GRIFFINHOOFE, Benjamin Cooke (1772-1841), of 8 New Ormond Street, Mdx.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer



30 Jan. 1808 - Apr. 1808

Family and Education

bap. 5 Aug. 1772, 2nd s. of Rev. Nicholas Griffinhoofe, rector of Woodham Mortimer and Stow St. Mary’s, Essex and curate and lecturer of Stoke Newington, Mdx. by 2nd w. Elizabeth, da. of Thomas Philpott of Hackney, Mdx. educ. Charterhouse 1783-90. m. Aug. 1806, Mary Jane, da. of Robert Saxe of Hackney, Mdx. s.p.

Offices Held

Lt. 2 Loyal London vols. 1803.


Griffinhoofe, the son of a conscientious clerical pluralist and grandson of a Chelmsford apothecary, was articled to an attorney in 1790 and practised as a solicitor in Chancery from 1795. He appeared in the lists of London attorneys until 1809, with an office at Grays Inn Square.1 He sat briefly in Parliament for the seat of which his younger sister Elizabeth’s father-in-law, Jervoise Clarke Jervoise*, a veteran Foxite, was patron, coming in at the latter’s death, but vacating a few months later when Jervoise’s son disposed of his interest at Yarmouth. He voted with opposition: on 8 Feb. 1808 for Whitbread’s motion condemning the Copenhagen expedition; on 29 Feb. for the first (but not the third) of Whitbread’s resolutions on peace negotiations; on 3 Mar. in favour of receiving the Liverpool petition against the orders in council, on 14 Mar. against the mutiny bill, and on 4 Apr. on the composition of the finance committee. No speech is known.

Griffinhoofe did not subsequently attempt to enter Parliament, but he was a steward for the Friends of Constitutional Reform in 1811 and on 30 Sept. 1812 wrote to Whitbread offering him the disposal of his votes for London, Middlesex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Buckingham and Aylesbury, as a token of his admiration, particularly for Whitbread’s support of a ‘constitutional reformation in Parliament’.2 His efforts to become auditor of his school, Charterhouse, in 1807 and 1820 failed, but he early retired from his practice and acquired a ‘most desirable aristocratic residence’ in Kentish Town Road in 1823. He died 9 Feb. 1841, dividing his estate between his brother Thomas and two nephews, all of them clergymen.3

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne


  • 1. N. and Q. (ser. 7), i. 219; Clarke’s Law List .
  • 2. Cartwright Corresp. ii. 371-5; Morning Chron. 7 June 1811; Whitbread mss W1/1976.
  • 3. Add. 38283, ff. 174, 209, 216, 217; Surv. London, xix. 37, 39; Arrowsmith, Charterhouse Reg. 140; Al. Carthusiani, 163; PCC 1841, f. 183.