JOHN GILLIAT 1761 - 1819
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Written by Neil WW Gilliat

JOHN GILLIAT 1761-1819

JOHN GILLIAT born 1761 at Scrivelsby, Lincolnshire U K and died 1819 London U K In 1792 he married MARY KIRTON 1768-1859.
Children of JOHN GILLIAT and MARY KIRTON are:

WILLIAM HENRY GILLIAT 1801-1853 Liverpool
EMMA GILLIAT 1809-1848 m 1830 JOHN JONES Bala

John was the third son of William and Elizabeth and like the rest of the family he received a good education in the days when illiteracy was a common problem. On his coming of age he inherited a very tidy sum of cash with which he decided to take his chances in the new colonies of America. He sailed for Virginia and was followed by his brother Thomas when he became 21 a year or so later. Much of the early era of their business in the Americas was by partnership and time has left it difficult to separate their business activities. Because they spent their lives working together, the sections on John and Thomas are somewhat intertwined and maybe repetitive.

The United States had just broken away from British rule but still held very strong economic and family ties with England. If I may quote some of the passages from Roy Walkers account of the times:
'Since the 1770's cotton had begun to replace wool as a raw material for the clothing industry; it was cheaper and could be more easily adapted to machine use. John was a young man of 25 when in 1786 he first went to America to be joined by his brother Thomas. The sons of a grazier, the two brothers were quick to change direction, and their prompt decision was the major factor in effecting a considerable degree of business success for several generations following.

The American manufacturing industry was still in its infancy and could not yet compete with British articles that were cheaper and of superior quality. The cessation of hostilities had left the field wide open for those who ventured to seize the opportunities.

The Gilliat brothers with their share of the inheritance from their father bought Manchester cotton goods to ship to Richmond in Virginia. John accompanied them and was followed by his brother Thomas when he attained the age of twenty one. They seemed to have settled in very quickly in what was a touchy environment because of the recent Declaration of Independence, which left anyone with British connections somewhat suspect. The brothers seemed to have kept a low political profile for though there is evidence that they were very close to influential politicians of the day, many of whom lived in the Richmond Virginia area, they seemed to have avoided the community problems and stayed close to their business. Because both John and Thomas were involved in many of the early business ventures in Richmond I have placed some of the data into a section on 'The American Business Ventures'. Suffice it to say here, that the businesses flourished and John made several trips across the Atlantic until in 1789 it was agreed between the brothers that John would be based permanently in London to look after the British side of the business, whereas Thomas should remain in Richmond and look after the American business. In November of that year Thomas married a young American lady by the name of Mary Scott. In London John was to open offices at 6 Dowgate Hill, Upper Thames Street, whilst in the United States branches were started at Petersburg and Norfolk'.

Some of the above quotations are from Roy Walker's work and I believe they are as factual as the records can show. However, there are some other peripheral events and records that lead one to speculate as to the circumstances that surrounded and instigated the Gilliat brother's ventures into the American trade. Again I stress 'speculate' and I only hope that future investigations will throw more light onto the subsequent events. I have attached material that records the visit of a number of ships captained and presumably part owned by various Gilliat seafarers to Virginia, including Norfolk and Richmond. In fact it is beyond speculation that there were quite a few Gilliat seafarers from Whitehaven, in the Cumbria area, North of Liverpool, who were steadily plying the Atlantic between Virginia and Britain and would have had firsthand knowledge of the business opportunities in Virginia. There were a few Gilliats that were either residents of Virginia at the time or had visited for whatever reason and their presence has also been recorded, although whether they were in communication with one another is not known. But Richmond had a population of around three thousand people in 1800 and of those half of them were slaves. It would be hard to hide from anyone in such a sparse population especially for those who bore the same uncommon name and in pursuit of business. A John Gilliat (1784) was born in and resident of Virginia during most of this period and from him descended the Illinois and Ohio Giliatts many of whom were to adopt the second t on their name.

