I bought this not unattractive 250-page partly illustrated manuscript that was written in 1863 by a then unknown author at an auction in March 2016. I bought it partly for its cricket content, partly because it looked so interesting even though several pages were missing particularly at the back where most of a gathering had been removed, but mainly because the name Wisden appeared in some of the diary entries and in connection with cricket and could therefore I thought be the Wisden of Wisden's Almanack fame. After purchase came the fun; researching what it was that I had bought.
A quick look showed that what I had bought was 3 perhaps 4 manuscripts
in one. The first was a day to day diary covering the period January 1863 to
September 1863. The second was a shooting diary covering the period
November 1862 - January 1863. The third was a collection of sporting reports
to include rowing, horse racing, rackets, boxing and for this website cricket
for the spring/summer season of 1863.
What appeared to be a fourth was the scattered collection of pages that had
been torn or cut out. These pages in no way impact upon the other three
texts. Further examination from the relevant diary entries soon showed that
John Wisden and the author of this manuscript clearly knew each other well.
Further research confirmed that they probably knew each other well, quite
possibly for 15 years or more when Wisden had been coaching cricket at
Cambridge on a day when the author of this manuscript was playing cricket
for Magdalene college.
The name of the author became clear with a little more work. It was Francis
Emilius Cary Elwes. A relative of his owned the Egton Estate where part of
the shooting diary to be found inside was written.
My big surprise came after I began reading some of the cricket reports for
1863. As I read them I could not help thinking that they were Wisden-like
except that the one person they could not possibly be by was Wisden.
They were so like Wisden in style, I knew I would have to see what a first
edition of 1864 looked like and compare the two texts for similarities. Initially, the results were disappointing. There are no cricket reports at all in the 1st edition of Wisden But then I happened upon the page with the University Rowing Matches. Even without the benefit of later findings that provided proof this table I felt had to have been copied from the manuscript. I then studied the Almanack section of Wisden 1864. A rather odd thing it is too. It provokes many questions of the"why did Wisden include this or that" variety. I became convinced that many of the oddities in the Almanac section were personal and could be explained if looked at them from the life of F.E.C.Elwes, his family, friends and this manuscript.
And so, 18 months later it has proved. Very many of the entries in the Almanack section which are puzzling when viewed from Wisden's perspective have easily traceable sources when viewed from Elwes's. The more I found, the clearer it became that whilst John Wisden certainly contributed too the creation of the Almanack, much of it was probably the work of Elwes , some of it demonstrably the work of Elwes and were I to bet hard cash I would be betting that the missing pages contained much more. Then there were the cricket reports. Anyone who knows what early Wisden cricket reports look like, how they read, their dry bare factual style, can hardly miss the similarity between the match reports in this manuscript .
Once upon a time it was a truth that I received and accepted, without even thinking to question whether Wisden had in fact been the creator of the Almanack that bears his name. I later learned that there are some, amongst those who know their Wisdens well, who have questioned whether Wisden was in fact the sole creator. How right I think they are. For my part, after 18 months of intermittent research, it is not a question of "did Wisden create the Almanack all by himself". He clearly did not. To some extent Wisden has clearly plagiarised as will be so easily shown. The question to be asked and answered is "how much is Elwes and how much is Wisden." Plagiarism simple. But plagiarism with a question mark. As I shall explain, Wisden found himself in a very difficult situation. What resulted was fantastic: the worlds greatest sporting Almanack.
Wisden I feel, made but one mistake. That was in 1869 when he changed the name from the Cricketers Almanack to Wisden's Almanack for when he did this he thus claimed the work of another as his own.
That is the big secret that I will explain, but over the course of my research I cant help thinking that there maybe another secret which I will quickly outline here . There is no full length biography of Wisden, a fact given his enduring fame and status that I find surprising. Many have tried but come up against the lack of documentation. I was astounded to learn how little there is. Only a few signed legal documents and carte de visite photos. Not one single letter, other form of document, signed and inscribed books or copies of Wisden. Not one single sentence or even phrase in Wisden's handwriting. Nothing to his close friends, family,famous cricketers customers etc Zero. For such a publicly famous man how can there possibly be nothing.
I find it unlikely that if there were ever anything written by Wisden that nothing would have survived. So I ask myself "Could Wisden in fact write?" Perhaps not. He had very little formal education and at a young age was sent to work. The given reason is that this was due to the death of his father. But suppose for example that he were dyslexic. Such people have a terrible time with spelling words to the extent that 40/50 years ago and more they would have been considered quite stupid. It's not impossible that he could have taught himself to read. Handwriting however is an acquired skill that requires practice. Practice at spelling, practice at grammar and sentence construction, practice at forming the letters. Just because one can read it does not therefore follow that one can write. So "Could Wisden in fact write?" I suspect not.
Over the coming months I shall try to explain everything in this manuscript and how it relates to Wisden, as well as explaining the relevance of anything else that needs explaining. At the end I will also include the little outside of this manuscript that is known about Elwes and how the parts of the 1864 Almanack relate to Elwes, his life, family and friends.
I am convinced that this was the original source manuscript that led to the creation of Wisdens's Almanack and that the author of this ms. was at least one half of a partnership. The other half being Wisden.
The editor of Wisden Laurence Booth can confirm, thanks to his own designated expert Stephen Baldwin brief examination of the manuscript, that this is indeed, in part at least the original source manuscript.
See what you think
Manuscript for January and February 1863
with explanatory notes
The title page to the 1864 first edition of Wisden's Almanack.
Reproduced with the permission of Neil Robinson Lords library
The title page to the 1864 first edition of Wisden has an unusually large variety of typefaces and sizes.
The diary pages in particular are interesting in their variety for here too is a variety of lettering, both in size and style. Similar varieties are to be seen throughout the diary sections of the manuscript
The first of the missing pages in the manuscript is where the title page would be expected to be.
Did it, I ask myself, once upon a time contain the title page that was used in the 1864 first edition of Wisden?
