The Final Years
In this section will be a brief account of the final years of Francis Emilius Cary Elwes followed by a complete list of every entry in the 1st edition of Wisden that has some relationship to Francis Emilius Cary Elwes his life, family, friends or the manuscript. The relevant Wisden entry will be given followed by a short explanation of how this relates to Elwes's life, family, friends, or the manuscript. This will mean a certain amount of duplication because so many have already been explained. This should make it even clearer that the 1st edition cannot be all Wisden's own work and that very little of the creative input is likely to be Wisden's.
The diary and manuscript may come to an abrupt end but knowledge of Elwes's life does not end here also. It is known that his wife attempted to divorce him on the grounds of non consumation of their marriage. A scandal ensued. Elwes's brother Dick acted for him because he was non compus mentis. The family argued that a divorce should not be granted because he might be curable and that every effort to cure him should be tried.
The divorce petition was not granted or was at least halted. His wife went to live initially in the Gloucester Coffee House in Piccadilly before entering aDominican convent in Stone and then to Crieff where her family originated and here she set up a childrens school St. Dominics which is still going today. In the process she became Mother Mary Ignatius
Elwes was admitted to Ticehurst Asylum in 1865. Ticehurst was the best asylum of its kind in mid Victorian days. His mother was for a period admitted in the 1850's. and so it was a known quantity to the Elwes family.The Wellcome trust hold virtually intact the documentary archive of Ticehurst Asylum. From this we can see details about his admission, his patient fees and expenses and his patient notes. He died in October 1867 and was buried in nearby Ticehurst Church. In his medical notes his death is recorded as being from General Paresis which we now know and understand as Syphillis. His notes show quite clearly that he was mad and we can assume he was therefore in the terminal stage of Syphillis. The terminal stage can last up to 5 years and has at least one characteristic of note with regard to Elwes. At the beginning of the final stage the sufferer can experience a certain amount of megalomania and if one looks at the concept that he appears to be aiming for with regard to Almanacks and the creation of many sporting related each illustrated and with reports he has obviously set himself a huge task.
I will point out the Entries in Wisden's Almanack 1864 that can be traced to Elwes's life, family, friends, or the manuscript below. For clarity the Wisden entries will be in italics
1 Fri. British Museum closes.
The links to Elwes begin with the very first entry. The manuscript has as its January 1st opening "Thursday 1 "CIRCUMCISION " This may not look like a link but in the early years of subsequent editions of Wisden before it became cricket related material only for their January 1st entry they have "circumcision"
Elwes's initial entry for the 9 May reads B. Museum opens and as I will repeat the Wisden entry for May 9 also reads British Museum re-opens
3 Sun. 2nd Sunday after Christmas
The opening entry for Sunday January 4th reads
" SUNDAY 4 2 SUN AFTER CHRISTMAS"
5 Tues. Dividends due at Bank
The entry for 5 January reads
MONDAY 5 DIVIDEND DAY AT BANK
Almost the same words. Elwes's banking records show that he received dividends on this day.
6 Wed. Epiphany
Elwes notes this day also TUESDAY 5 EPIPHANY
There are many links with religious connections. Elwes, as his entries indicate was a regular churchgoer, but if this did not provide all the entries with religious connotations then his friend Rev. Charles James Barnard, who will be met with soon, and if the diary entries are a fair reflection of events, was a regular visitor, and could, therefore, quite easily provided the many dates of religious significance with accuracy.
8 Fri. British Museum re-opens
See entry for January 1st
9 Sat. Fire Insurance expires
In the manuscript the entry for the 9th reads
FRIDAY 9 FIRE INSURANCE CEASES. Almost exactly the same words. This entry and the entry for January 5 are both recorded in the manuscript and are personal to Elwes. Why if they are nothing to do with Elwes are almost exactly the same entries recorded in the Almanack on exactly the same days of the year for 1864. There is also a later banking entry for March showing that Elwes paid for fire insurance
10 Sun. 1st Sunday after Epiphany
The manuscript notes throughout the Sundays after Epiphany
Sunday 11 1ST AFTER EPIPHANY
11 Mon Plough Monday Hilary Law term Begins
Plough Monday is generally the 1st Monday after Epiphany. It is the day when the agricultural year traditionally begins. I have no problem with understanding how Elwes knew about Plough Monday. With a father who owned extensive agricultural estates, sharing a tenanted farm/estate with his brother Dick in 1863; and growing up and later in the diary expressing a desire to escape the city is it likely that Wisden was responsible for this entry and for that matter later agricultural entries still to appear
Why it must be asked would Wisden have this entry about the Hilary Law Term . How did a man with Wisden's limited education come across such an esoteric term like "Hilary Law Term " other than via Elwes. Elwes's entry although difficult to make out, begins, for the corresponding day in 1863 MONDAY 12 HIL TERM BEG. Elwes as a student of Magdalene College Cambridge, and because, perhaps, he was a member of the Oxford and Cambridge Club and because he has noted this specific day in his diary is surely the source of this entry. (For more confirmatory evidence of this see also entry for Feb 1)
13 Wed. Cambridge Lent Term begins. Thomas Lord. 1832 aetat 74
The manuscript diary for the corresponding day in 1863 reads albeit in abbreviated form
MONDAY 13 CAM.TERM B
Here again Elwes has noted a start date of interest to him as a former student of Cambridge.