Meanwhile, Gilliats, some from Lincolnshire, had established themselves, and flourished as sugar plantation owners in Jamaica and the West Indies where there was a brisk trade between Virginia and Jamaica. My point is that it is hard to believe, two young men of education and with considerable money, would take off to the colonies, to a strange and foreign America without investigating the risk and circumstances. Or it would strongly suggest that they had prior knowledge of what they were about. Most likely from family members, although we have still to establish such speculation, as to whether there were ties to or first hand knowledge of the Virginia trade.


The John and Thomas Gilliat Company started out in Richmond Virginia around 1786. The first record we have found was a Petition to the Governor of Virginia,(most likely for land) which is recorded in 1787 and was signed by both John and Thomas Gilliat. There were a number of small advertisements in the local Richmond newspapers. For instance the Virginia Independent Chronicle carried a request for information leading to the return of a parcel of calico stolen from their store June 1788.

In 1791 the Gilliat Brothers were involved in a court case with a Mustoe and Chambers who they claimed owed them some £378 6s 4d a princely sum of money in its day. I managed to obtain copies of a number of documents from the Staunton, West Virginia, some court record clips are below. For some reason this was a court case that set some legal precedents still used in American law.

The court case was but one of the numerous number of records that can be found regarding the business of the Gilliat brothers. There were a number of real estate deals including a grant in 1796 to Thomas Gilliat in Virginia. One consisted of 15,342 acres in Amherst County (the north borders Buffalo and both sides of Pinet and Little Piney) and another 473 acres (on Thrasher Creek; part of the Big Taliaferro survey).

Also a number of records have been found of Fire insurance for buildings on land throughout Richmond. It is difficult to know which or what part of the property the Gilliats owned although much of the real estate was in the name of Thomas, William Henry Gilliat (his nephew and son of Richard Gilliat) also owned several parcels of land in Richmond after Thomas died.

It is presumed that the brothers shared most of the business holdings even after John had returned to London. But some investments such as the coalfields outside of Richmond were more likely to have been with Thomas who was a partner with others in these ventures. (Partners such as the Gallegos who were famous for their flourmills in Richmond)

There is a record of various partnerships with the Gilliats in the trading business. Thomas seemed to operate mostly from Richmond but he had interests with others in Norfolk and other cities in Virginia. Some of the arrangements were formal, such as the companies; others were less formal joint ventures and partnerships. One thing remains clear they were a very close group and forged some very close ties as can be seen in the wills of various of the gentry who left money to their friends children. Another custom of the times was to name one of their children in honour of a friend or someone who had bestowed upon them a great favour i.e. Alfred Gallego Gilliat, Thomas Gilliat Gray.


In 1799 it was reported that the firm of Gilliat and Mackinder was operating a wholesale Merchants Establishment in Norfolk Virginia, employing 3 free white males above the age of 16 and 2 blacks. In 1800 they employed 4 whites and 2 blacks. 1802 - 3 whites and 2 blacks. Between 1802-1805 they bought land on Church Street, Main Street and Market Street, one of the purchases from a John Davidson.

The representative of Mackinders was William K Mackinder who it is believed was William Kelsey Mackinder (1770-1845) whose sister Anne Mackinder was married to Richard Gilliat (brother of John and Thomas) born at Welton Le Marsh Lincs. William K Mackinder's birth was registered in Lincolnshire files but then he seemed to have disappeared, probably after his journey to the Americas. The company Gilliat and Mackinder was last reported in 1806 then, it is presumed, to have been purchased, after the death of Thomas Gilliat (1805). There was a new company in 1809 Mackinder and White and the name of Wm. K. Mackinder appears in the records as late as 1816.

Found in a list of old obituaries from the Norfolk, VA. Press is the following:-

March 9th 1845. Died on Friday morning this 7th inst. Of a paralytic stroke, William K. Mackinder, Esq. In the 76th year of his age. Mr. M. was a native of England, but commenced a residence in Norfolk in the year 1799, as an extensive importing merchant, and soon after became connected by marriage with a highly respectable and extensive family in this town, where he has reared up an amiable family in our community, to solace him in his declining years. At an early period of his life he made a profession of religion, in communion with the Presbyterian Church, and till his death, adorned that profession by a corresponding walk and conversation. He was of a meek and benevolent spirit, which was manifested even in his daily intercourse with the world and conciliated the esteem and sympathy of all who knew him. His funeral will take place on Sunday at 10 o'clock, from the Presbyterian Church.