Below is the first page of the manuscript. To the left are the remains of a missing yellow page. It has been cut out using a sharp knife and the knife has partly cut into the next 2 pages. All the other missing pages look to have been cut out using a pair of scissors. Written in pencil by a former owner or more likely a dealer on the fly leaf is the information that this is a sporting diary by "Bignall." This is not the case as will be shown later, although the name Bignall does appear in the Shooting portion.
Today, it can only be speculation as to what may have been written on this written page. Science though offers the possibility that this may not always be so. Watchers of the programme "Fake or Fortune" will be well aware of some of the advances that science can bring. Reflection Transformation Imaging is one of these very modern very recent techniques that offers some hope of finding out what was on the missing page. Its still developing and advancing and of course isnt free but one day...
Egton written in red refers to the Egton estate in Yorkshire. Then, as it still is now, was a large shooting estate that was sold to the family of the current owners in 1868. It was sold by a member of the Elwes family by auction in 1869 but in 1863 it was owned by Cary Charles Elwes.
Shot about Nth Moor. Stonegate Gill etc. R. Smith carried a gun and handled well. I am sorry to say feeling very unwell. did not do the same. A tremendous storm drove us home early sleet and hail and a hurricane of wind. I felt very unwell and glad to get home for the day see page
Went to White's about William's case. Riding of course the Old Grey beast. Soon settled our little conference, and smoked the pipe of PEACE.
Wrote a good many letters when I got home - and used my pencil a good deal to keep me awake. I can answer for my sleep at NIGHT.
Dreadful but somewhat ridiculous day on the HAZEL HEAD BEAT. Not a woodcock on the whole ground. The famous wood down to Burnetts - always a sure find. The cause must have been from the frightful storm of which more hereafter See page 6
Second SUN. AFTER CHRISTMAS
Rode up to morning church. Very seedy. Grubbed at White's dinner - Rode on and called on John Underwood. the Invalid. much pleased was he at the attention. afterwards at Ralph Wood's- the ditto scene pipes and gin of course.
DIVIDEND DAY AT BANK
Great Flood - Railway people alarmed for the safety of their temporary bridges, and worked most bravely. The Gt. bridge near the BEGGARS BRIDGE was apparently in the greatest danger the loose timber there was kept stationary by Iron piles, they kept an eye on floating logs. Wm and I were on the water all day.
Floods about the same but the danger past for the Engineers & river like a grand rolling sea of white foam. Initially in short paragraphs.
Had one look from KEEPER'S BRIDGE. We then took our guns and the ferrets - and did a little business in Park Hall 19 being slain. See page - Many of the earths being broken up.
Ferreted in Limber. Nice day - Difficult shooting but the Irons were skillfully handled - 16 brought home. Talked a great (deal?) to a foreman mason on my way home. He shewed me his plans for his bridge. 6 Arches I think. Indeed Engineers Contractors Foremen and men were all particularly civil and behaved (referring of in this particular of course to the "navvies") See page
The connections to Wisden 1864 begin with the very first word of this diary. Circumcision. January the 1st in the Almanack section in the 1864 1st edition of Wisden reads British Museum closed. All subsequent editions with content other than cricket have Circumcision for their January 1st entry. Circumcision refers to The Circumcision of Christ. Something the author of this ms. as a regular church goer knew very well. I propose the idea that Wisden, saw the entry for circumcision and felt that may have been a bit much for any gentleman to have done on January the 1st and so changed it for British Museum Closed, an entry unlikely to cause offence to anyone.
Any references to shooting are covered more extensively in the separate Shooting Season Diary Nov 1862 - Jan 1863 section unless
there is an important point to make.
R. Smith is/was a much smaller landowner who owned land surrounded by the Egton Estate as shown by the map that accompanied the auction sale of the Egton estate in 1869
The author is frequently unwell, possibly in part from what he would die of in 1867
The author is a regular attender at church and would have been familiar with all the religious entries in the 1864 1st edition of Wisden. Many of the Almanacks entries are also to be found in the diary section of this ms.
Dividend day at Bank. There is an entry in the 1864 1st edition of Wisden January 5th for "Dividends Due At Bank" In April of both the ms. and the 1864 is another similar entry. In the ms it reads"Divis due at bank" Some at least of the the authors banking records survive (more Later) where it can be seen that he did receive dividends in January and April.
A page here can also be seen to have been removed
At the top of the entry for January 9th the author has written "Fire Insurance ceases" In the Almanack of 1864 for January 9th is the term "Fire Insurance Expires "
1st Sunday after epiphany appears in both texts.
January 12th 13th and 14th
The beginning of the Hilary Law Term, Cambridge Term and Oxford Term are all recorded in the 1864 1st edition of Wisden. The author as well as being a student at Magdalene College Cambridge was also a member of the Oxford and Cambridge Club which I think makes the author a likely source for these 3 entries.
The initials H.W.L. in the January 11th entry stand for H. W. Lindlow who seconded the authors membership of Lords. On the same day Alec who had dysentry is most probably either Alexander Hepburn Murray his brother in law or Alexander Murray his father in law. The former later became Major-General Alexander Hepburn Murray. The latter was responsible for mapping most of Newfoundland.
The author's wife's family were from a prominent Scottish family. Alexander Murray senior fought at the Battle of Navarino where he was awarded a medal. The date of this battle is noted in the first edition of Wisden 1864 in the Almanack section for October. It reads 20 Thurs Battle of Navarino, 1827.
Shot Glaize- Hard white frost a rabbit out and two woodcocks who beats us were never even fired at -17 RABBITS were killed and 2 pheasants - 19 HEAD. Extraordinary accident with the boy and galloway see page ( See Shooting Diary)
FIRE INSURANCE CEASES
Rained all night. River as high as ever- Gave Mrs. Wm her dress - Arthur Brooksbank called for a few minutes from Mulgrave . He was nearly lost in the mud. Wrote a quantity of letters having nothing else to do. Got ready to start on the next day.
Went to town by early train. Rained like a deluge. Brooksbank accompanied as far I think as Doncaster- Got carriage all to myself . Nth. eastern servants very civil, lost a new hat out of the window. The story in relation to it is not repeatable tho' good .