The use of the Latin word "aetat" instead of age. It does not take long reading the diary to realise that Elwes is an educated man, probably privately educated and to a high standard. He went to Cambridge in itself indicative of a reasonably well educated individual. My money says that "aetat" it is Elwes's choice of language not Wisden's.
Oxford Lent term Begins
Here again albeit in abbreviated form
10 WEDNESDAY OXFO TERM B.
17 Sun 2nd Sunday after Epiphany
The manuscript opening words are SUNDAY 18 2 SUN AFT EPIPH
21 Thurs John Small d. 1836, aetat 70 Louis XVI guillotined, 1793
The use of the word "aetat" again
My apologies for the length of this explanation. However if you have wives, girlfriends, nieces, grandmothers, or know anyone with an interest in Jane Austen they might be interested
I was long puzzled for the inclusion of this entry and a number of other French Revolution era entries. The relevance to the Elwes family had eluded me completely until a member of the family contacted me about this manuscript and my website.
As part of background research I came across F.E.C.E's. father Robert Cary Elwes. I learnt early on that he had inherited on the grand scale and at a young age. Could be Mr. Darcy of Pride and Prejudice I thought. And then I checked whether it was possible. The results of this research is also recounted on this website. In brief though I think his father was the real life Mr. Darcy I have a real location for Northanger Abbey a real location for Thornton Lacey and more besides that relate almost exactly to what Jane Austen tells us about the above. I can also show 1 degree of seperation between Jane Austen herself and very close members of Elwes's family. Furthermore I claim to have discovered number and anagram puzzles in her work. For example Do you see how easily the name Cary is disguised with the addition of a D and anagrammed to become Darcy.
The point though is that a member of the family contacted me about all this and from him I found that RCE was in Paris with his best friend Charles Drake Barnard in 1790. A portrait (now lost, only a photograph published in Connoisseur Magazine remains as evidence) of him in Paris was painted by society artist of the day Ludwig Guttenbrun. In the portrait it is clear he has his own long hair and does not wear as was the custom in Paris a periwig. Marie Antoinette was said to have asked "Why he didnt" His reply, frustratingly has been lost. He is also thought to have been among the last to be able to freely leave Paris which I presume to be late 1792 shortly before everything really kicked off. Nobody in the family knows why these 2 men were in Paris in the early 1790's. But 2 clever young men degree standard education and intelligence Oxford and Cambridge background has long been a source for intelligence operatives. Were they spies? 2 men; 1 a loyal friend and advisor as Barnard was. Sounds a bit like Scarlet Pimpernel. Accounts exist compiled by Barnard that show RCE squandering money in a way and at places not unlike Sir Percy Blakeney himself had he existed would have recklessly spent money. For those who like puzzles there is a very clever 2 way puzzle discovered but not I stress created or designed by me to be found linking Pemberley with Pimpernel. I digress
What I wish to make clear is that Robert Cary Elwes and his friend Charles Drake Barnard were definitely in Paris in French Revolutionary days , and that their activities in Paris may easily help explain why there are a number of French Revolution entries.
24 Sun Septuagesima Sunday
Although a week later this date is noted in the manuscript for the 1st Sunday in February
Sun. 1 SEPTUAGESIMA SUNDAY Another esoteric term along with Sexagesima and Quinquagesima that I have little doubt that Wisden had any idea about. Elwes though, obviously did know although this maybe via the REV Charles James Barnard.
25 Mon Conversion of St Paul
In the manuscript can be seen the following entry
SUNDAY. 25 CONVERSION OF ST PAUL
26 Tues Dr. Edward Jenner, who introduced vaccination d. 1823
In the diary entry for the 31 of March part of it reads
" called at Charlotte's where I found great dread of smallpox . Thank god only in one servant as yet" Seems to me that this entry provides some impetus for including Dr. Jenner.
