Wakefield was born in London some time in 1776, and died there on 19 July 1846. He was the second son of Edward Wakefield, a London merchant, and Priscilla Wakefield, neé Bell, a Quaker philanthropist and children's’ author who was also one of the pioneers of the savings bank movement. His elder brother, Edward wakefield, and his nephew Edward Gibbon wakefield also wrote on economics. Wakefield was educated privately and then chose to study law, becoming a student at Lincoln's Inn in 1802. He was called to the bar in 1807 and became a King's Counsel in 1834 and a bencher in 1835. He was much involved in the administration of Lincoln's Inn itself, and helped to plan and oversee the building of a new Hall.
From The Biographical Dictionary of British Economists in Oxford Reference.