1824. He published Sermons (1777, 1782, 1811). See The (Lond.) Annual Register, 1824, 2:205; Allibone, Dict. of Brit. and Amer. Authors, s.v.