PUREFOY JERVOISE, George (1770-1847), of Herriard House, nr. Basingstoke, Hants and The Moat, nr. Britford, Wilts.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1820-1832, ed. D.R. Fisher, 2009
Available from Cambridge University Press



17 Feb. 1813 - 1818
1820 - 1826

Family and Education

b. 10 Apr. 1770, 1st s. of Rev. George Hudleston Jervoise (afterwards Purefoy) of Britford, rect. of Shalstone, Bucks., and Mary, da. and coh. of Rev. Wright Hawes, rect. of Shalstone. educ. Westminster 1781-6; Corpus, Oxf. (as Purefoy) 1787. m. (1) 10 Apr. 1799, Elizabeth (d. 1821), da. and h. of Thomas Hall of Preston Candover, Hants, s.p.; (2) 18 Apr. 1837, Anna Maria Selina, da. of Wadham Locke† of Rowdeford, Wilts., s.p. Took additional name of Jervoise by royal lic. 17 July 1792. suc. uncle to Herriard 1794; fa. 1805. d. 1 Dec. 1847.

Offices Held

Capt. N. Hants militia 1794, lt.-col. 1798, col. 1800-11; sheriff, Hants 1830-1.


Jervoise resumed his family’s original patronymic in 1792 at the behest of his uncle, Tristram Hudleston Jervoise, from whom he inherited the Herriard property two years later. He added to it by marriage and purchase, though in 1820 he was living at the Wiltshire residence which had formerly belonged to his father.1 Evidently he took up the option in the latter’s will to buy the Purefoy estate at Shalstone, Buckinghamshire, and he was sufficiently well off to be able to refuse a cash bequest in a codicil, which he believed to be a misdirection.2 A double vacancy for Hampshire at the 1820 general election presented an opportunity for Jervoise, formerly Member for Salisbury, to resume his parliamentary career, but he apparently needed encouragement, and he publicly avowed his reluctance to incur the ‘unknown expense’ of a contest.3 Lord Malmesbury considered him ‘strange’ and ‘a poor person to represent us’, though he admitted the antiquity of his family, which had produced several county Members.4 Following the withdrawal of a third candidate he was returned unopposed, and on the hustings promised ‘to watch with a jealous eye over the conduct of the government, with a view to maintain the just freedom of the empire’.5 He had previously taken a Whiggish line in the Commons, but sympathetic squib writers emphasised that he was ‘not a party man’ and disavowed ‘such violent opposition principles as many represent him of’.6

Jervoise was apparently an assiduous Member, but is not known to have delivered a full speech in the House. He voted steadily with the Whig opposition to the Liverpool ministry on most major issues, including economy, retrenchment and reduced taxation, and dismissed supplicants for government favour with a reminder that his ‘independence’ was inviolable.7 Although he had divided for Catholic claims in 1816 and 1817 and offered a vague pledge to support religious liberty on the hustings in 1820, he voted against relief, 28 Feb. 1821, 1 Mar., 21 Apr., 10 May 1825, and the removal of disabilities from Catholic peers, 30 Apr. 1822. It is conceivable that he was responding to constituency pressure, for shortly after his return an anonymous anti-Catholic freeholder warned him that ‘your re-election depends entirely on which side you vote on this most important question’.8 He presented a petition from Fordingbridge and Basingstoke lawyers for regulation of the appointment of conveyancers, 19 May 1820.9 At a Hampshire county meeting, 12 Jan., he expressed ‘great satisfaction’ with a petition in support of Queen Caroline, which he presented, 26 Jan. 1821, observing that its signatories were ‘opposed to the unwise and dangerous acts of the present administration’, yet ‘as much attached to the soundest principles of religion and loyalty as any men in the kingdom’.10 He presented four similar petitions the same day and another, from an Isle of Wight parish, 31 Jan.11 At a meeting of his supporters in Portsmouth, 14 Mar., he was praised for his ‘unremittant attention’ to Parliament and the care he took to investigate subjects before giving a vote.12 He divided for parliamentary reform, 18 Apr. 1821, 24 Apr. 1823, 27 Apr. 1826, reform of the Scottish representative system, 2 June 1823, and the representation of Edinburgh, 13 Apr. 1826. (At a dinner in Portsmouth, 14 Mar. 1823, a well-wisher ‘particularly dwelt on his firm and continued support for reform in Parliament’.)13 In July 1821 it was reported that he had donated a gallon loaf apiece to poor households in the Herriard district.14 On 15 May 1822 he presented a petition from Hampshire tanners for repeal of the leather tax.15 He presented a Portsmouth petition for easier recovery of small debts, 21 Mar.,16 and on 12 May belatedly brought up the petition of a Hampshire meeting on agricultural distress which had taken place on 1 Mar. 1823.17 He presented another county petition against the game laws, 23 May.18 He was in the government majority against inquiry into the currency, 11 June, but voted against their beer duties bill, 17 June. He divided against repeal of the usury laws that day, 27 June 1823, 17 Feb. 1825. He presented a petition from Southampton victuallers against the duty on excise licenses, 4 Mar. 1824.19 His speech at a county meeting on economic distress, 23 Apr., followed that of his ministerially inclined colleague John Fleming, whose eloquence he admitted he could not match, ‘but he could say one thing, that he had proved himself by his actions instead of words’.20 He presented the resulting petition for a repeal of assessed taxes with another in similar terms from Salisbury, 10 May.21 He presented a petition from a Hampshire parish for inquiry into the prosecution of the Methodist missionary John Smith for inciting rebellion among slaves in Demerara, 28 May, and voted thus, 11 June 1824.22 He presented a Southampton petition for suppression of the Catholic Association, 14 Feb., and one from a Hampshire parish against Catholic relief, 18 Apr. 1825.23 For much of that session he was preoccupied with local business. He co-operated with Fleming over the Portsea paving and lighting bill and reported its progress to the House, 17 Mar.24 Next day he presented a petition against the Portsmouth and Arundel canal bill and reported from the committee on the Gosport chapel bill, having been alerted to the latter by a constituent.25 On 21 Mar. he introduced the Christchurch enclosure bill, on which he reported, 13 May; it received royal assent, 10 June 1825.26 That September he announced that he would not stand again for health reasons, and his parliamentary activity appears to have diminished thereafter.27 He presented a Basingstoke petition for the abolition of slavery, 21 Mar. 1826.28