SUNDAY 11 1ST AFTER EPIPH
Felt somewhat ill and particularly absent, uninteresting diary for some time. At H.W.L.'s Luncheon - Claret - Rawlinson - Mrs. l unwell. On getting home found Alec stuck up with dysentery. Did a job in town.
HIL TERM BEG To H. Wilson's Andre's Douglas. Lost my check book but could not tell where - Drew out £110 pounds at Goslings which to my horror about cleaned me out. Saw Malton. Felt very absent.
CAM TERM B(EGINS) Pagets Wisden's Luncheoned at O & C. Concluded a little job. Alec still unwell. Saw Malton with GLEE - Hard to remember all I did.
OXFORD TERM B(EGINS)
Made up and paid little bill- felt better, Alec still ill with dysentry
Boss-Browns-Luncheoned and dined at the club At Winsor & Newtons .
Very private, but in good taste 9 only present including the bride - groom Minnie - Alec - Aunt H - Walls - Mortlock - Coomber (best man) Lucas. Dear Minnie in a dashed but still pretty dress looked the best of all. Breakfast good but not costly - Married at Roman Ch. too
For January 12th there is an entry that reads "drew out £110 at Goslings" Goslings were bankers of choice for many of the gentry. Their records survive virtually intact and are held by Barclays Archive Group at Withenshawe Manchester. The author had an account with Goslings and the records confirm that he withdrew £110 pounds cash.
There are other diary entries that can be confirmed by these records. (eg. see below ) The end of the January 12th entry reads "saw Malton. Felt very seedy." Malton is Doctor Christopher Malton. Goslings show that later in the year he was paid in excess of 30 pounds. Throughout the diary there are many instances where the author feels less than well.
The first mention of many meetings with Wisden in the diary throughout the period January 1863 - June 1863. When the author writes "Wisdens'" he definitely means Wisden of cricket fame as will become apparent with the finding and existence of contemporary documents.
The author records getting married. Minnie (Mary Helen Murray) was his bride. I think that he married her twice, once in England and once in Hamilton Canada possibly in 1856. They were married in a Roman Catholic church, his wife was a staunch Roman Catholic.
Her father as previously related mapped much of Newfoundland and she spent much of her early life near the Canadian border in Vermont North America. It would seem that the author met her in Vermont? on one of his trips abroad. These fact provides an alternative reason for the inclusion of the 3 American entries in the 1st Edition of Wisden.
a) 22 February George Washington b. in Virginia 1732
b) 9 December George Washington d. 1799
c) 11 March Benjamin West the painter died 1820
Interestingly also given what I suggest about Wisden's ability to spell, Benjamin West, in common with Wisden had little formal education and apparently despite his artistic abilities even when President of the Royal Academy could scarcely spell.
Wisden led a team of cricketers on a tour to America and Canada to play cricket against a number of local teams. The organising of this series of matches began in 1856 by William Pickering a former cricketer and founder of Surrey cricket
club who had emigrated. It was 3 years before the tour took place due to problems with financial guarantees.
It is known that the author of this ms. may have been in Hamilton and various other places in Canada/North America in 1856, had connections to Surrey cricket club and also as a gentleman may have had easy introduction to William Pickering and importantly as will be shown had the trust of Wisden who of course had the trust of the players.
Could he have been the "go-between" trusted by both sides who had contact with both sides and was therefore able to smooth out problems and issues and thus to facilitate the tour's taking place? It would be no surprise if there were such an individual somewhere in the background; there often is .
His accounts show that £250 pounds was deposited in January
Kensington Gardens was very close to where he lived and and would often go to.
Mildenhall refers to an estate at Mildenhall Suffolk that he had an interest in. He had money problems and later gave it up (sold). Part of the shooting diary (coming soon) takes place on this estate
Libre Baskerville is a classic font with a modern twist. It’s easy to read on screens of every shape and size, and perfect for long blocks of text.
Felt very unwell from indigestion. Too late for Malton. Saw him however in the evening at Kensington. Treatment changed. Mere invalids diary this and most uninteresting.
Not well. Got a note of hand from Goslings and letter from Rackham - about my money matters - Note of hand £250. Walked in Kensington Gardens. Chow Chow was lost (supposed to be stolen, but the supposition was wrong.
2 SUN AFT EPIPH
AT Lindow's - Cigars Claret etc. Felt far from well - but still improving as I thought. Went to arrange about Mildenhall but Henry seemed certain of being unable to go from Alexander's illness . - C.C.B. dined at 39 - But he comes so often that I really take no note of it.
Went to Malton's but had a long wait for him _ Gave checques to Wisden Boss etc. - afterwards wished I had not but I was wise enough to counterorder one or two things afterwards - In fact I had been rather throwing away money - as I soon found out.
Into town - At Payne's after a watch and at Abud and Collingwood's as I knew these men would wait for a long time - I was not much afraid - but non I am convinced I was wrong - these were presents mostly which I had been purchasing-
Gave away the presents - called at the Drummond's not at home. Being tired of Brown I ordered a few clothes at Linney's - Waterloo Place Lindow's man I recognised - Parfitts old foreman. Got the cast of Landseer's rabbit terriers for the smoking room.
Linney came then Malton. Financial matters certainly looked fishy. Saw Teddy and Briggs the latter en route for Italy with Carry - Gave away some presents - People called like fun - Arranged about Mildenhall - could not get guns. Heard that Dick's boy was to be christened next Sunday.
Gave checques Wisden Brown Boss - the other's had been torn up the confusion in fact - Drummond 's came - Pop got her earrings from me - Hired a breech loader for Alec at Boss's
C.C.B. is Charles Cary Barnard who was vicar at Bigby. If help were needed with the many religious entries in the 1864 Almanack needed, presumably he could have provided it. The number 39 refers to the address in Kensington where the author of this ms. lived. He lived at 39 Queens Gate Terrace Kensington. This address no longer exists and is now part of either or both 37 or 41 Queens Gate Terrace (see photograph at the bottom bottom of page.)