It is recorded on 'The University Of Virginia Micro Film History' that Mr. Richard Taylor of the House of Gilliat and Taylor, Merchants, was married to Miss Elizabeth Calvert daughter of John Calvert Esq. Although it was thought, at least in the beginning, that the Taylors were in Richmond. It is interesting to note that in the will of Thomas Dent, (who appears to have been a very good friend of the Gilliat family as well as a business associate, he was an executor of Thomas Gilliat's estate) there is a bequest of five hundred pounds to Richard Taylor of the 'House of Richard and John Taylor' of Norfolk Virginia. Mr. T. Dent died in 1817 some seven years after Thomas Gilliat's death. It is presumed the Taylors purchased the old firm of 'Gilliat and Taylor', shortly after Thomas's death.

Although I have more research to do on the subject I feel sure that the Taylors are the relatives of Elizabeth Taylor the mother of the Gilliat brothers. Her father was named Richard as was a brother and there were others in the family.


Yet another company of traders shows on the file - in 1800 James Kirby was mentioned in a number of real estate transactions and a number dealing with slaves. 'Gilliat and Kirby' operated out of Richmond, Virginia.

Business dealings were also found involving a Thomas Dent, who was to die in London and left money to many of the Gilliat family and friends. His will is in the a section entitled 'A collection of wills'.

The following table lists some of the recorded events of interest prior to and after the arrival of the Gilliat Bros in Richmond. Some have a proven connection to the family others are of interest and support the speculation that John and Thomas may have had prior connections to the Virginia Trade before they arrived in the Americas as British Merchants.

1746 Captain James Gilliat of the ship Mayflower. Safe conduct letters on behalf of the King of England.(sorry not THEE! Mayflower)
1747 Captain Henry Gilliat of the ship Henry. Letters as safe conduct.

1758 Captain Henry Gilliat of the ship Henry. Letters of safe conduct Captain John Gilliat of the ship Hope. Letters of safe conduct.

1765 Thomas Gilliat 1765- 1810 Born at Scrivelsby , Lincolnshire

1770 Captain John Gilliat of the ship Dolphin. Letters of safe conduct.

1770 6th Sept. Liverpool John Gilliat (passenger)on HOPE of Liverpool, 100 tons, Henry Michael Sharkley master. Norfolk, VA. 1766. (Custom House, Liverpool Register of British Merchant Ships. Vol 105, 1953,pp 107-122).(Also note that the ship Hope was often captained by a Gilliat)

1786 Went to Virginia with elder brother John. Settled in Richmond, Henrico County, Virginia. Richmond at the time was a small community of less than 5,000 people of whom about half were black slaves.

1787 Petition to the Governor of Virginia signed by both Thomas and John Gilliat.

**1784 Born in Augusta County JOHN GILLIAT
10-17-1784 VA. Cencus 1810 relationship to Thomas not known.

1788 Notice in Virginia Independent Chronicle John and Thomas Gilliat at Richmond advertise for a parcel of calico stolen from their store. June 1788

1789 17th November Thomas married Mary Scott of Harris County VA in Richmond. Mary Scott ( Born 1775 in Richmond VA.)

1791 John and Thomas Gilliat Vs Mustoe and Chambers. Court case - Augusta, 16th March 1791. From the records of Augusta County. VA. Vol 11 compiled by Lyman Chaterley. P 19. District Court Judgement Sept 1791.

1796 Land grants to Thomas Gilliat in Virginia. Also 15,342 acres recorded Amhherst County survey north borders Buffalo and both sides of Piney and lLittle Piney. Sold 19 July 1844 Also 473 acres on Thrasher Creek; part of Big Taliaferro survey. This land was sold in 1844 to a Johnathon Thompson and wife Caroline.

