Claude Ernest Weymouth James was born in Launceston on 24 Feb 1878 to John Abraham James (1852-1891), bookseller and stationer, and his wife Helen (Nellie) Weymouth (1849-). Claude was educated at the Launceston High School. He was employed by the Launceston City Council in 1894 as a clerk and became city treasurer until he resigned in 1920. He then joined W & G Genders Ltd, saddlers and ironmongers, was elected as an alderman and became mayor of Launceston in 1924. He was MHA for Bass in 1925-37 and served as agent-general for Tasmania in London during the 1930s and 1940s. He was deeply involved in the Masonic fraternity and the Institutes of Accountants and Secretaries. In 1941 Claude received a knighthood.
He married Alice Mary Wilkins on 15 Dec 1900. Their five children, John Aubrey, Trevor Claude, Eric Wilfred, Alan Bonython and Max Weymouth, were born between 1902 and 1909 but, the eldest, John Aubrey, died aged 9 days. Alice died in Launceston on 18 Aug 1948. Claude married Barbara Taylor in London on 11 Aug 1949 before returning to Tasmania in 1950. Their three children, Elizabeth Helen, John Weymouth and Barbara Susan, were born in London. Claude died 27 Aug 1961 aged 83. See The Examiner 12 Nov 2005, p. 33.