A descendant of the Barnards recently contacted me (January 2021) and as a result I looked at the Barnard family tree again . According to this family tree 2 members of the Barnard family (Phillip Adolphus Barnard and and George Percy Barnard) served in the 24th and 34 foot Regiments and a further member served aboard H.M.S Kite . Although not involved in the actions relevant to the Almanack the fact of their service in these 2 regiments and aboard H.M.S. Kite provide simple logical links between their inclusion Almanack and F.E.C. Elwes and thus offers an explanation for the inclusions below in the Almanack section.
The following Wisden Almanack entry that connects to the 24th Foot regiment
July 1 Battle of the Nile 1798 (Abukir Bay). Although it must be said that the 24th Foot regiment were only deployed there in 1801. (Its a thin reason I know )
May4 Defeat of the French at Fuentes D'Onor 1811 Battle honours were earned by the 24th Regiment at this engagement
The following Wisden Almanack entries have stronger links to the 34 Foot regiment and for clarity the Wisden entries are underlined and explanatory notes in italics
Wed 12 October French fleet defeated by Admiral Rooke at Vigo 1702. However the action at Vigo recorded in Wisden would appear to be a different action at Vigo involving the 34th Regiment
April 30 Battle of Fontenoy 1745 The date here is wrong also. This battle took place in May
May 20 The Hon. Admiral John Byng shot by order of a court martial 1756. This date is also incorrect. After a retreat to and defense at Fort St. Philllip that lasted 2 months the 34 th foot regiment watched themselves being abandoned by Admiral Byng
May 16 Battle of Albuerra 1811. The 34th regiment took part in this battle
April 2 Battle of Copenhagen 1801 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
June 15 Fire destroyed property valued at at £25,000 pounds at Beverley 1860.
Francis Drake City surgeon York and another relative died at Beverley and a son of his also Francis Drake was Vicar of Beverley.
July 12 in the Almanack reads Richard Cromwell d. at Cheshunt, Herts aetat 90
Firstly a mistake has been made here Richard Cromwell was 85 when he died.
Secondly, a relative of C.C.B. William Drake one time Vicar of Isleworth was for a time a master at Felsted School. Richard Cromwell and his 3 brothers were educated at Felsted School.
Both of the above are part of the wider but still close Barnard family.
17 June Battle of Bunker Hill 1775
Sir John Mordaunt another member of the wider but still close Barnard family founded the 47th foot regiment.
This regiment fought at the Battle of Bunker Hill 1775
The 47th regiment also fought in the Crimea at some of the battles recorded in Wisden's Almanack and thus provides one more of many links between Elwes and the entries pertaining to the Crimea
Reaching back in time the Mordaunt family provide earlier links to the entries in Wisden's Almanack
5 November Gunpowder Plot Henry Mordaunt 4th lord was imprisoned on suspicion of involvement in the Gunpowder Plot
Towards the end of the 1st Edition of Wisden is the utterly baffling inclusion of a brief account of the trial and execution of King Charles the First. Why is this included? The Mordaunt family were a prominent Catholic family. One member married into the Howard family another leading Catholic family.
There maybe other links between Wisden Almanack entries and the Barnard family still to be found.
Particularly helpful in locating these entries was The Barnard Family Tree available online without which most and probably all the above would be unknown.
The family member also suggested that if I looked at the village of Isleworth and the universities attended by Jane Austen's brothers further answers maybe found to aid my research into Jane Austen/Mr. Darcy. Isleworth because F.E.C. Elwes's father, grandfather and great - grandfather had owned Isleworth Manor. Jane Austen's brothers and the universities they attended relates to my other research topic in which I put forward the case that F.E.C. Elwes's father could have been the original Mr. Darcy of Pride and Prejudice fame. Details are to be found elsewhere on this site by clicking contents and then clicking on "Is This man the real Mr. Darcy."
Independently of this I had had another look at how cricket came to be played at Leamington Spa. Wisden had certainly played a major part in bringing matches to Leamington Spa. Others though must have been involved. For example a man by the name of Lord Guernsey, a recently elected M.P. for Leamington Spa had also lent a considerable helping hand. According to Stephen Baldwin a nan with considerable knowledge of Wisden the man "Lord Gernsey promised him support for the new ground." How I wondered had Wisden a man early in his career and of lowly origins come to sit at the same table and discuss cricket at Leamington Spa with a man of the status of Lord Guernsey. Simply by virtue of being very good at cricket did not seem to me be quite a good enough reason on its own to thereby sit down and discuss such a momentous undertaking. Could Elwes have had the contacts to facilitate such a meeting. The writing of this diary as will be seen later on proves that there were very good relations between Elwes and Wisden. So was it possible. Who was Lord Guernsey for a start I wondered.
It turns out that he was known as the Earl of Aylesford Heneage Finch one in a long line before and several more after of Lord Guernseys. What property in total he held I have no idea but 1 property he and his forbears had owned was the magnificent Syon Park in Isleworth a short distance from Isleworth Manor. So on that basis I think it extremely unlikely that the Elwes family did not have some sort of generational long term contact with Lord Guernsey and that therefore Elwes junior may have had something to do with cricket being played at Leamington Spa by being through family connections able to facilitate a meeting between Wisden and Lord Guernsey.
A few months later following further contact between myself and the family member I received a photograph of a portrait of F.E.C. Elwes's father Robert Cary Elwes painted by a famous portrait painter from the 18th century Ludwig Guttenbrun
This for me was a crucially interesting piece of information. Firstly for relevant and possible links between Robert Cary Elwes being the man whom I think was "the real Mr. Darcy" of Pride and Prejudice fame (see Contents "Is This Man The Real Mr. Darcy") But especially in this context for the origins of Wisden's Almanack.
The 1st Edition of Wisden contains a number of entries that relate to France and the revolution in France and the later Napoleonic Wars. Until now I had found no possible linkage. The portrait provided the possibility. The portrait was painted in Paris at some point in 1790. The most likely time was mid to late year between the end of the summer term and beginning of the Autumn term at Cambridge. RCE according to family oral history was in Paris with another family member, assumed to be his very close friend, one of the executors of his father's will, and tutor Charles Drake Barnard. Both men attended Cambridge at this time. Nobody knows exactly why they were in Paris. Paris as students of French history will know was an interesting choice given the revolutionary fervor that must have been in the air.
