T H E F I N A L Y E A R S P A R T 3
S E P T E M B E R
1 September Partridge sh. begins British Museum closes
Once again a shooting reference for which I feel absolutely certain comes courtesy of Elwes.
Elwes does note in exactly the same way although on a different day "British Museum closes"
3 September Battles of Dunbar, 1650 and Worcester, 1651
(see 12 September entry)
8 September Sebastopol taken 1854
See earlier entries re. Crimean War and why Elwes is the likely source
10 September British Museum re-opens
Although for different days Elwes as with the earlier September 1 entry in Wisden uses this exact term in his diary.
12 September Drogheda Ireland stormed by Cromwell and the entire garrison put to the sword.
For some time strong links between Elwes and the English Civil War had eluded me. Yes there were links between Elwes's family and Ireland going back to the 14th century and yes there was a link between Barnard's family and teaching members of the Cromwell family at Felstead School but links never seemed quite enough. Just today January 14th 2023 I looked at the account of the seige of Drogheda and in reading it I found the connections. The name that connects is Edmund Verney father and sons Ralph and Edmund . I cannot say whether any of them fought at Worcester or Dunbar but they were all involved in the Civil war. Ralph fought as a roundhead. The two edmunds as Cavaliers . The elder Sir Edmund died at the Battle of Edgehill. The other Edmund fought at Drogheda and although he escaped the massacre he was killed a short while later.
Both the Elwes family have strong family links to the Verney family. In Elwes's case the Elwes family had owned the estate at Throcking Manor in Hertfordshire for over 100 years from the late 17th century. At the same time the neighbouring estate of Cheyney Manor was owned by the Verney family. Elwes's aunt Elizabeth married a Barnard and one of his brothers married the Hon. Louisa Peyto - Verney in 1791. The Peyto was added in order to inherit, but the Verney is from the same family as the two Edmund Verneys.
16 September Louis XVIII of France d. 1824
Louis was a member of the French Royal family at the time of the French Revolution and very sensibly went into exile for 20 years. Some of this time he spent in England. Whether he had any connections to Elwes's father Robert Cary Elwes who knows but there are a lot of french revolution period entries in the almanack so maybe.
21 September Assembling the National Convention Paris 1792
Again another French Revolution related entry
27 September Last match played on Box's Ground Brighton
This entry is no doubt assumed to be courtesy of Wisden because of his personal links to Tom Box a former cricketer. However this entry may have been influenced by elwes and his family. Firstly Elwes records in his diary meeting with Tom Box at Wisden's shop and partaking of "grog and sandwiches" Secondly the Elwes family have a link to Brighton in that Elwes's father was the original owner from 1820 of fine beach side mansion "Beach House" in nearby Worthing.
O C T O B E R
1 October Pheasant shooting begins. Cambridge Michaelmas Term begins
Both the above are terms that Elwes must have been very familiar with. As a keen sportsman who notes killing many pheasants in his shooting diary and also being a co- owner of another shooting estate in Mildenhall he cannot have been unaware of any of the shooting references to be found in the 1st edition of Wisden's Almanack . Seccondly as a former student of Magadalene College and member of the Oxford and Cambridge Club he would have been interested and aware of the starting dates and no doubt end dates of for example the Cambridge Michaelmas term.
3 October Surrender of Limerick
One of a number of Irish entries for Which Elwes has a connection. In this case Selina the wife of Elwes's brother Dick came from Limerick
6 October Sir St Vincent Cotton b. 1801
I have not included many cricketers unless there was a possibility of connection to Elwes. That does not mean therefore that I conclude that the cricketers inclusions come from the pen of Wisden or his Editor. In fact given the preponderance of cricketers included who have clear cricket links to Cambridge University I think it highly probable that many of the cricketers arrive by virtue of Elwes's pen. One who may have other connections to Elwes is Sir St. Vincent Cotton. He came from a good Cambridgeshire family and was at one time a deputy lieutenant, militia captain and magistrate. Aside from playing cricket for Marylebone Cricket Club he was a keen sportsman with a love of the horses. From 1836 he bought and drove the Age Stagecoach which ran from London to Brighton. Whether Elwes knew of him personally or not who can say, but it is indeed possible that he did indeed know such a larger than life character. Vincent Cotton was also well known in the boxing world and Elwes devotes several extensive match reports to boxing matches that took place in 1863.
10 October Oxford Term begins. Dividends due at Bank.
As mentioned earlier Elwes very likely knew the start and end dates of Oxford and Cambridge Terms if only through his regular attendance at the Oxford and Cambridge Club. Dividends are recorded as being paid into Elwes's account in October.
12 October French Fleet defeated by Admiral Rooke at Vigo 1792
Firstly, one could wonder why Wisden if this entry is indeed Wisden has chosen to begin the word "Fleet" with a capital F. If it were Elwes however such a mistake is not to be totally unexpected.
Secondly The action at Vigo recorded in Wisden would appear to be a different action to the one at Vigo involving the 34th Regiment.
13 October Antonio Canova the sculptor d. 1822
Another mysterious entry. Why Antonio Canova? Of all the artists that could be chosen. Why Antonio Canova? The only explanation and it isnt great is that Elwes records in his diary a trip being undertaken to Italy by some friends possibly relations.
14 October Fire Insurance expires.
Elwes records in his diary almost exactly the same phrase "Fire Insurance Ceases" His banking records with Goslings also record payments for fire insurance.
