James Essex (1722-1784), English builder and architect of Cambridge. In 1748, when Essex was twenty-six, he became involved in a controversy with the Rev. R. Masters, fellow and historian of Corpus Christi College, respecting the authorship of a plan for adding a new court to the college. In December 1747 Masters had employed Essex to measure the ground available for building, and to draw a plan, which he soon afterwards caused to be engraved and circulated as his own. Upon this Essex published proposals for engraving and printing by subscription his own design, and shortly afterwards (20 Feb. 1748-9) wrote a pamphlet, in which he criticised Masters's design. The works which Essex acknowledged include '6. The West Prospect of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.'