Whilst family history has nothing to say about why they were, there are a couple of items that have been passed down to the present day. There were many stories from these days it would seem but in the process of grandson to grandson to grandson and time most have been lost.
It would seem so one story goes that these 2 men attended a dinner at which Marie Antoinette was present. How they came to be invited is unknown. Marie Antoinette made some comment regarding the fact that against prevailing custom Elwes chose not to wear a wig but as the portrait shows grew his own hair naturally long . Elwes's reply is unknown.
The second story is that these 2 men were some of the very last people (English?) to be able to leave Paris and France.
There are no precise details to link Elwes with any of the French revolution entries in the Almanack ie "the Fall of the Bastille" the deaths of the mathematician Carnot and the poet Berenger (see their links to the revolution) and the execution of King Louis's sister but certainly there are quite clearly links to France and Paris and likely others unknown.
Entries in R.C. Elwes's bank records held by Gosling's show that he lent substantial sums of money in the form of Exchequer bills to the Govt. I know no more than this at the moment but there are some further archive documents that I hope to examine once (if? April 2021) U. K. lockdown ends and free access is permitted. There maybe some further detail to be added.
The passage of time has long since buried most of these stories but back in 1863 to F. E. C. Elwes whatever stories there were, must have been far fresher in the memory and a greater understanding of the relevance to the Elwes family known and understood.
The author records giving a check to Wisden And Boss. Goslings records show that a check for an amount in excess of 30 pounds was paid to J. Wisden. These records also show other payments to J. Wisden in previous years together with a check payable to F. Lillywhite at a time and date when Wisden was in partnership with F. Lillywhite. Boss refers to gunmakers Boss who made the Boss Breech Loader. A vintage Boss Breech Loader is a very expensive gun nowadays.
No payments are recorded for a bust of Landseers "rabbit terriers " presumably a bronze. I cant imagine that a bronze casting by Landseer the most famous animal artist of his day was cheap.
Arranged about Mildenhall refers to shooting on the estate at which the author had an interest (see shooting diary)
Hired a Boss Breech Loader for Alec. Alec is either the authors father in law or brother in law. Its unclear which, but probably brother in law.
Felt seedy. Heard of the arrival of the Fabricotts from abroad - sea sick - Bernard with a black eye - C.C.B. dined here but he comes frequently and one does not recollect when. Counter-ordered one or two things at Payne's.
CONVERSION OF ST . PAUL
Went into town. Could not spot H.W.L. saw the Mrs. Rawlinsons at Ecclestone Street. Tried the rag twice - but no good. Dined at the O. and C. Looked in at the Rayleigh - Drummond and I walked up with Teddy - He dropped me at H.W.L's- the ladies behind en route to Charlotte's - We took some care to be some way ahead of them.
Went up to Winsor and Newtons and recovered my topcoat (????) Left Kensington about 2.30 - got to Shoreditch about 3.30 - this hitch-Alec came by appointment- punctually Got down to Kennet about 9 - and refreshed - at Steed's - at 9 1/2 - perhaps tired - saw Talbot -slept well.
Shot the big cover - Never saw such work 2 guns trying to shoot what 4 could not do. To mean kill the pheasants - to a certain extent - got our allowance by luncheon time - and then went down to little purpose to Snipe Marsh - missed a great deal of course - no cover - therefore did a deal of harm. see page
In the fields after the wild partridges - wild by Jove they were - Alec and I shot badly - very - and (???) See page- Both of us rather disgusted - i shot 2 brace.
Alec returned to town. I tried ferreting rabbits. made a mull of it from carelessness - got all ferrets stuck - They had been cleaned out by the warreners - frightened the pheasants away like the Deuce - see page
K. CHARLES THE MARTYR Looked through the very handsome old church of Mildenhall with Mr. Dean a most polite old gentleman - Talbot and I tried the snipe ground - got 1 each and a partridge - saw several snipe but unreachable.
HIL. TERM ENDS PART & PH.SHOOTING ALSO
FEB 1 being Sunday.
Wrote quantities of letters poured with rain - Drove with Talbot over Sir Charles's Private Manor most splendid ground - In fact - take the whole thing I never saw such a manor cover alone
At the top of the next 2 pages can, not for the only occasion be seen an illustration of an hour glass. It is perhaps interesting to note that one of the societies included in the section of British Societies is Horological institute
The date of the Conversion of St Paul is recorded in the 1864 1st edition of Wisden. Dined at the O and C and looked in at the Raleigh refers to 2 of the clubs of which he was a member. The author refers here to the Oxford and Cambridge and the Raleigh travel and Exploration Clubs, both of which he was a member. He was also a member of Lords cricket club and Princes rackets club. Membership payments are
recorded in Goslings banking records for all 5 clubs
January 27th 28th and 29
For a fuller account see shooting diary.
King Charles the Martyr.
In the Almanack section of the first edition of Wisden 1864 the entry for January the 30th reads
" Martyrdom of King Charles 1"
There are many odd inclusions in the 1st edition of Wisden's Almanack but surely one of the most surprising must be the account of the Trial of King Charles the 1st.
Did Wisden really write that account! I dont believe it.
The author of this manuscript however certainly had Catholic leanings as is shown by his enjoyment of his marriage in a Catholic church. There is a strong possibility that his family may have been Catholics in secret. The village of Egton was a small stronghold of Catholicism. Many members of his family publicly converted from the mid 1860's onwards to Catholicism and financed Catholic projects. At Stoke College in Stoke by Clare formerly owned by another Elwes there exists a priest hole. Finally I discovered (late 2018/early 2019) that the Cary in FECE's name derives from the Cary family of Devon who for centuries were the most prominent family of
Catholics in Devon .
Hilary law Term ends. The 1864 Almanack records Hilary Law Term as ending on February 1st.
