JOLLIFFE, Gilbert East (1802-1833), of Tilgate, nr. Crawley, Suss.

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



1830 - 1831

Family and Education

b. 13 Jan. 1802, 2nd s. of Rev. William John Jolliffe (d. 1835) of Merstham (d. 31 Jan. 1835), rect. of Chelsworth, Suff., and Julia, da. and coh. of Sir Abraham Pytches of Streatham, Surr.; bro. of Sir William George Hylton Jolliffe, 1st bt.*. educ. privately by Mr. Knipe at Aldermaston, Berks. 1812-17.1 m. 28 Aug. 1823, Margaret Ellen, da. of Sir Edward Banks of Mile Town, Sheerness, Kent, s.p. d.v.p. 18 Dec. 1833.

Offices Held

Cornet 19 Drag. 1817, lt. 1820, half-pay 1821; lt. 15 Drag. 1822, half-pay 1823.


Jolliffe was named after Gilbert East (1764-1828) of Hall Place, Berkshire, the childless heir to a baronetcy and a fortune, who had married his paternal aunt Eleanor. When his grandfather William Jolliffe died in 1802 after 34 years as Member for Petersfield, he left Jolliffe the modest sum of £200 ‘in the expectation that Mr. East, his uncle in law, or his aunt will provide for him’, and the latter subsequently held out this incentive as a reward for good behaviour.2 According to his mother’s journal, from 1816-17 he toured France with his tutor and elder brother William, whom he followed into the army on his return. His brief military career was undistinguished. In February 1818 he was presented to the regent at a levée by his uncle Hylton Jolliffe*, whose enthusiasm for field sports he evidently shared.3 Despite the misgivings of his father and aunt, in 1823 he married the daughter of Edward Banks, his father’s partner in the firm of public works contractors, Jolliffe and Banks.4 The couple returned from a sojourn abroad in November 1824 and settled at Hooley, Surrey, in a house belonging to Hylton Jolliffe. They travelled to Russia in 1827 and the following year moved to Tilgate, a gift from Banks.5 Jolliffe was among the chief mourners at the funeral of his uncle Sir Gilbert East in December 1828, but was only left £500 out of his fortune of £300,000, which in the event he did not live to receive.6

At the 1830 general election Jolliffe came forward for Petersfield as the nominee of Hylton Jolliffe, though on the hustings he ritually declared himself to be ‘perfectly unfettered’. His assertion that he had lived all his life in the borough, which was patently untrue, was greeted with derisive laughter, and he was goaded into a show of pique by a heckler. He and his brother William were returned after a two-day poll which was unsuccessfully challenged on petition.7 Jolliffe, who is not known to have spoken in debate, was listed by the Wellington ministry as one of their ‘friends’, but he was absent from the crucial division on the civil list, 15 Nov. 1830. He voted against the second reading of the Grey ministry’s reform bill, 22 Mar., and for Gascoyne’s wrecking amendment, 19 Apr. 1831. At the ensuing dissolution his seat was reclaimed by his uncle, whose bid to transfer to Surrey in 1830 had proved unsuccessful. Jolliffe’s father expressed himself

sorry you are no longer in Parliament ... but the uneasiness it caused to your wife, which I hope will now cease, I trust will compensate ... enabling you both more agreeably to enjoy your tranquil home ... I wish the Penryn people would bring you in, in spite of all. You will say that is a mischievous wish, or at least Margaret will.8

Nothing came of this and Jolliffe made no bid to re-enter Parliament. He died v.p. and s.p. in December 1833 ‘after a few days’ illness’. By his will, executed four days before his death, he left a life interest in the Tilgate property and ample provision from funded investments of £20,000 to his wife, who survived him by less than three years, dying on 12 Oct. 1836. His real and personal estate, valued at £30,000, was left in trust to his brother’s second son Hedworth Hylton Jolliffe (1829-99), later 2nd Baron Hylton.9 A memorial plaque from his friends deplored his ‘untimely loss’, and according to the family historian his demise hastened that of his father, who died 31 Jan. 1835.10

Ref Volumes: 1820-1832

Authors: Philip Salmon / Howard Spencer


  • 1. H.G.H. Jolliffe, Jolliffes of Staffs. 133-4.
  • 2. Ibid. 159-60; PROB 11/1376/465.
  • 3. Jolliffe, 152, 155, 157-9; Sporting Mag. (ser. 2), i. 418.
  • 4. Jolliffe, 180, 183-4; Oxford DNB sub Banks.
  • 5. Jolliffe, 188, 199, 203; C. and J. Greenwood, Surr. Described, 141.
  • 6. Gent. Mag. (1829), i. 173-4; PROB 11/1751/76; IR26/1192/33.
  • 7. Som. RO, Hylton mss DD/HY, box 17, Procs. at Petersfield Election (1830).
  • 8. Jolliffe, 218-9.
  • 9. PROB 11/1826/31; IR26/1355/28.
  • 10. M.I. in Merstham church; Jolliffe, 224.