1797 Married Mr. Richard Taylor of the house of 'Gilliat and Taylor', merchants, to Miss Elizabeth Calvert daughter of John Calvert Esq. (Micro film Lib of Virginia 194)

1798 Affidavit of John Gilliat of London Nov 1 1798 on behalf of the firm of John and Thomas Gilliatt, owners of part of the cargo of the ship Portland captured by the French on a voyage from Norfolk to London. NB: John is now back in England.

1799 Ship IRIS and negotiations to charter involving Mr. Gilliat. Norfolk to London Virginia Public Library:

C:1800 Correspondence between a John Tayloe 111 of Mount Airy, Richmond County, VA. And Washington D.C. to Gilliat and Kirby of Richmond Virginia. (Southern Plantations M1 Sec 30, Correspondence, 1793-1826 of John Tayloe 111.)

1800 Born Alfred Gallego Gilliat. It is of interest that the name Gallego was that of Joseph Gallego who was of Italian heritage and the founder of what were world famous flour mills in Richmond. They were very good friends and partners in various ventures. Joseph was appointed guardian of Thomas's sons in his will.

1801 Born in London to John Gilliat (Thos brother) William Henry Gilliat (1801-1853) He managed the Liverpool office for some years and often traveled to Richmond some years after the death of Thomas

1803 Born to Thomas and Mary Gilliat - William Gilliat who died at an early age.

1803 Mary Scott Gilliat dies. Thursday 15th of September.(Virginia Gazette Library of Virginia Film 44)(Virginia Argus) Age 28 years. Buried alongside St.John's church in Richmond St. The Church is an historic building in Virginia. It is in this church where Patrick Henry delivered his passionate speech ending in 'Give me Liberty, or give me death'.

1804 An estate transaction involving land and Slaves in Buckingham County VA 9 October among others T. Gilliat and Jas Kirby. Slaves Lucy-Jame-Rachael-Hannah-Lewis-Absalom.

C:1805 Married Martha Cooke and Thomas Gilliat. Martha was born in England and recently immigrated to VA.

C:1806 Born Betsy Gilliat to Thos and Martha Gilliat

1807 Born John Henry Gilliat son of Thomas and Martha (nee Cook) 10 May

**1809 Marriage of John Gilliat (of the Illinois and Ohio Gilliats) to Eva Joseph

1810 July 2nd 1810 Thomas Gilliat Dies in New York. From the Norfolk Virginia Gazette 'Died yesterday at the house of Mrs. Kinsey, No. 5 Broadway, N.Y. Mr. Thomas Gilliat of Richmond VA, in the 47th year of his age. A native of England, he had lived for many years in Richmond. His will stipulated that his second wife Martha Gilliat nee Cook. Was to receive the Manor house in Richmond, a Surrey, team of horses, five slaves and 10,000 pounds sterling. His sons were to receive the balance with his brother John in London and his friend in Richmond, Joseph Gallego, appointed as guardians for the sons. Copy of will on file.According to the family tombstone in Portsmouth R.I. Thomas was buried at Trinity Churchyard, New York City.

1810 Last Will and Testament of Thomas Gilliat recorded in the City of Richmond Courthouse 14th August 1810.

1812 was pledged to the fund to erect the Monumental Church on Shockoe Hill Richmond on the site of a disastrous fire which burnt the theatre and seventy two people lost their lives . This donation was apparently from the estate of Thomas Gilliat. (Richmond Her Past and Present by W.A.Christian)

1820 Married on Saturday Aug 12 ( by Rev. John Buchanan, the celebrated Simon Gilliat, aged 80, to Miss Frances White of Williamsburg. (Lib of VA. 321)Died on October 15, Simeon Gilliat, a man of colour, celebrated as a Fiddler (Lib of VA 320)

1823 John and William Gilliat Co. formed between John Henry, son of Thomas late of Richmond and William Henry Gilliat, a nephew of Thomas and John Gilliat, and the son of their brother Richard Gilliat of Lincolnshire. The business existed from around 1823 till 1838.

1840 Deeds of Amhurst County 15 Nov 1840 apparent settlement of land originally owned by Gilliat and Kirby to heirs of same. Martha, son John Henry and wife Susan H. Alfred Gallego Gilliatt.

