John Rolls, 1st Baron Llangattock

John Allan Rolls, 1st Baron Llangattock, DL (19 February 1837 – 24 September 1912) was a British landowner, Conservative Party politician, socialite, local benefactor and agriculturalist. He lived at The Hendre, a Victorian country house north of Monmouth.

John Allan Rolls
Born(1837-02-19)19 February 1837
Died24 September 1912(1912-09-24) (aged 75)
Political partyConservative
ChildrenJohn Rolls, 2nd Baron Llangattock
ParentJohn Etherington Welch Rolls
Arms of Rolls of The Hendre, near Monmouth, Barons Llangattock: Or, on a fesse dancettée with plain cotises between three billets sable each charged with a lion rampant of the field, as many bezants. Motto: Celeritas et veritas.[1]



He was the only son of John Etherington Welch Rolls and his wife Elizabeth Mary Long. Elizabeth was a daughter of Walter Long of Preshaw and granddaughter of William Carnegie, 7th Earl of Northesk.

Rolls was educated at Eton College and Christ Church, Oxford,[2] later becoming Captain in the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars Yeomanry Cavalry, and was afterwards appointed honorary colonel of the 1st Monmouthshire Artillery Volunteers, later 4th Welsh Brigade Royal Field Artillery

In 1868 he married Georgiana Marcia Maclean in London. She was the daughter of Sir Charles Fitzroy Maclean, 9th Baronet, of Morvaren (1798–1883). They lived at The Hendre and they also had a house South Lodge which was at Rutland Gate in London.[3] They had four children:

Rolls was appointed High Sheriff of Monmouthshire in 1875, and served as MP for Monmouthshire from 1880 to 1885. In 1892 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Llangattock, of The Hendre in the County of Monmouth.[5] He served as Mayor of Monmouth 1896 - 1897, and his gifts to that town included a large public hall, a gymnasium, and an isolation hospital. In April 1901 he received the Honorary Freedom of the Borough of Monmouth 'in recognition of his many benefactions to the town'.[6] He was also a magistrate and Deputy Lieutenant of that county.

He was a Freemason, rising to the position of Provincial Grand Master in 1894. The Masonic Llangattock Lodge (No.2547) was created in his honour in 1895 and took the Rolls motto, Celerias et Veritas (Speed and Truth).[7]

He was a breeder of Shire horses and acquired a reputation amongst agriculturalists for his shorthorn and Hereford cattle and Shropshire breeds of sheep. He was a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and restored several Monmouthshire churches at his own expense.[8]

Lord Llangattock was a prominent member of the Anti-Vivisection Society, a position that caused some controversy as illustrated by a letter of 18 May 1901 published in the Journal of the British Medical Association:

SIR,-I see that Lord Llangattock, who presided at the annual meeting of the Antivivisection Society on 9 May, gave credence to 'the horrible stories of what takes place in the laboratories of physiology,' denounced vivisection as 'misleading, immoral, and degrading,' and professed 'a sentiment for animals.' Now, I recollect reading in the newspapers last autumn a description of a battue on a large scale, given by Lord Llangattock at his place in Wales, at which a phenomenal number of pheasants were shot for the recreation of Lord Llangattock and his friends, and I should like him to study this little picture of his own dealings with animals, for which he has 'a sentiment' drawn not by a vivisector, but by a man who is a keen and trustworthy observer, and who is in genuine sympathy with all senitient beings.[9]

Lord Llangattock's elevation to the peerage confirmed his elevation to the top rank of society. In late October - early November 1900 the Duke and Duchess of York (later King George V and Queen Mary) stayed with Rolls at the Hendre.

Lord Llangattock died on 24 September 1912. He was succeeded by his eldest son, John Rolls, 2nd Baron Llangattock, who died of wounds received at the Battle of the Somme in 1916.

Family tree

John Rolls
Sarah Coysh
(d. 1801)
John Rolls
of The Hendre
Martha Maria Barnett
John Etherington Welch Rolls
Elizabeth Mary Long
John Allan Rolls
Georgiana Marcia Maclean
(1837 – 1923)
John Maclean Rolls
Henry Alan Rolls
Eleanor Georgiana Rolls
Charles Stewart Rolls
(co-founder of


  1. ^ Burke's General Armory, 1884, p.868
  2. ^ Venn, Rolls, the Hon. Charles Stewart[permanent dead link] in Alumni Cantabrigiensesed. Venn
  3. ^ South Lodge, Country Life, accessed February 2012
  4. ^ The descent of The Hendre was in a collateral line, descended from the sister of Lord Llangattock's father.
  5. ^ "No. 26328". The London Gazette. 23 September 1892. p. 5384.
  6. ^ "Court Circular". The Times. No. 36426. London. 11 April 1901. p. 7.
  7. ^ Full list of lodges: Masonic Province of South Wales - Eastern Division
  8. ^ Obituary, The Times 25 September 1912
  9. ^ Journal of the BMA: Correspondence: 9 May 1901
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Member for Monmouthshire
1880 – 1885
With: Frederic Morgan 1874-85
Constituency divided
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Llangattock
Succeeded by