30 Sat Martyrdom of King Charles 1.
Squashed into a corner is an entry for 30 January that reads
K. CHARLES T. MARTYR
Towards the end of the 1st edition of Wisden is one of the most bizarre of all its contents. This is a brief account of the trial and execution of King Charles the Martyr. WHATEVER is this doing in Wisden is, I think, a fair question to ask. An answer : Elwes as will have been seen married a devout Catholic, married her in a Catholic church and attended Catholic services. From 1867 his family became more public about their interest in Catholicism. However the Cary family in devon from whom comes the Cary in Francis Emilius Cary were for centuries leading Roman Catholics. A R.C. church was built and paid for in Great Billing by the Elwes family where the Elwes family owned one of their estates. In later years they helped finance the London Oratory School, one member became a Monsignor. There are records from the mid to late 1860's of members of the Elwes family converting to Catholicism. So when I ponder who was responsible for the piece about the trial and execution of King Charles the 1st I doubt very much it was Wisden.
31 Sun Sexagesima Sunday
See entry for 24th January
At the foot of each page of the Almanack is what might be termed "a factoid" a trivial, unimportant piece of information for which there is little if any apparent reason for its inclusion. For many of these "factoids" a reason/s for their inclusion can be found that pertains very closely to Elwes, his life, family, friends, or the manuscript.
The "factoid " at the bottom of the January page reads
"The first Arabian horse introduced into Britain in 1121"
Elwes, as his reports in the manuscript on horse racing demonstrate so clearly, knows about horses. His father bred some champion racehorses and within his own family is John Meggott Elwes reputedly one of the finest horseman in his day. Elwes was also a well educated gentleman / aristocrat with, should he need it access to the Oxford and Cambridge Club library. I see no problem with Elwes being the source for this factoid" What did Wisden know of horses?
1 Mon Hilary Law Term ends
The corresponding entry relating to this in the manuscript is for the 31st of January and reads
SATURDAY. 31 HIL. TERM ENDS PART. AND PH. SHOOTING ALSO. Abbreviated as it is, in the manuscript Elwes clearly means Hilary Law term. By using it in the manuscript he is conversant with such esoteric terminology unknown to most. What did Wisden know of such terminology.
2Tues Candlemas day Willioam Caffyn b. 1828
Elwes records that Caffyn was at Wisden's
4 Thurs War declared with France 1793
See entry for 21st January
7 Sun Quinquagesima or Shrove Sunday. T. Box b. 1809.
Re. Quinquagesima See entry for 24th January. Shrove Sunday is not noted in the manuscript but Shrove Tuesday Pancake day is noted. T. Box is Tom Box who was something of a foster parent to Wisden in his youth. Elwes records meeting Tom Box at Wisden's
8 Mon Rev. George Crabbe, the poet d. 1832
Of all the poets that could have been honoured with inclusion why would George Crabbe be the poet is a good question. The answer maybe that on the way from the Elwes estate in Mildenhall to a different estate belonging to the Elwes family the road from Mildenhall to Stoke- by- Clare passes through a place called Wickhambrook . George Crabbe served part of his apprenticeship to be a doctor here.
9 Tues Shrove Tuesday
Shrove Tuesday is noted in the manuscript Diary
13 Sat Massacre at Glencoe 1692
This is the first of several entries pertaining to Scotland. Elwes has many links. As recorded in the diary he and his wife spent nearly 3 months near Crieff in Scotland. His wife came from a prominent family local to Crieff. He records reading novels by Sir Walter Scott a writer as famous and proliffic as Dickens in the 19th century but now hardly read at all. His fiction centres around Scotland and Scottish history.
14 Sun 1st Sunday in Lent Quadragesima
Although a week later this Sunday is noted in the diary.
The full entry reads 22, SUNDAY . QUADRAGESIMA - S. 1IN LENT EMBER W
Ember weeks are weeks in which Ember Days fall during which 3 days are set aside for fasting. The Almanack entry for the 17th February reads 17 Wed Ember Week. Its a struggle for me to see Wisden as being responsible for this entry . Elwes however is fully aware of "Ember Week"
17 Wed Ember Week.
18 Thurs Battle of Eupatoria, 1855
The 1st of many Crimean war entries. Elwes has several links to the Crimean war.
His sister Charlotte was married to Horatio Tennysonn brother to poet Laureate Alfred Tennysonn who was the author of The Charge of the Light Brigade.
Several of Elwes's relatives fought in the Crimean War.