15 October G. Parr's Australian 11 sailed from Liverpool 1863 . First stone of the Tennis Court at Lord's laid 1838
At first sight these 2 entries might appear to be via Wisden. George Parr was Wisden's best friend and also because of his associations with cricket and therefore Lords it is perhaps assumed that he knew of the Tennis Courts at Lords.
However this may not be the case. Elwes records as staying as a guest along with Wisden at or near Egton in his shooting diary and therefore Parr must have been well known to Elwes. Secondly Elwes was a member of Prince's rackets club, wrote reports of Rackets matches, watched rackets with his friend Larry Birch was a member of Lords and I think was certainly aware of the Tennis Courts at Lords.
16 October Fox hunting begins
Another rural pursuit of gentleman that questions whether Wisden was conversant with.
17 October Treaty of Peace between Austria and Hungary 1797
Whilst no actual association with Elwes and his family can be found to this Treaty, Elwes senior's stay in revolutionary France in 1790 indicates a likely source for this inclusion.
20 October Battle of Navarino, 1827
Elwes's father fought at this very minor battle and gained a medal
24 October Treaty of Alliance between the Protector and King of France 1655
As previously recounted Elwes's friend Barnard has links to Cromwell.
25 October Hare hunting begins. Battle of Balaclava 1854
Would Wisden have known when hare hunting began? I think not
Elwes had family fighting in the Crimean War
29 James Lillywhite b. 1825
Elwes also knew something of the Lillywhite family. Gosling's bank records show there are payments made to F. Lillywhite.
At the foot of the Almanack for October is the factoid legend
"Kidderminster Carpets manufactured 1735.
This has to be one of the strangest and quirkiest of entries in the Almanack. I mean Why? How, it is entirely fair to ask, has Wisden come to include this entry.
The answer is he is not the man responsible. It is Elwes. For many years and to this day manufacturers will often put a label of some description on the back of carpets. Manufacturing did begin in 1735 and Kidderminster developed into an important carpet weaving area. Carpets from Kidderminster have been laid in among other places Buckingham Palace.
Elwes records in May that the decoration of his house is finished and that carpets are being put back down... I think it probable that a carpet being laid back down had a label on the back that bore the legend "Kidderminster Carpets manufactured 1735."
N O V E M B E R
2 November Michaelmas Law term begins
Here again I think it is no surprise that Elwes, former student Magdalene College, Cambridge and member of the Oxford and Cambridge Club should include this entry; But Wisden?
5 November Gunpowder Plot Battle of Inkerman 1854
The gunpowder plot is of course a very known historical event and thereby it might be assumed that that is Wisden's reason for including this notable historical plot. However there is a strong link to Elwes' friend Charles Cary Barnard. This comes via his links to the afore mentioned Sir John Mordaunt. An earlier ancestor of his was Sir henry Mordaunt who was suspected of involvement in the Gunpowder plot. Although arrested he was released 3 years later.
The Battle of Inkerman was another Crimean War battle that it is quite possible that at least one member of either or both the Elwes family and Barnard family were involved with.
10 November John Lillywhitte b. 1826
As mentioned earlier Elwes also knew some members of the Lillywhite family.
16 November Attorneys to take out certificates.
I confess to being at a complete loss as to what exactly this means. I think though that this entry stems from Elwes and not Wisden.
18 November Metropolitan Police established 1829
Until recently (January 2023) the only links I had between Elwes and the Metropolitan Police was the possibility of knowing and disliking one of Sir Robert Peel's ( founder of the Met) children and an entry about losing a book and "sending to Scotland Yard". Recently though a further link has emerged. Elwes's father had built for him and owned Beach House in Worthing 1820. It was owned from the mid nineteenth century by Sir Frederick Adair Roe, 1st Baronet who was a British barrister and magistrate and was the Chief Metropolitan Police Magistrate from 1832 to 1839.
23 November Funeral of Oliver Cromwell
See earlier links to the Cromwell family
25 November Michaelmas Law term ends
Ditto for the 2 November entry. However this entry may be a mistake. The entry for 16 December reads Cam. Mich. Term ends and for the next day the 17 December Oxford Michaelmas Term ends
27 November Prs. (Princess) Mary Adelaide b. 1833
I do like the oddness of some of the really puzzling entries and this entry for Mary Adelaide is one of the best. Mary Adelaide also known unkindly perhaps as "Fat Mary" for the obvious reason that she was fat, was a regular and very recognisable walker up and down Kensington. She and her husband had an apartment in Kensington. Elwes lived in Kensington ( a few hundred yards away at most ) very close to where she lived at Kensington Palace. Did he actually know her. Who knows maybe, he spoke to all sorts of people and was considered an aristocrat, but even if he did not know her he must have known of her. As an aside I do find the wikipedia entry for her amusing. Part of it reads "despite money problems" ie she squandered more than she had. In the next paragraph wikipedia informs us that she had an annual annuity paid by Parliament of 5000 pounds per year AND her mother the Duchess of Cambridge provided her with supplementary income. 5ooo pounds a year!!!! Money problems!!!!
The second link is that Elwes's brother Dick mentioned several times in the diary and with whom he appears to have shared the rental of Aislaby Hall Yorkshire was married to an Irish woman by the name of Selina Jephson. Her mother and sister were both named Adelaide Jephson. This woman provides another possible reason for the inclusion of Irish material because she came from Limerick.
D E C E M B E R