Master at Tonbridge School
James Jollie Pattisson
James Jollie Pattisson was born on 4 February 1851 in Witham, Essex, and was the fifth
10 sons of Jacob Howell
(1803-1874), born in Witham, Essex, LLM [ed.
Bachelor of Laws, Cambridge University], a solicitor-attorney, and Charlotte Garnham
(1816-1904), born in Witham, Essex. James also had six sisters.
James Jollie Pattisson
Photo: Courtesy of The Pattisson
In 1851, James J. Pattisson was 5 months old and living with his mother and four of his brothers at Witham
House, a grand nineteenth century town house at 57 Newland Street, Witham, Essex. For further details about the
household then, see Jacob Luard Pattisson.
James J. Pattisson was educated at Tonbridge School, Kent, between the ages of 8 and 18 (1859-1869). He was
in the 6th Form at the School in 1869, and would have met two of the 'Zimapanners', Charles Augustus Vansittart
Conybeare in 1868, and Charles's brother, Henry Grant Madam Conybeare, in 1869.
Pattisson won a Judd Exhibition to Sydney Sussex College,
Cambridge.1 As an undergraduate in 1871, aged 20, he was
living with both his father (68) and his mother (54) at 132 High Street, Tonbridge, Kent, next door to a
carpenter's yard.2 Pattisson was awarded a BA in 1873 and
an MA at Cambridge in 1877.
After going down from Cambridge, Pattisson coached boys—at Ashford, Kent—for their 'common entrance', the
examination you need to pass to get into a public school.3 Some
time before 1880, he was the Assistant Master at King William's College on the
Isle of Man, but returned to Kent where he spent eight years as a master at Tonbridge School
'Tregullow Offices' (1891)
In March 1891, James Jollie Pattisson, along with two of his other brothers and his uncle, Bixby Garnham
Luard, loaned a total of £3,000 to barrister and MP, Charles A. V. Conybeare, when he mortgaged the 'Tregullow
Offices' (later Zimapan) together with various other properties. See The 1891 Indenture. According to Portsmouth conveyancing solicitor Ian
K. Nelson, the loan was a "straightforward investment".
'Tregullow Offices' (1902)
In July 1902, while James Pattisson was living in Tonbridge, Kent, the Conybeares decided to sell the 'Tregullow
Offices'. None of the money that he, his brothers and his uncle had loaned Charles Conybeare in 1891 had been
repaid. However, all interest due on the amount of the outstanding loan for the period 1891-1902 had been duly paid
to James Pattisson by the time of the sale in 1902.5
Sudden death (1903)
James J. Pattisson died on 14 May 1903 at Graylings in Tonbridge, Kent, aged 52, a "gentleman of
independent means", less than 10 months after Zimapan was sold by the Conybeares. He had moved back to
Tonbridge in 1891 to teach at his former public school there. An inquest was held on 16 May to ascertain the cause
of James's death, which the Coroner recorded as a rupture of an aneurism of the aorta causing in shock, resulting
1.The Register of Tonbridge
School, 1820-1886, by W. O. Hughes-Hughes, Nov 1886, online
version. Exhibition named after the founder of
Tonbridge School, Sir Andrew Judd.
2. The 1871 England Census.
3. Same as f/n 2.
4. Cambridge University Alumni, 1261-1900, Ancestry.com.
5. The 1902 Indenture.
6. Death certificate, 20 May 1903; syncope: unconsciousness arising from a lack of oxygen reaching the