Sir Charles's private manor may refer to the owner of what is now Stoke College Stoke - by - Clare. This was owned by various members of the Elwes family, one of whom John Elwes served as the model for Scrooge in Dickens's Christmas Carol.
Reverend George Crabbe's death date is recorded in the 1864 1st edition of Wisden as February 8th. It was actually the 3rd of February. Given all the wonderful poets whose date of death could be recorded one might well ask why George Crabbe was the only one chosen. There is a slim connection to the author.
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.
Gave Minnie her new Lett's diary. Johnny called looking uncommonly well. C.C.B. as usual. Found to my delight that Chow Chow had not been stolen this time - a guinea (Alec's) recovered him - he had merely followed a butcher this time. Great bore however to hear of another overdraw at Gosling's
Dick came in the evening. Minnie went to Monday Pop! Malton saw me - Johnny Elwes looked us up he was in in great form. Great talks we had over my money matters.
Went to Rackham's in re. Gosling - Grice got his money at last Dick and Murray went to the City - they or Dick saw H.W.L. I was welcome to give up Mildenhall - glad to hear of it - got hair done - seedy with cold C.C.B. came . Minnie at Mrs Drummonds (???) wrote letters.
Invoice to Lindow. Dick and Alec I find went to his office today not yesterday - I went again to Rackham's - so wet I cabbed it each way - a bore as I like a walk. We all four dined at the Fabricotts Mr. St. Clair being the only guest& Miss Murray (aunt H)good wine and grub & justice done to it. Found the £50 the two presents as I thought to give the the 2 girls for costumes to a more useful purpose - paying some of our bills - Dick went to Rackham about Legacy duty and Lincoln's afterwards. Pelham called looking very well indeed - Alec to the Geological Museum Drummonds to dinner - Alec sang with great kudos
Alec girls and Bernard to riding school - Grosvenor Street. Dick left us about 1 o'clock - en route home - I into town - Wisden's - Paget's & O.& C. Fancied I had lost my signet ring a mistake thank God. Actually came home - went again published a notice! no use!
Found my ring to my delight at my own washstand . Up late on Friday night squaring up accts. Called on the Oliphants with Alec - I seemed fated to never see the great GEOLOGIST - and Fabricotts dined here - I was ill and retired early.
Johnny (see also Feb 2nd) I believe is Johnny Elwes from Bossington Stockbridge a relative born 1836. He connects to the 1st edition of Wisden in 2 ways. Firstly he spent a short time at Harrow where Wisden coached for a few years although he was not there whilst Wisden was. Secondly, according to the Harrow School register he joined the 7th fusiliers and saw action in both the Crimea and the Indian mutiny. The Harrow School Register records several other pupils with the surname Elwes all from Bossington Stockbridge who were at Harrow when Wisden was there. Could the author of this ms. and or other family member/s have had some influential connection with Wisden taking up a coaching position at Harrow. Perhaps. Where Wisden is found the author of this ms. and or his family are never far away in some way or other as to name but one for now, for example, will be seen in the "shooting diary Nov 1862- Jan 1863"
The dates of several Battles of the Crimea are recorded in the 1864 1st edition of Wisden. Johnny Elwes provides one of several connections between the author of the ms. and the Battles of the Crimea.
Dick is the author's brother Richard James Cary Elwes. He appears many times in the diary. More of him later.
Rackham is Willoughby Braere Stihl Rackham and was the author's, and perhaps other members of his family's solicitor. Who Grice was, is unknown.
Mildenhall., Suffolk. A shooting estate in Suffolk that the author appears to have had some interest in. See shooting diary 1862-1863.
Mrs Drummond may have been part of the Drummond family in Scotland near to where his wife's family came from or perhaps Drummonds the banker.
What the legacy duty is, is unknown.
Lincoln is another of the author's brothers.
Pelham. Quite probably 3rd earl of Yarborough Charles Anderson Pelham. The first Earl of Yarborough's daughter had married the author's father although she was not the author's mother.
The Geological Museum. In the British Societies section of the 1st edition of Wisden there is an entry for The Geological Society
One of several mentions for Wisden consisting of nothing but his name
Paget's is unknown
Laurence O is probably Laurence Oliphant author.
Ramsey is Sir Andrew Ramsey a well known geologist of his the time.
SUNDAY 8 SEXAGESIMA
-S Went to Wisden's by appt.nt accts of the coming season better but nothing to brag at. Mr. St. Clair came in to luncheon and a Mr. Morgan an intimate friend of Alec's - with a dreadful hair lip- quite painful in fact. Felt rather unwell _ Helen and Bernard looked in about 6-
Dear old Alec left us - taking affectionate leave of me in bed. He was "en route" for the North - taking Dick's for one or two days - on the way - at Payne's about watches. - Went to Monday P. with Minnie but had to leave from weakness - leaving a library book in the cab which I never recovered tho' I sent to Scotland Yard-
Minnie took another riding lesson with her brother and sister. I had given up on Malton when lo he appeared. taking his pipe as usual - a long walk - he gave me a lift in his brougham to Bond Street - He seemed to know everybody we met - Wisden's - Cricket intelligence more hopeful.
Finished that all absorbing novel "Lady Audley's Secret"- Impersonation of a female fiend - wonderful. My private shooting diary for the 62-63 season beat me and gave me a headache. Charlotte and Mrs. Evans having left cards I returned them and had a most pleasant chat with Charlotte.
Wrote several letters - waited for Larry and got tired and came home instead of dining there as I originally intended - found Minnie's little present Photograph Book - Wisden not at home - Minnie dined with the Fabricotts and went with them to the English opera.
At Wisden's where I saw Dark, good cricket news - Made my accts pretty proper - and gave two or three cheques - Wm's game accts came - began to see my way through them.
Malton came but not till after 2 o'clock- Bitter cold day - glad of it more like winter. Hurried off to Lord's (could not get a cab till I reached Bryanston Sqr.) Found Larry at tennis - distinguishing himself - took a pipe and glass with him on my way home. Reading in the evening . Finished Vol.1 "Aurora Floyd"
Fabricotts are unknown but appear from time to time. Wisden's By appt refers to Wisden's shop. Goslings bank records show a cheque paid to Wisden for a sum in excess of 30 pounds. A not inconsiderable sum in 1863.
