Lead Equestrian Statue of William III.
In Roman Armour.
by John Cheere.
In 1734 John Jolliffe nominated as M.P. his uncle Sir William, Jolliffe, who served to 1741 with Edward Gibbon Il. John Jolliffe served as M.P. 1741 54 and 1761 68. After 1761 there followed a long period when a member of the Jolliffe family represented the Borough of Petersfield until 1866, except 1835 41, when Cornthwaite John Hector served. Sir William strongly supported the Protestant succession, symbolised by William III.
After the 1745 Jacobite troubles, he wished the Jolliffe family to be visibly aligned with Protestantism. Sir William Jolliffe died in 1749 and, in his Will, left his three nephews £500 to erect an equestrian statue to William III in the Borough.
The statue by John Cheere was erected first in the circus at the entrance to Petersfield House demolished in 1793 (which today is the centre of the road by the Police Station). The statue was moved to its present position in 1812.
Mr. John Jolliffe built Petersfield House in the Lawn where was previously the residence of his father-in-law, Mr. Robert Michell. It was a fine red-brick mansion with stone facings of the style of Queen Anne. It occupied the site of the schools and the police-station between St. Peter's Road and Hylton Road, and traces of artificial canals can still be seen. When the house was pulled down in 1793, owing to parish disputes, the entrance gates of Sussex iron were removed to Merstham House, Redhill, where they are at the present day.
For the Royal Equestrian Statues see - Reading the Royal Monument in Eighteenth Century Europe by Charlotte Chasel Rousseau, 2011.