JOLLIFFE, Hylton (1773-1843), of Merstham, Surr.

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



1796 - Jan. 1797
29 Mar. 1802 - 1830
1831 - 1832
5 Mar. 1833 - 1834

Family and Education

b. 28 Feb. 1773, 1st s. of William Jolliffe* of Merstham by Eleanor, da. and h. of Sir Richard Hylton, 5th Bt., of Hayton Castle, Cumb. educ. Westminster 1783; L. Inn 1787. m. 6 Sept. 1804, Elizabeth Rose, illegit. da. of Robert Shirley, 7th Earl Ferrers, s.p.; 2s. illegit. suc. fa. 1802.

Offices Held

Ensign 2 Ft. Gds. 1790, lt. and capt. 1793, capt. and lt.-col. 1799; ret. 1804.


Jolliffe’s father grumbled about the ‘sacrifice’ of his son’s interest when he returned the 3rd Duke of Portland’s son-in-law for his borough of Petersfield on the first vacancy after Jolliffe came of age. His father returned him with himself at the ensuing general election, but he vacated soon after the meeting of Parliament to join his battalion in Ireland. He went on to serve in the Helder and Egyptian expeditions, returning home two months before his father’s death, when he became sole patron of Petersfield and returned himself. He first spoke in the House on a poor bill, 25 Nov. 1802. Portland may have secured him the offer of the governorship of Surinam, ceded by the Dutch, soon afterwards; if so, he did not accept it.1 On 15 Mar. 1804, on which day he also frustrated the Croydon and Portsmouth canal bill in the House, he voted against Addington’s ministry on Pitt’s naval motion, and on 23 and 25 Apr. in the minorities on defence. Pitt’s friends, on his return to power, listed him ‘Fox’ in May 1804 and ‘doubtful Fox and Grenville’ in September, but the classification seems questionable. He is not known to have voted against Pitt and he was in the government minority on Melville’s question, 8 Apr. 1805. In July he was duly classed ‘Pitt’. He was in the majority for the Grenville ministry’s repeal of Pitt’s Additional Force Act, 30 Apr. 1806, but listed ‘adverse’ to abolition of the slave trade. On 2 and 20 Mar. 1807 he was a defaulter.

On the break up of Portland’s ministry, Jolliffe adhered to Canning. He voted with Perceval’s ministry on the address, 23 Jan. 1810, but was absent on the 26th: so Canning reported next day of ‘Jolliffe, who has not yet positively made his profession to me, but I know intends it’. He described him as his ‘tenth man’. Jolliffe joined Canning in opposition on 23 Feb. and 5 Mar. 1810, and on 30 Mar., although listed a government supporter in the consolidated list of the divisions, opposed ministers in the last division on the Scheldt inquiry. Canning had written a week before that he might let Jolliffe vote with opposition.2 The Whigs duly classified him a Canningite at that time. He joined Canning in opposition on the Regency question, 1 Jan. 1811, and on 27 Feb. and 3 Mar. 1812. He also voted for Catholic relief, 24 Apr. 1812.

At the ensuing election he returned Canning with himself and, when Canning was elected at Liverpool, his cousin and namesake. He voted with Canning next session, supporting Catholic relief again (as also in 1817). When Canning came to terms with government in July 1814, he intended to solicit baronetcies for some of his friends, Jolliffe being first on the list.3 Although he subsequently joined opposition on questions concerning the royal dukes’ establishments, 28 and 30 June 1815, 15 Apr. 1818, he otherwise supported government, notably on the army estimates and the property tax, 6 and 18 Mar. 1816; the finance committee, 7 Feb. 1817; the suspension of habeas corpus and its consequences 23 June 1817 and 10 Feb. 1818; against Tierney’s censure motion and for the foreign enlistment bill, 18 May, 10 June 1819. He had apparently not uttered in debate since 1804.

Jolliffe, who had inherited his father’s claim to the Hylton peerage, did not press for it and in the end did not himself obtain the baronetcy offered him by Lord Liverpool in 1818, though a warrant for it was made out. He was said to have refused it, but his nephew accepted one in 1821. Famous as a sportsman and, in London, for the size and shape of his hat, he died 12/13 Jan. 1843.4

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Authors: Brian Murphy / R. G. Thorne


  • 1. Portland mss, PwV108, Portland to Jolliffe, 15 Jan. 1795; H. G. H. Jolliffe, Jolliffes of Staffs. 112, 120.
  • 2. Harewood mss, Canning to his wife, 27, 31 Jan., 23 Feb., 6, 24, 31 Mar. 1810.
  • 3. Ibid. same to same, 30 July 1814.
  • 4. Jolliffe, 176; Add. 38274, f. 383; Gent. Mag. (1843), i. 318.