Who Morgan, St. Clair, Helen and Bernard are is unknown
The entry in the 1864 1st edition of Wisden for November 18 reads "Metropolitan Police founded 1829" and thus provides a connection to the Almanack from the ms. with the entry for entry for Scotland Yard. November 18th the date given for the founding of the Met though would appear to be wrong. It was founded 29 September 1829. Over the years since its inception Wisden's Almanack became known for its scrupulous accuracy. The first edition uncharacteristically though has many mistakes of which this is just one. Some of the mistakes
of Wisden as will be shown later must have come from this diary /author.
Another meeting at Wisden's subject unknown.
The author reads a great deal both fiction and non-fiction.
"My private shooting diary for the season 62-63" see next manuscript chapter.
Charlotte is possibly his niece Charlotte Maria Tennyson nee Elwes who was married to poet laureate Alfred Tennyson's brother Horatio. Another link to the reasons for including so many of the battles of the Crimea in the 1st edition of Wisden because of course Alfred Tennyson wrote the famous poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade" Or she may be Charlotte Allington Pye. She was the wife of C.C.B. Charles Cary Barnard . "Charlotte" makes a few appearances. Charlotte Allingham Pye was a poet and composer and used the name Claribel.
The shooting diary for the season will be appearing as the next part. It begins in December and then goes back to November. The authors dating maybe muddled, although as an account of a winter season of shooting it is for those who like country estate shooting of considerable interest.
Larry is Laurence Birch, a friend.
Another mention of Wisden although he is not at home.
Another contact with Wisden. Dark is James Dark professional cricketer and owner of Lords. Wikipedia give a biography.
What the good cricket news might be can only be guessed at.
"made my accts. pretty proper" presumably in part at least means the day he paid Wisden. There is a Gosling's bank record showing a payment in excess of 30 pounds to Wisden (see image below)
Wm's game accts. are for the season 62-63 at Egton
Lords had and still has a tennis court.
Fanny G. is Fanny Gruber but no more is known of her.
Aurora Floyd is a 3 volume novel by Mary Braddon.
The portraits at the top of the page are possibly morphing into self portraits. A timer is too be seen in most
The Kensington Gardens. The author regularly writes about being in these gardens generally having a pipe. They were the Royal Horticultural Gardens in Kensington that were opened in 1861 and but a few hundred yards away from where he lived. at 39 Queens Gate Terrace. The 1864 1st edition of Wisden has entries for June and July for which at the bottom of their pages read" Mulberry trees introduced into England ,1699" and "Peach and nectarine trees brought into England from Persia ,1562." It is surely possible that these gardens had mulbery, peach and nectarine trees in them with a label explaining such and were the source for this information.
Stirring Times Under Canvas by I. S. A. Herford. A book describing Oude the land to the north of the Ganges together with a brief description of Cawnpore, Calcutta, and Allahabad.
Quite an informative entry with Wisden. The author was a member of Lords for several years. He was first elected June 4 1849 proposed by George Luard and seconded by H. Lindlow (or H.W.L. as the author frequently refers to him as ). Initially in Lords's records he is recorded as living at Gloucester Coffee House, Piccadilly. A reference book published by Antique Collectors Club, British Prints Dictionary and Price Guide by Ian Mackenzie has for its end papers a reproduction of a print showing the Gloucester (hotel) Coffee House. Later membership books record his addresses as Magdalene College Cambridge and Astely House Whitby although that is incorrect and should read Aislaby. For some reason he would appear to have resigned.
Stroll in the Kensington Gardens- 2 days frost to my delight -(nearly the first of the season)Both dined at home. Fanny Grueber with us. - Finished "Aurora Floyd"& Stirring Times Under Canvas" good talk
John (???) Larry after waiting at O.& C. arrived late after watching a most spirited contest between (Text unclear)
SHROVE TUESDAY -(pancakes day!)
saw - Wisden about M.C.C. I recall
Into town -Consultations with Wisden about photographs -Matches - Joining the M.C.C. again. Had to go twice that night to Malton for a necessary operation which I should be sorry to undergo again. When I got back the last time I found Minnie just come and sympathizing.
18 ASH WEDNESDAY
Camb. T.D. Felt very well in the morning -Into town - Wisden's - Great deal of talk about cricket matches-got photographs etc. - capital luncheon -Walked a great deal about the Parks. In the evening had to go up to Malton's twice to have an operation. - I should not care about such pain every night - I met Minnie on my last return who sympathized.
Finished "Daughters of Eve" Minnie arranged the photographs into the new book - present she kindly gave me - I thought it wiser to give up the "Duke's Motto" after my shock yesterday - Sorry spirit afterwards - Miss Grueber went with Minnie instead. - It never ceased raining.
Felt a deal better "Smoking room " cleaned out to a certain extent - some cricketing photographs hung up - leaving a title or two for my bedroom where I hung up two. - Plenty of room for anything of my own either in the smoking or bedroom - Minnie staid at home - much music between her and Miss G. - Wrote to Malton
Felt much better. Did accts. up etc. - Malton came early in the afternoon - Sent the Gosling's book back to Rackham for Inspection - As I felt rather anxious about them - Began "Round About Papers" Thackeray - Met Tomline - The "Waters" left their cards - Had rather a bad night
Sadly the membership records for Lords are incomplete so it is not possible to tell why or when he resigned.
In 1863 Wisden began selling signed cartes de visite of cricketers. I have seen a reproduction of one with his signature.
I am told that this signature is identical to a few legal documents with his signature on them. It is very neat almost copperplate in look and I would say without any of the usual flourishes one usually sees on a signature.
This trip together with another the next day and others to his doctor Malton probably helped to create the bill for about 30 pounds as shown in his banking records.
