JERVOISE, Thomas (1667-1743), of Herriard, Hants.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



4 May 1691 - 1695
1698 - 1702
1702 - 28 Jan. 1703
7 Nov. 1704 - 1705
1705 - 1708
21 Dec. 1709 - 1710

Family and Education

b. 6 Sept. 1667, 1st s. of Thomas Jervoise† of Herriard by Mary, da. of George Purefoy† of Wadley House, nr. Faringdon, Berks.  educ. New Inn Hall, Oxf. 1683.  m. (1) 18 Feb. 1691, Elizabeth (d. 1695), da. of Sir Gilbert Clarke*, 1s.; (2) 9 Aug. 1700 (with £8,000 in land), Elizabeth, da. and h. of Sir John Stonhouse, 5th Bt., of Amerden Hall, Essex, 1s. 1da.  suc. fa. 1693.1

Offices Held

Freeman, Winchester by 1695, Southampton 1702; sheriff, Hants 1708–9; commr. hawkers and pedlars 1717–18.2

Member, SPCK 1703–8; SPG.3


Heir to property in Hampshire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire, Jervoise was distantly related to the Powletts, dukes of Bolton, one of the most influential families in Hampshire. Jervoise’s estates ensured that he had a healthy annual income, which in 1695 he computed at £2,736, and in 1708 at £3,364. His connexions with the SPCK and SPG (he has been credited with being a founder member of the latter) have led to his being described as a ‘godly’ squire. He has also been associated with other ‘reformers’ such as Sir Richard Cocks, 2nd Bt.* At the 1690 election Jervoise stood unsuccessfully for Lymington on the commonalty franchise. His endeavours to prove his case through examination of the ‘ancient returns’ for the borough did not assist his petition to Parliament, which was eventually decided against him. However, he was successful in a contested by-election in 1691 for Stockbridge. Classed as a Court supporter in Grascome’s list of this Parliament, he acted as a teller on 26 Mar. 1694 in favour of a motion to lay a duty of 6d. on ships and vessels employed in the coastal trade.4

Jervoise did not sit in the 1695 Parliament. However, in November 1697 the Duke of Bolton (Charles Powlett†) informed his son, the Marquess of Winchester (Charles Powlett I*), that ‘Jervoise and Mr [Richard] Norton [II*], they tell me, join together hoping to supplant you being knight of the shire’. Bolton thought little of Jervoise, calling him a ‘fool’, and belittling Jervoise’s recent actions as a militia captain, which he believed were intended to ‘gain the love of the country’. Bolton promised his son that he would undermine Jervoise’s reputation in the county, and in the forthcoming election would ‘use all precautions I can; one I have already by writing to the King to make Thomas Jervoise sheriff and have given his Majesty the reason why which will make him incapable to be chosen knight of the shire’. Despite Bolton’s endeavours, Jervoise was nevertheless elected with Norton. In a comparative analysis of the old and new House of Commons, Jervoise was noted as ‘doubtful’, a classification which may have been due to the fact that he had not been an MP in 1695–8. He does not appear to have been a particularly active Member. However, during the 1698–9 session he was one of only two MPs who attended a meeting organized by Cocks to discuss how to proceed in the matter of bringing in a bill for disabling Sir John Trevor* from ‘executing any place of profit or trust’. In the 1699–1700 session, he reported on a petition relating to wool exports. In an analysis of the House into ‘interests’ in 1700 he was once again listed as doubtful, or possibly of the opposition. Returned unopposed for the county in the first 1701 election, he managed a private bill through the House. At the end of this Parliament his name appeared on a black list of those who had opposed the preparations for war with France.5

Prior to the second 1701 election Winchester (now Duke of Bolton) was reported to be setting up Norton with Richard Chaundler, Jervoise’s fellow outgoing MP for the county. Mrs Burnet wrote to the wife of Sir Joseph Jekyll* that if this were so

Mr Jervoise, a most virtuous and worthy gentleman of near £3,000 p.a., and who has hardly ever voted wrong in any Parliament, will be much disobliged . . . and this will fling him in the other party, and though I believe he is so true a Protestant and so truly honest that no disobligation will make him vote ill, yet it may tempt him or rather force him to serve some we like not with his interest in other places, for when men are engaged it is hard to sacrifice themselves so entirely . . . and he has a good interest in many places.