In the diary Elwes records taking the 1st 2 volumes of A.W. Kinglakes The Invasion of Crimea
20 Sat Aetat
Again the use of the word AETAT. This word is used on many occasions.
21 Sun 2nd Sunday in Lent
The 2nd Sunday in Lent is also recorded
22 Mon George Washington b. in Virginia 1732
Elwes's wife although of Scottish descent was American and in the early part of her life lived in Vermont. There are legal documents in which she states that she stayed with Elwes in various places in North America. There are 3 volumes of illustrated diaries somewhere in the world dating 1855-1867 that cover the period he first met her. There existence came to light following an article in Wisden's Almanack 2021 about this manuscrip. It appears that Cricket book and ephemera dealer Chris Saunders sold them for thousands? Their current whereabouts is unknown by me. C.S may know but is not saying.
23 Cato Street conspiracy discovered 1820
The Cato Street conspiracy plot was discovered and foiled on 23 of February. The link to Elwes is the fact that a dinner party given by Lord Harrowby at his home 39 Grosvenor Street and Elwes also lived at a Number 39 in queens Gate terrace.
25 Thurs Cambridge term divides at midnight.
Although abbreviated the diary entry for 18th February 1863 has the heading "Camb. T.D." Another example of obscure terminology unlikely to have been known by Wisden but well understood by Elwes.
27 Sat Hare hunting ends
Although there is no mention in the diary of "hare hunting ending" the shooting diary and other shooting related entries make it very clear that Elwes knew the proprieties of shooting to an extent that Wisden probably did not.
28 Sun 3rd Sunday in Lent
The 3rd Sunday in Lent is not noted in the diary. However the 4th and 5th Sundays are noted.
The factoid at the end reads
"Royal Mint Completed 1811."
I have only a sketchy suggestion for this factoid. There is a world famous coin dealer by the name of Spinks and Co. As a business they have been in existence for 350 years. For how many of those years they have dealt in coins I do not know. There are accounts drawn up for F.E.C.E's father covering 1790 - 1792 held by Northampton Archives. They show a number significant and expensive purchases. For those who read earlier what I had to say in connection with Jane Austen may also be interested to know that from the latter half of the 18th century Spink and Co. operated from No. 2 GRACECHURCH STREET. In the novel Pride and Prejudice, the Gardiners are prosperous relatives of the Bennets whose business operates from Gracechurch Street.
6 Sun 4th Sunday in Lent
This Sunday is noted in the manuscript
7 Mon Slave trade abolished, 1827
Elwes notes in the manuscript reading Midshipman Easy by Capt Marryatt. In this book is the character Mesty a former prince now a slave.
Possible as this logic is, a more plausible reason for this to be included is that Elwes's great grandmother and great great grandfather owned a plantation and slaves on the island of Antigua. This estate is not recorded on the slave data base but is known about by the will of Richard Cary who leaves his slaves and plantations to his daughter Martha.
10 Thurs Prince of Wales married 1863
The entry for Tuesday 10 March is given below
10. TUESDAY. Called on Bernard and Malton - neither at home however - Wedding day of the Prince and Princess - Fine but afterwards foggy day Minnie and F.G. went to see illuminations at night - Crush frightful 11 lives lost
11 Fri Benjamin West painter, d. 1820
Benjamin West was an American born artist who came to Britain in 1763 and never left. Elwes's wife was American and thus provides a reason for an otherwise illogical choice of artist among so many to choose from.
13 Sun 5th Sunday in Lent
This Sunday is recorded in Wisden
14 Mon Fly fishing begins
Elwes and his friend Larry Birch spent a week fly fishing at Helmsley where fine fly fishing was and still is to be had.
18 Fri Cambridge Lent Term Ends
This day is recorded in the manuscript but happened several days later on the 27th of March 1863
19 Sat Oxford Lent Term Ends
This day is also recorded and likewise happened a day later on the 28th March 1863
20 Sun Palm Sunday
Palm Sunday is recorded in the manuscript but happened on the 29th of March in 1863
24 Thurs Richard Chadd d. 1855, aetat 68; has a handsome monument erected to his memory at Harrow by the boys of the school
Wisden coached cricket at Harrow and therefore might seem the more likely source for this entry. However Elwes had relatives who were pupils at Harrow during Wisden's time there. One of these relatives is recorded as visiting him in 1863.
25 Fri Good Friday. Annunciation. Lady Day.
All three of the above are recorded but in 1863 did not take place on the same day. In 1863 Annunciation (abbreviated to Annunc.) and Lady day are recorded for the 25th March and Good Friday ( recorded as simply (Good) is recorded on the 3rd April.
