The family name of this extraordinary miser was Meggot, which he altered in pursuance of the will of Sir Harvey Elwes, his uncle, who left him at least 250,000, and he was possessed of nearly as much of his own. At this time he attended the most noted gaming houses, and after sitting up a whole night at play for thousands, he would proceed to Smithfield to meet his cattle, which were coming to market from his seat in Essex, and there would he stand disputing with a cattle-butcher for a shilling. If the cattle did not arrive, he would walk on to meet them ; and more than once he has gone the whole way to his farm without stopping, which was seventeen miles from London. He would walk in the rain in London sooner than pay a shilling for a coach ; sit in wet clothes, to save the expense of a fire ; eat his provisions in the last stage of putrefaction; and he wore a wig for a fortnight, which he picked up in a lane. In 1774 he was chosen knight of the shire for Berkshire, and his conduct in parliament was perfectly independent. He died in 1789, aged about 77, leaving a fortune of 500,000, besides entailed estates.


John Elwes.