Josiah Wayland was once good friends with Granville Fairchild, the former head of the London Institute, and Victor Whitelaw, the Inquisitor. In 1868, he was appointed the Consul, a position he took very seriously.
Upon Granville's death, Wayland appointed Granville's daughter, Charlotte, as his successor. Though it seemed as though he did this to honor his friend's dying wish, he, as a matter of fact, appointed Charlotte because he believed her to be weak and easily manipulable by him during his reign.
Over time, Consul Wayland grew proud and somber. Wayland considered himself above everyone else, and though this was true to some extent because of his position, Wayland did not like to be overpowered and undermined.
Consul Wayland oversaw the convened Council meeting for the interrogation of the members of the London Institute, following the events regarding the Magister, Axel Mortmain and his clockwork creatures. After the questioning, Wayland intended to suggest that everything the Institute decides be screened through him first. However, he was interrupted by Benedict Lightwood, who accused him of being lenient to Charlotte because of his friendship with the Fairchilds.
Benedict then challenged Charlotte for control of the Institute, and Wayland was forced to oblige due to his support. To counteract Benedict's challenge, Wayland proposed that if Charlotte and Henry do not find Mortmain within two weeks, Benedict challenge will go forward. He then announces that their lost servants will be replaced, and, upon Benedict's suggestions, the untrained residents of the Institutes will be trained by the Lightwood children.
After the meeting, Wayland spoke to Charlotte, who accused him of treating her differently because she was a woman. Wayland reassured her that he appointed her as head of the Institute because he was confident about her abilities, and that the task he gave her was not "impossible", as she had put it, because it would have been her job as the head of the Enclave, anyway.
Eventually, Wayland realized that he could no longer control Charlotte, seeing her independence as defiance. When the Consul was reminded of his last few months in position, he became increasingly anxious. He saw his final year as the year Charlotte Branwell rose in fame, and feared that she was overshadowing and undermining him, taking away his legacy. The more unwilling he became to relinquish his position in the state of politics they were in, particularly not to Charlotte, whom the Council was eyeing. When the Council asked for his input regarding her possible appointment as his successor, he expressed his concerns that Charlotte was not suitable for the position, while his nephew, George Penhallow, was.
After the death of Benedict Lightwood in the hands of the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, Wayland visited the Institute and took Gideon and Gabriel Lightwood, pretending to take them to the Silent City for questioning. Instead, he took them to Argent Rooms where he proceeded to blackmail the brothers into spying on Charlotte and reading her correspondents for him, else he will erase the Lightwood name from the Shadowhunter records.
Although they initially agreed, the brothers decided not to betray Charlotte. However, he knew that Gideon was the honorable one, so after the death of Jessamine Lovelace, he again visited the Institute and instead spoke to Gabriel separately, telling him that he will give them back the Lightwood homes and help bring back honor to their name if he spies on Charlotte. Gabriel agreed and intended to follow through before realizing his own loyalty to Charlotte.
When Charlotte sent out the message to the Clave requesting help, he called for an emergency meeting to prevent the rest of the members from answering the call. At the meeting, the groups was divided as some members sided with Charlotte and hoped to leave the meeting to join her and the London Institute Shadowhunters at Cadair Idris, while a few others wanted to remain. Wayland's intentions are questioned by Inquisitor Whitelaw; nonetheless, Wayland stood by his sentiments against Charlotte and decided to dismiss Charlotte from her position as the head of the Institute, announcing that they needed a new leader for the London Enclave.
Josiah's temperamental fit was cut short when automatons crashed the meeting, proving Charlotte's warnings to him, and beheaded him. Against his wishes, Charlotte was still appointed as the new Consul shortly after his death.
Josiah Wayland was a power-hungry, manipulative man. Ten years in position made Josiah a proud man who took his job seriously and personally, taking offense when people went against him. Josiah was willing to go to lengths to maintain power, even going as far as blackmailing others into helping him destroy the reputation of his old friend's daughter, Charlotte, to pass his position onto a kin instead of her.
Josiah Wayland was a tall man, with broad shoulders, a deep chest, large hands, and a thick neck. He had blue eyes, long fair hair, and a thick blond beard.
Once a good family friend of the Fairchild, Josiah was particularly close to Granville and assigned his daughter, Charlotte, as the London Institute's head to honor his wishes. Over the years, however, Josiah lost his faith in Charlotte and only began to see her as a tool in his dictatorship, all the while acting like a supportive father figure for her, maintaining the semblance of a paternal yet strained relationship with her. The complication of their connection worsened at the end of his term, when Charlotte was being considered as his successor.
Late into his career, Wayland had gotten into more arguments with other Clave and Council members, such as his old friend Whitelaw, the Inquisitor, regarding his decisions. More people began to question him, much to his annoyance, making Wayland only keep an even tighter grip on his rule.