Heathcote, Sir Gilbert
HEATHCOTE, SIR GILBERT (c. 1651-1733), lord mayor of London, belonged to an old Derbyshire family and was educated at Christ's College, Cambridge, afterwards becoming a merchant in London. His .trading ventures were very successful; he was one of the promoters of the new East India company and he emerged victorious from a contest between himself and the old East India company in 1693; he was also one of the founders and first directors of the bank of England. In 1 702 he became an alderman of the city of London and was knighted; he served as lord mayor in 1711, being the last lord mayor to ride on horseback in his procession. In 1700 Heathcote was sent to parliament as member for the city of London, but he was soon expelled for his share in the circulation of some exchequer bills; however, he was again elected for the city later in the same year, and he retained his seat until 1710. In 1714 he was member for Helston, in 1722 for New Lymington, and in 1727 for St Germans. He was a consistent Whig, and was made a baronet eight days before his death. Although extremely rich, Heathcote's meanness is referred to by Pope; and it was this trait that accounts largely for his unpopularity with the lower classes. He died in London on the 251)1 of January 1733 and was buried at Normanton, Rutland, a residence which he had purchased from the Mackworths.
A descendant, Sir Gilbert John Heathcote, Bart. (1795-1867), was created Baron Aveland in 1856; and his son Gilbert Henry, who in 1888 inherited from his mother the barony of Willoughby de Eresby, became 1st earl of Ancaster in 1892.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)