1844 Estate of T. Gilliat still being settled, 15,342 acres pat to T. Gilliat in 1796 sold for and valuable considerations???


Quoting again from Roy Walker,s account with a few updates, 'John found himself a house at Clapham, at that time in the County of Surrey and a place which attracted a number of important citizens. Both William Wilberforce and Zachary Macauley were contemporaries of John Gilliat and belonged to a group of reforming evangelicals who later became known as the Clapham Sect. They also included Thomas Babington, head of an ancient Leicestershire family into which Gilliats of a later generation were to marry, and the banker Henry Thornton at whose house at Battersea Rise, on the west side of Clapham Common, the group met. Wilberforce lived there until 1808. He had been converted in 1785 under the guidance of John Newton, himself once the captain of a slave ship and composer of 'Whispering Hope'. His friend Zachary Macauley had formerly been a slave driver in Jamaica and had moved to Clapham soon after 1800.

There is no doubt that once the Gilliats had established an interest in the tobacco and cotton plantations of Virginia, the slave trade was a question, which would have confronted them, and it is interesting that John Gilliat would have chosen to live at Clapham, where there had been a group of Abolitionists since 1793. (There is plenty of evidence that Thomas owned slaves although John would not have been in that situation in London.) The Common had been drained in 1751 and subsequently planted with cotton trees supposedly brought back from the Pacific by Captain Cook. The Gilliats first lived in a big house facing Battersea Rise, but the next generation moved to another large dwelling, 29 West Side, by 1834.

The 'Saints' of Clapham were conservatives in their attitudes, favouring abolition of the slave trade, but at first content to accept slavery as part of the social order. Not until later did Wilberforce become the champion of emancipation.

Members of the Clapham Sect certainly married into one another's families. Thomas Babbington married Macauley's sister, their son being the famous historian and politician, Lord Macauley. A grandson of Babbington's married John Gilliat's granddaughter in 1859 and a granddaughter of Babbington's married John Gilliat's grandson in 1860.

The Claphamites had also been involved in a number of Christian causes, intervening on behalf of the Australian convicts, distributing Bibles, and sending out missionaries. This evangelical fervour was also handed down within the Gilliat family, Algernon Gilliat, another grandson of John, who was born at Clapham in 1837, built a share of Christchurch, Chorleywood, and entirely financed the building of St Paul's Slough, and its vicarage. He lived in Lancaster Gate, then Westbourne Terrace, in London, whilst owning 'Duffield' at Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire, and Fernhill Park near Windsor.

2ND GEN. ELIZABETH GILLIAT 1795-1850 married ALEX HATFIELD. A close relative of his, TADDY HATFIELD was to marry ALFRED GILLIAT the son of ALFRED GALLEGO GILLIAT who had married her aunt Caroline. (Whew!) What relationships this created are anyone's guess but inter marriage seemed both acceptable and fairly popular, it also kept money in the family.

2ND GEN. JOHN KIRTON GILLIAT 1798-1856 married MARY ANN SAUNDERS. She died 1863. Children of JOHN GILLIAT and MARY SAUNDERS are:

ELLEN GILLIAT 1828-1862 m C F GOVETT in 1858
JOHN SAUNDERS GILLIAT 1829-1912 Chorleywood Herts
ALGERNON GILLIAT 1837-1925 merchant Stoke Poge Buckinghamshire
HOWARD GILLIAT 1848-1906 Ripton Hall Hunts

JOHN K. GILLIAT AND CO. was to be the firm's new title. The new address was, 1 London St, Fenchurch Street. Heir to the business was John Kirton Gilliat (1798-1856) son of the founder, who married Mary Anne Saunders(?-1863). The business was very well established. There also seems to be no doubt that the company was in very competent hands and had grown to the stage where new offices and warehouses were built in Liverpool.

2ND GEN. WILLIAM HENRY GILLIAT 1801-1853 (see special section for descendents of William Henry, (THE RUGBY FACTION) moved to Birkenhead, Liverpool where he was the representative for the Gilliat enterprises. The office was at 20 Peter Lane and later 15 Water Street and for a time it became more important than the London headquarters. He married ELIZABETH CROSBIE and members of their family were destined to be the future family presence in the Americas.

