JOLLIFFE, Sir William (1660-1750), of Ewell, Surr. and Pleshey, Essex.
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Family and Education
b. 1660, 1st s. of John Jolliffe, M.P., of London, merchant, by Rebecca, da. of Walter Boothby of Tottenham. unm. suc. fa. 1679. Kntd. 8 Jan. 1715.
Director, Bank of England 1714-42 (with statutory intervals); director, R. African Co. 1699-1706.
Descended from the Jolliffes of Staffordshire and Worcestershire, William Jolliffe, a rich Turkey merchant and moneylender, bought estates in Surrey, Essex and Yorkshire.1 After unsuccessfully contesting Maldon in 1715, with his nephew, Samuel Tufnell, he was returned as a Whig for Petersfield in 1734 on the interest of another nephew, John Jolliffe. No votes of his have been recorded, but in 1740 he presented a petition of the Levant Company against the import of raw silk from Russia. The 1st Lord Egmont cites him as an example of coveteousness, observing that, though supposed ‘to be worth a hundred thousand pound, if not two’, he ‘brags that in his whole life he never bought a book, picture or print.’
One night, being at a public house in company, he would needs cook a plate of meat with his own hand, and ... happened to burn a hole in the plate, upon which the landlord told him he expected to be paid for it. ‘Why yes’, said Sir William, ‘I think it just, but then I will have the plate’, and accordingly when the company broke up took it away with him.2
In his will he left provision for the erection of an equestrian statue of William III, which stood in the courtyard of Petersfield House, until it was removed, some years later, to the square, where it still stands.3
He died 7 Mar. 1750.