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St George’s News - Waterlooville’s Parish Magazine

The Website for St George’s Church, Waterlooville and its Parish Magazine St George’s News

Autumn 2018 issue

The Jolliffe Memorials, Poole

The ancient parish church of St James near Poole Harbour contains many fascinating memorials relating to its turbulent history. One relates to the heroic deeds of Captain Peter Jolliffe who was engaged in the Newfoundland trade.

In 1694 whilst cruising in a small hoy called the Sea Adventurer he saw a French privateer attacking a fishing boat off Weymouth. He immediately went into action forcing the French ship on shore near Lulworth Cove where the crew were taken prisoner.

When this exploit was reported to King William III he awarded Capt Jolliffe a magnificent gold chain and medal. The heads of the King and Queen are depicted on one side and the reverse is inscribed “His Maties Gift as a Reward to Peter Jollif, of Poole, for his good Service agt the Enemy in retaking a Ketch of Weymouth from a French privateer and Chaceing ths said Privateer on Shoar near Lulworth in ye Isle of Purbeck where shee was broken in peeces. 1694”.

The memorial in the church erected after his death on 12 November 1730 relates how he signalised himself against the French with uncommon courage and frequently revenged their insolences towards the English by captivity or death and how George I on his accession gave him “command of the Town in all military matters”.

Another memorial in the church relates to his great-grandson Peter William Jolliffe who was selected by the burgesses in 1791 to become Rector of Poole. He remained as Rector for 70 years until his death in February 1861 aged 94, the longest incumbency of any Anglican vicar. He was much loved and highly respected by the people of Poole. His epitaph states:

“He was a man of childlike simplicity
of unaffected courtesy
of unblemished reputation
of unbounded benevolence
of singular disinterestedness
and afforded a bright example
of a pious and consistent clergyman
adorning the doctrine of God and His Saviour.”

An excellent biography entitled A Steady Hand on the Plough written by Bob Mason can be purchased in the nearby Tourist Office and Museum.

John Symonds