[WILLIAM HENRY seemed to be a popular name for the Gilliats of the time and has caused much confusion in knowing who was who, or which was which.
However, Another William Henry (1791-1868) son of Richard and a nephew of John Gilliat (1761) came to work for the Gilliat Companies and after an apprenticeship in London and the death of Thomas in Richmond went to Virginia where he lived for some years and was quite involved in the business and social scenes of Richmond. Like others in the early family he married a first Cousin Sophia (1800-1866) who was the daughter of Benjamin Gilliat of Horncastle. William Henry and his two sons William Henry Jr. (1822-1855) and Richard (1822-?)} did very well in Richmond and they eventually retired to Barham House, East Hoathly, Sussex. William Henry Snr. left a large fortune of effects worth sixty thousand pounds, including large bequests to his grandchildren as his son, William Henry Jr. had pre-deceased him at the early age of 33 years.]

There was obviously a rift and hard feelings between Thomas's surviving wife Martha of Richmond and the London Gilliats headed by John. Thomas's will provides lavishly for Martha but did not leave the business in her control. He requests the sale of his assets including the 'Deep run coal pits' all my Slaves and other chattels and included a codicil, that his wife 'Martha shall have the use of the lot of ground in Richmond with all its appurtenances where I now live, all my house servants, my carriage and horses so long as she chooses to reside in Richmond and shall continue a single woman'. Following Thomas's death in 1810 there were years of legal wrangling, which resulted in some fat lawyers, and the loss of much of these same assets. There are records of case American law surrounding the fight for guardianship etc. between Gilliat vs Gilliat. It would appear that the argument was that 'guardianship' as requested and outlined by Thomas in his will, was not binding as it required separate documentation not as part of a will. It was Martha that contested the will and brother John was the other party. Despite this rift it appears that it did not affect the children for John Henry, the youngest son of Thomas and Martha, entered into a partnership with William Henry Gilliat (1791) and seemed to have prospered. Meanwhile Alfred Galligo Gilliat was to marry Caroline Gilliat one of John's daughters. However, Thomas's death seemed to be the demise of many business dealings and companies in the Gilliat name around Virginia.

That the J.K. Gilliat Co continued to prosper after the demise of partner Thomas has never been a question. It is evident that this London Company prospered and was very prominent in financial dealings with the Confederates. There is one very interesting event that must have assured the prosperity and the continued influence of the John Gilliat line.

One of the most famous characters of the new economic revolution that swept the USA in the mid 1800s was a James Thomas Jr. born in Caroline County, Virginia in 1806. In 1860 he employed 150 hands in his tobacco factory, more than any other Richmond factory‚ and made 1,100,000 pounds of chewing tobacco valued at ,000, exceeded by only one other factory. There was fear of civil was and at the news of the firing of Fort Sumter, James Thomas rushed all available tobacco to foreign markets, directing the proceeds to his London Correspondents, the old tobacco house of J. K. Gilliat and Company. Fearing a blockade, he laid in a great quantity of supplies. At the outbreak of war, he generously equipped a battery of artillery at his own expense. The war caused James Thomas Jr. enormous financial losses, but the funds, which he had so wisely deposited with Gilliat materially aided in the trying post bellum period.
(Quoted from 'The Tobacco Kingdom'‚ by Joseph Clarke Robert)

There is on record a letter written by a C. J. McRae who signs himself as an 'Agent' from an address - 17 Saville Row, London West - July 4, 1864. To the Hon. James A Seddon, Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.: The letter is one of a collection of documents relating to the quartermaster of the Commonwealth forces and reports on the purchase and inventory of all kinds of equipment, arms, uniforms, and ships that are required during the Civil War hostilities. The letter deals specifically with McCrea's efforts to purchase steamships, in Europe and particularly in Britain. Ships that would be fast enough to run the blockades on the Southern ports so as to deliver much needed supplies and also to export cotton and similar products to raise much needed capital to pay for the war. He reports that he has arranged for eight steam ships to be furnished to the Government. He goes on to say: 'I have also made arrangement with the highly respected firm of John K. Gilliat & Co. to advance £150,000 for the purpose of purchasing or building other steamers to run on Government account, produce to be assigned to them. For this advance I pay 5 per cent commission and 7 per cent interest, and the usual mercantile commission of 2 ½ percent for selling the produce. Lodging with them bonds of the ,000,000 cotton loan, at the market value, to net the £150,000, with a margin of 25 per cent. As Messrs. Gilliat and Co. have the money ready, this entire line might be started at once, if the proper steamers could be found, but the problem is getting steamers ready built that are suited to the trade.'