27 Sun Easter Sunday
This day is recorded for 1863 on the 5th April
28 Mon Easter Monday
Easter Monday was several days later in 1863 and is recorded as MONDAY (EASTER)
At the end of March is the factoid "First wooden bridge erected at London across the Thames, 944
I have only the most slender of suggestions for why this factoid should be included. In January reports on the safety of the temporary bridge at Egton. and in particular the loose timber (see entries for January 5th and 6th)
2 Sat Battle of Copenhagen 1801
There are many battles commemorated in the 1st edition of Wisden. At first glance there appears little rhyme or reason for their inclusion; until the families of Elwes and his friend the Reverend Charles James Barnard and their links are factored in. I am particularly indebted to the efforts of William Barnard (member of the Barnard family) and the family tree he has created and thereby enabling me to establishing these links. The Battle of Copenhagen is the first of these links to the Barnard family.
H.M.S Kite was a ship that took part in this engagement. A member of the Barnard family Thomas Mordaunt Rosenhagen Barnard died of wounds sustained in action against pirates aboard H,M.S. Kite 27 June 1813
3 Sun Low Sunday
The diary records "LOW S. 1 AFT . EASTER"
I have no difficulty with the concept that the term Low Sunday derives from either Elwes or his close friend the aforementioned Rev. C.C.B. But Wisden? If Wisden did anything it may have been the exclusion of from this Sunday of "1st Sunday after Easter" The following Sunday in Wisden does record that Sunday as the 2nd after Easter.
4th Mon Dividends due at Bank
The diary for the 6th Monday records "Div. due at Bank." Although abbreviated the same phrase as near as dammit. Elwes's bank accounts record dividends as being paid in early April.
9 Sat Fire Insurance expires
Although no exact entry about this time in April the expression "Fire insurance ceases" was used as noted earlier.
10 Sun 2nd Sunday after Easter
See entry for 3 April
16 Sat Henry Fuseli, the painter d. 1825
The choice of artists to include is like the choice of George Crabbe poet ie. highly unusual. Why Henry Fuseli and later Benjamin West? and Antonio Canova. There are a few utterly banal trivial references and relationships to Italy to be found.
The recording of the arrival of a dog Romeo
The return from a trip to Italy of Carrie
The reading of a book by Anthony Adolphus Trollope "La Beata" summed up succinctly by Elwes as "Romeo and Juliet in Tuscany"
17 Sun 3rd Sunday after Easter
The 3rd Sunday after Easter is noted but in 1863 it came on the 26th April
22 Friday Lord Frederick Beauclerk, D.D. d. 1850
LFB has links to Elwes although to be fair he was a strong well known character in the world of cricket. He married Lady Caroline Cavendish a member of the cavendish family Duke of Devonshire etc. The Elwes family bought the Great Billing Hall and estate from a member of the Cavendish family. LFB went up to Trinity College Cambridge in 1790 and graduated in 1792 with an M.A. Elwes's father Robert Cary Elwes was also at Cambridge together with his friend Charles Drake Barnard in the same years. There seems a chance they knew each other. LFB descends from the Duke of St Albans who may not have been unknown to Elwes's father who also owned the estate of Throcking Manor Hetrfordshire.
24 Sun 4th Sunday after Easter
This Sunday is noted although it came several days later in 1863 on May 3
28 Thurs Mutiny on board the Bounty, 1789
Little is known of the early life of Peter Boyle De Blaquiere father of Henri De Blaquiere, FECE's acquaintance from Canada. But it is known that he served on board the ship Director as a mid - shipman under the command of Captain William Bligh of Mutiny on the Bounty fame.
30 Sat Battle of Fontenoy, 1746
The essential point to be noted about this battle is that the given date is wrong. It took place several days later on the 22th of May. Wisden, in the years subsequent has earned a well deserved reputation for its accuracy. However it still makes mistakes as might be expected in such a publication dealing with so many numbers and so much information. A slip here or there is to be expected. One mistake I feel the need to mention, and because I can, occurred in the 2021 edition in an article by Jon Hotten reads and I quote "King is not a follower of cricket" For the record King ie. me, does follow cricket and it is because I follow cricket, owned a complete run of Wisdens post 1956 that I recognise so easily, even though they are 100 to 150 years earlier, the linguistic and textual similarities between the reports post 1950 and the reports in the manuscript of 1863. To me the later Wisden reports so obviously derive from the reports in this manuscript .
Click here for Part 2 The Final Years