Camb T. D. Stands for Cambridge Term Divides. For February 25 the 1864 1st edition of Wisden has the entry "Cambridge Term divides at Midnight"
At Wisden's again where there was great talk about cricket matches. Clearly the author had several lengthy talks with Wisden.
One wonders just what these photographs were! A clue as to what exactly some of these photographs may have been is to be found in the list of articles for sale at the back of the 1st edition of Wisden's Almanack where the entries read
"Photograph of an Australian Twelve. Cartes de Visite.
Photograph of an American Twelve, companion plate"
Exactly what was causing such painful operations is unknown but it may well have been a symptom of what he would die from about 4 and a half years later.
"Minnie arranged my photographs" Cricket photographs?
A good collection of photographs. Probably of reasonable value were they still in existence. The ones for sale in Wisden's Almanack 1864 perhaps?
QUADREGESIMAS 1 IN LENT EMBER W.
A Careful examination of the BOOK OF GOSLING'S showed that with great care - things would come round again. - To the Horticultural in the afternoon with Minnie - very pleasant - Fanny Grueber dined here I was kept awake by the music a good deal.
Into town - Grant's, Linney's, Wisden's, where I saw Caffyn & Mortlock Kind of half rain - with Minnie and Miss Grueber to Monday P. Some new hands were there 9 (wind instruments and strings misc played one very pretty thing - Halle solo - exquisite Winn & (Las???0 who cant sing came (???) Went in a cab and walked home - C.C.B. was there -Halle and Ficetti lovely - Moligne - moderate violinist.
To Linney Tailor carried off a regular cartload of clothes hardly worn but a great deal too big as I had lost 1 stone and a half since my illness. Found C.C.B. with Minnie and Mrs s(???) going home from a visit to 39 - M dined at Helen's to help the host - Saw Rackham - Commenced with delight "Sylvia's Lovers" the scene of which is entirely laid at Whitby in Whaling and press gang days
Finished 2nd volume of Sylvia's Lovers Commenced "True As Steel" a rather confused book of the times of Charles the V - Minnie to Helen's. I took my daily stroll _ Fanny Grueber called & took some heavy tea - music
Gave Taylorson a cheque for £40 Took hot port wine & nutmeg close - Very Almighty- Luncheoned at the club - Felt rather queer - did not sleep well - got a hacking cough - Continued "True As Steel" Tired of it We both dined at home - Fanny G. with us
Did a little painting - Very fine day - Took a long walk - Minnie to Porchester Terrace - Finished "True as Steel" - Very tired of it - Tried to see H.W.L. at the Rag - Could hardly get in - it was so crammed - Resumed the Whitby "Sylvia's Lovers"
Drummond had luncheon at 39- Pop too ill - Left behind at Westbury - M & I went to exhibition - Empty_ & it looks pretty well from size - Not a soul at the Horticultural - all the world at the "Drawing rooms" Walked over to Porchester Terrace - Drank claret & smoked heavy Suffered for it afterwards-
In the section on British societies in the 1864 1st edition of Wisden the Horticultural Society is a listed in the clist of British societies.
Grant's and Linney's are unknown but presumably shops.
At Wisden's where I saw Caffyn and Mortlock. Caffyn is William Caffyn, who was a professional who played for Surrey and England. Mortlock is William Mortlock who was a professional cricketer who also played for Surrey and the Players in some of the Gentleman v Players series of matches.
Monday Pop would appear to be some sort of musical evening. The author liked music. A future relation Gervase Elwes was an English opera singer of note. Gosling's banking records record payments to Broadwood and Chappelle both fine piano makers. Molique could be Bernhard Molique a German violinist and composer. The author would appear to have quite an interest and perhaps ability and judgement in music.
Taylorson. Probably a manservant. The author must have been quite ill to have lost so much weight. He makes a few appearances including one a couple of days later. Who Mrs. Seth and Helen are is unknown
Sylvia's Lovers a novel by Elizabeth Gaskell set in Whitby. The author spent several years nearby and gave as his address Aislaby House, a place where his brother Dick was the tenant.
True as Steel Novel author unknown but not rated very highly. More music.
A check for 40 pounds payable to Taylorson is recorded in Gosling's.
"did a little painting." An art teacher friend of mine suggests that as far as his art goes he, the author is not "without ability"
Who he is going to at Porchester Terrace is unknown.
Not the first time the author drinks and smokes a little too much.
If one Googles the following words and phrases in inverted commas "Oxford term begins" " Cambridge term begins" "Hilary law term begins" " Cambridge term divides" at the time of writing only one result is returned. There must be more than one result because these 4 precise phrases are all in the 1864 1st edition of Wisden and that is not shown in the Google search returns.
Also in both so far are the precisely same phrases "dividends due at Bank"," fire insurance" (expires/ceases) the terms of the above ending, and albeit in a different context the words geological, horticultural, civil, engineers, pheasant, partridge shooting and as will be seen many more uncommonly used words names and phrases that appear in both the ms. and the 1864 1st edition of Wisden.
There comes a time when it is impossible for the 2 texts not to be very closely related rather than some extraordinary coincidence of events and an acceptance that the author of this manuscript must have contributed much. Perhaps not yet (February 2018) but soon.
Below is an image of a page from F. E. C. Elwes's bank account with bankers Gosling's. At the top of the page for 22 January 1863 is an entry for payment of £30 pounds to Wisden. At the bottom of the page are 2 further cricket related entries: The first is to J. H. Dark who ran a subscription fund; The second is a subscription payment to Lords Cricket ground.
The image is published with the permission of and thanks to Barclay Group Archives who hold the Gosling 's bank records
Below is an earlier entry from Gosling' s bank records for F. E. C. Elwes showing his subcription payment to Surrey County Cricket Club for 1863.
This image is also published with the permission of and thanks to Barclays Group Archives.
Above is Number 39 Queens Gate Terrace as it is now. It no longer exists as 39 and is now part of Number 41. In 1863 it was a 7 storey mansion which included the area from the front door where Number 41 now is and the 2 window frames to the left and included a basement level.
The end of this section apart from the correction of typos or
the addition of newly found relevant data
Click Here for Part B