He also reports: 'I have opened a credit with Messrs. J. K. Gilliat & Co. for the Ordnance Bureau, which has enabled Major Huse to complete the contracts for all the machinery required for the works of Colonel Rains, Major Mallet, and Superintendent Burton‚ To obtain the credit I deposited with Messrs. Gilliat and Co. $1,000,000 8 per cent. Confederate bonds belonging to the Ordnance Bureau, and pay them 2 ½ per cent commission for the credit and seven percent interest. The credit extends over a period of twelve months. The credit also was used to purchase arms and cavalry equipment.

The £40,000 paid W. G. Crenshaw has enabled him to re-establish his line of steamers. He has three now running, and has made arrangements with Messrs. Gilliat and Co. to furnish him with the means to purchase two more.

Although J.K.Gilliat at the end of the Civil War held an estimated £300,000 of worthless Confederate bonds there is no doubt the fortune made on the Tobacco sales with James Thomas, and the various transactions with the Confederate Government was more than compensation. The company's affiliation with the South also was reflected in the loans made and forgiven, to the Virginia Military Academy by J. K. Gilliat in honour of which a scholarship was set up and remains to this day in the Gilliat name.

Following the American Civil War the J. K. Gilliat Company searched for diversification and entered into the Costa Rican coffee market and by the end of the nineteenth century this had proved to be a lucrative venture. By 1912 the company had taken over William Le Lacheur and Son, which had pioneered that particular market and new premises were opened up in Crosby Square, London.

Further diversification of the J. K. Gilliat and Co. business is recorded in a speech in St Louis, a record of which is held in the University of Michigan Archives, (The Progressive Press under The Making of American Journals.) There is a record of a series of speeches alluding to the population and economic growth along the Mississippi River valley.
A Mr. Bain speaks: 'Gentlemen, I have here, not exactly a written speech, but a document more eloquent, to my mind, than any written speech, viz: the following account sales of a part of the first lot of wheat ever sent down the Mississippi River direct for Liverpool' (Applause.)
Statement. Account sales 2000 bushels wheat ex John Geddie, McDougal, master, from New Orleans, and sold by John K. Gilliat & Co. per order and for account of Messers. Kehler, Updyke & Co, New Orleans Payment 1 and 2 months:

The London Branch of the family not only prospered financially but socially they were in the upper echelons of society. The ladies all married well into well known families. At the same time the senior partner's career continued to prosper, and with it the social status of the family.

3RD GEN. JOHN SAUNDERS GILLIAT 1829-1912 in Chorleywood, Herts married 1860 LOISE ANN FRANCES BABINGTON 1835-1914 of Rothley Temple Leics. Children of JOHN GILLIAT and LOISE BABINGTON are:


JOHN SAUNDERS GILLIAT (1829-1912)son of John Kirton Gilliat, in 1862 became a member of the court of the Bank of England and was Governor for a period 1883-1885. Apparently his familiarity with American affairs stood him in good stead and was very useful to him and the Bank.

In 1886 he entered politics, and became a candidate for the Conservative Party and entered Parliament as a member of Clapham and Batersea: From 1892 to 1900 he sat for Widnes, in Lancashire. He became a well-known figure in London and the County of Herefordshire, maintaining a residence at 18 Princess Gate and a country estate at Chorleywood Cedars, Rickmansworth. His obituary in the Times of London, described him as 'rich, philanthropic, and sincerely religious, devoted to the 'Established Church' and the other old institutions of the country, and in no sense a bigot, either ecclesiastically or politically. He was, in a word, a fine example of a type that is becoming rarer every year'

Others described him in slightly more humorous vain: 'It is said that John Saunders Gilliat was well qualified in the 3Rs that matter most in the City of London, he was -Rich, Religious and Respectable'.