However, Norton did not stand, thereby allowing for Jervoise and Chaundler to be returned unopposed, after which Jervoise was classed as a Whig in an analysis of the new Parliament by Robert Harley*. At the 1702 election Jervoise contested two boroughs, Hindon and Plympton Erle. Although returned for Plympton, he still chose to contest the Hindon return in Parliament, presenting a charge of bribery against one of the successful candidates, George Morley*, whose election was eventually declared void. Jervoise’s action against Morley was reported as being done ‘out of pure zeal to serve his country’, while Jervoise himself recorded the cost of bringing the case before the House on 27 Nov. 1702 as being £148. On 8 Dec. Jervoise acted as a teller with Robert Walpole II against a motion not to issue a new writ for Maidstone during the session, the last election for that borough having been declared void. He was listed as voting on 13 Feb. 1703 for agreeing with the Lords’ amendments to the bill for enlarging the time for taking the oath of abjuration. However, he had been unseated at Plympton on petition a fortnight before, the House supposedly choosing to unseat him on a matter ‘of no great moment’ which would have been ‘overlooked in another man, who had not been prying into other men’s affairs for mischief sake’, thereby implying that Jervoise’s zeal in getting Morley unseated had ultimately been his own undoing as well. At the same time he was approved as a member of the SPCK, and attended a meeting of the SPG on 19 Feb. However, his interest in both societies seems to have waned, as it was noted in the SPCK’s minutes several years later that he was one of the ‘residing members’ who had not yet attended or subscribed. Jervoise’s desire to re-enter Parliament does not appear to have lessened, though the protracted proceedings in relation to Hindon meant that he had to wait until November 1704 before the by-election in which he defeated Morley. In the 1704–5 session he did not vote for the Tack on 28 Nov.6

Jervoise successfully contested Hampshire in 1705, and was noted as a ‘Churchman’ in an analysis of the new Parliament. He voted on 25 Oct. for the Court candidate as Speaker. On 21 Dec. he was given leave of absence for one month. He had returned by 12 Feb. 1706, when he reported on a private estate bill, while later that month he supported the Court in the proceedings on the ‘place clause’ of the regency bill. In the following session he was given leave of absence on 20 Dec. 1707 for 35 days. His interest in religious matters resurfaced in 1707, when he was one of several gentlemen who pressed Bishop Nicolson to print one of his sermons, and assisted the bishop in the transcribing a sermon for service. This association with Nicolson may account for the fact that in the 1707–8 session, when Nicolson’s cathedral bill was sent from the Lords to the Commons on 24 Feb. 1708, Jervoise seconded the motion that it receive an immediate first reading. Noted as a Whig in an analysis of Parliament in early 1708, he stood down for the county at the election that year to make way for the Earl of Portland’s son Viscount Woodstock (Henry Bentinck*), but when the latter went to the Lords Jervoise replaced him at the resulting by-election. In the 1709–10 session he voted for the impeachment of Dr Sacheverell. Jervoise’s differences with Bolton had been settled by 1710 when he contested the county in alliance with the Duke’s son, the Marquess of Winchester (Charles Powlett II*), though they were defeated by two Tories. This was Jervoise’s last attempt to enter Parliament, the financial strain of repeated contests having evidently become too great for him. When he left for Holland shortly after his 1710 defeat, Lord Stawell wrote that ‘the election has been his undoing’. He had been obliged to sell the manor of Stratford St. Antony in Wiltshire to cover his expenses although he was still left with the manors of Northfield and Weoley Park in Worcestershire, Britford in Wiltshire, Herriard in Hampshire and estates in Essex obtained by his second marriage. Moreover, he had spent money on building a new house at Herriard, which had been completed in 1704. Jervoise died on 10 May 1743.7

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Authors: Paula Watson / Ivar McGrath


  • 1. The Ancestor, iii. 5–8.
  • 2. Hants RO, Winchester bor. recs. ordnance bk. 7, f. 128; Southampton RO, Southampton bor. recs. SC3/1, f. 251; Cal. Treas. Bks. xxxi. 498; xxxii. 540.
  • 3. Chapter in Eng. Church Hist. ed. McClure, 213; SPCK Archs. min. bk. 4, pp. 93–94.
  • 4. Hants RO, Jervoise mss, Jervoise’s income, 1695 and 1708; Jervoise to [Smith], 25 Apr. 1690; VCH Hants, iii. 125, 367; E. King, Old Times Revisited, Lymington, 81; Past and Present, cxxviii. 55, 64, 81; Cocks Diary, pp. xxx–xxxi; Bodl. Carte 79, f. 346.
  • 5. Bolton mss at Bolton Hall, D/11, 14, 32, Bolton to Winchester, 22 Nov. 1697, 7 Jan., 2 Dec. 1698, D/18, Thomas Cobbe to same, 6 May 1698; Cocks Diary, 8; G. Holmes, Pol. in Age of Anne, 45.
  • 6. Surr. RO (Kingston), Somers mss 371/14/01/1, Mrs Burnet to Lady Jekyll, [n.d.]; Bodl. Rawl. C.933, f. 35; NLW, Penrice and Margam mss, L455, Erasmus Lewis* to Thomas Mansel I*, 27 Oct. 1702; Jervoise mss, ‘the expense of trying Hindon election before the House’, 27 Nov. 1702, Hindon poll, [Nov. 1704]; Add. 27440, ff. 143–4; McClure, 213; SPCK Archs. min. bk. 4, pp. 93–94.
  • 7. Nicolson Diaries ed. Jones and Holmes, 406–7, 455; EHR, lvi. 82; W. A. Speck, Tory and Whig, 46; The Ancestor, 7–8.