At that year’s dissolution Jervoise duly retired, and on the hustings his colleague paid tribute to his efforts.29 As sheriff of Hampshire, his absence abroad in February 1830 delayed a county meeting on the assessed taxes.30 He spoke in support of the Grey ministry’s reform proposals at a similar meeting, 17 Mar. 1831, when he lamented that illness had forced his retirement from public life.31 At the 1831 general election he proposed Charles Shaw Lefevre*, one of the reform candidates for Hampshire.32 Jervoise died childless at Herriard in December 1847, and received only the briefest of obituary notices in the local press.33 His Hampshire and Wiltshire estates passed to his sister Mary, and after her death, 30 May 1849, to her son Francis Ellis Jervoise (1809-81). Shalstone descended to his niece Sarah Anna Elizabeth Fitzgerald (1809-99), who by the terms of his will, dated 22 Nov. 1822, received a £22,843 half-share of the residue of his personalty. An equal portion was divided between Francis Ellis Jervoise and his sisters Mary, Caroline and Harriet. In a codicil of 10 Apr. 1847, Jervoise left instructions that the duty should be paid on small bequests to relations and good causes, which included hospitals in Winchester, Salisbury, Oxford and Aylesbury, and the poor of his several neighbourhoods.34

Ref Volumes: 1820-1832

Authors: Philip Salmon / Howard Spencer


  • 1. VCH Hants, iii. 367, 370, 375, 387; Hants RO, Jervoise mss 44M69 G2/428/1; 446/1.
  • 2. PROB 11/1436/50; IR26/107/192.
  • 3. Jervoise mss G2/428/1-7, 458.
  • 4. Hants RO, Malmesbury mss 9M73, Malmesbury to Fitzharris, 28 Feb., 4 Mar. 1820.
  • 5. Hants Telegraph, 20 Mar. 1820.
  • 6. Jervoise mss G2/449, 458.
  • 7. Ibid. G2/446/1,2, 4-6; Black Bk. (1823), 167; Session of Parl. 1825, p. 470.
  • 8. Ibid. G2/446/3; Hants Telegraph, 20 Mar. 1820.
  • 9. The Times, 20 May 1820.
  • 10. Hants Telegraph, 15 Jan. 1821.
  • 11. The Times, 27 Jan., 1 Feb. 1821.
  • 12. Hants Telegraph, 19 Mar. 1821.
  • 13. Ibid. 17 Mar. 1823.
  • 14. Ibid. 9 July 1821.
  • 15. The Times, 16 May 1822.
  • 16. Ibid. 22 Mar. 1823.
  • 17. Hants Telegraph, 3, 31 Mar.; The Times, 13 May 1823.
  • 18. The Times, 24 May 1823.
  • 19. Ibid. 5 Mar. 1824.
  • 20. Hants Telegraph, 26 Apr. 1824.
  • 21. The Times, 11 May 1824.
  • 22. Ibid. 29 May 1824.
  • 23. Ibid. 15 Feb., 19 Apr. 1825.
  • 24. Jervoise mss G2/466/3.
  • 25. Ibid. G2/466/1, 464.
  • 26. CJ, lxxxv. 520.
  • 27. Hants Telegraph, 26 Sept. 1825.
  • 28. The Times, 22 Mar. 1826.
  • 29. Hants Telegraph, 19 June 1826.
  • 30. Ibid. 1 Mar. 1830.
  • 31. Ibid. 21 Mar. 1831.
  • 32. Portsmouth Herald, 8 May 1831.
  • 33. Gent. Mag. (1848), i. 107; Hants Advertiser, 4 Dec. 1847.
  • 34. PROB 11/2067/40; IR26/1805/44.