John Saunders, aged 31, arrived newly married at Chorleywood to build the 'Cedars', which was to be his future home. He had joined the Gilliat company in 1853, when he was 23 and his arrival heralded a new era in the history of both the firm and the family. He had received the education of an English gentleman at Harrow School and the University of Oxford. He spent some time in the Richmond office. In 1856 his father died and he became the senior partner and in 1860 his brother Algernon joined him. It was also the year of his marriage to Louise, daughter of Mathew Babington of Rothley Temple Leicestershire and a close relative of Lord Macauley.

John Saunders Gilliat was also in demand to serve on the Board of Directors of some of the large international companies that were beginning to emerge on the world scene. He was a Director on the board of the Imperial Fire Insurance Co. of London and New York. It is interesting to note That the Donahues, who were the main movers in the New York branch were also leading coffee and tea merchants. It is known at the time that the Gilliats in their moves to diversify had gained virtual control of the Costs Rican coffee market and also suggest 'The Old Boys' network was in fine shape.

John made an application in 1860 to the College of Arms for a grant of armorial bearing, a coat of arms, and such was granted. 'on a fesse between four martlets sable, 2+2, three ears of wheat or; crest, on a mount vert in front of a garb or, two fronds of fern in saltire proper'.


JOHN BABINGTON GILLIAT was the eldest son of John Saunders and he was a Barrister at Welwyn. He married Muriel Helen Lycette and they had three children. Lancelot the eldest was mauled by a tiger in India and died when he was only twenty years old. His brother SIR MARTIN JOHN GILLIAT had a distinguished career. He was appointed private secretary to the Queen Mother Elizabeth in 1956 and he remained such until his death. Much has been written about 'this outstanding unstuffy courtier' as he was termed by the Times.

ALGERNON EDWARD GILLIAT 1866-1951 Director of J. K. Gilliat Co.
WALTER EVELYN GILLIAT 1869-1963 Anglican Minister

ALGERNON GILLIAT was to join the J. K. Gilliat Company in 1860 and he and John Saunders were to pilot the company through the tense days of the American Civil War. It would seem reasonable to believe that considering all the extra curricula business of his brother John Saunders, that much of the business of the company fell on Algernon's shoulders. He married Lady Mary Augusta Georgina Moore in 1864 and established residence at Duffield House, Stoke Poges. The company of John K. Gilliat Merchant bankers was eventually destined to become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Arbuthnot Latham Holdings in the mid nineteen seventies.

Until that time the management of the company stayed in the hands of descendents of Algernon's family.

PATRICK NEVILLE GILLIAT 1910 was Anglican Minister -Sheffield.

Algernon Edward Gilliat was a Director of J. K. Giliat Co. as was his son Douglas.

4TH GEN. WALTER EVELYN 1869-1963 married GEORGINA BELL WORTHINGTON and joined the church as a priest. They had three sons and two daughters
5TH GEN. JOHN HOWARD GEORGE GILLIAT 1907 the third son was also a priest in the Anglican Church. He was to marry AGNES MARGRET SHAUL. They had three children STEPHEN 1935‚ ELIZABETH ANN 1938 and RICHARD 1944.

6TH GEN. RICHARD MICHAEL CHARLES GILLIAT was born 20 May 1944 went to Oxford University and played cricket for the university team.

He became Captain of the Hampshire County Cricket Club from 1971 to 1978.
QUOTE: 'Richard Gilliat a stylish left-handed batsman, took over the side in transition in 1970 and led Hampshire to great success in that decade. The winning of the Championship in 1973 was achieved without a single defeat, and but for cruel luck with rain in the last week of the season Hampshire would have retained their title in 1974 instead of finishing runners up. In 1975 Hampshire finished 3rd in the Championship but won the Sunday League a title won again under Gilliat in 1978'.
Richard is presently living in Goldaming, Surrey where he holds the post of Deputy Headmaster at the Charterhouse School.



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