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                   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 as teachers  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 this Barnard's 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 sold to and  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  1st Sunday in Advent 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 other clear links to the  inclusion of Irish material because she came from Limerick. 

                                                              D E C E M B E R 

9  Fri   George Washington d>1799

Elwes's wife was born in   America and lived her early years in Vermont.

10  Sat.  Grouse and blackcock shooting ends. 

The ending of grouse and blackcock shooting is surely not something Wisden had the faintest idea of is it?  Really?

12  Sun.   Judge Jefferies committed to the Tower 1688

Sir  Gervase Elwes an ancestor FEC was elected several times as M.P. for Suffolk.  He also served time as a Lieutenant of the Tower.  At the moment I do not know when he served but there is a gap in Wikipedia's list of those who served from 1679 - 1687.  However the History of Parliament online in its brief biography makes no mention of this.  The HOP online does mention a distant cousin  of Sir Gervase Elwes one Sir Gervase Helwys a former Lieutenant of the Tower  who was executed in 1615 for the murder of Sir Thomas Overbury. 

15  Thurs.  Izaac Walton, the great angler, d. 1683 

Elwes was clearly an angler judging by his account of his angling trip to Hemsworth and his account of fishing in Scotland.  I have little doubt therefore that Elwes was the source of this entry particularly because Elwes was a well educated man and Wisden  for all his qualities, the one thing he definitely was not, given that  his education ended at about the age of 7  was well educated.


16  Fri    Cam.  Mich Term ends 

17  Sat Oxford Michaelmas Term ends 

Although Elwes's diary omly runs until near the end of September  and therefore has no entries for the Oxford and Cambridge  Michaelmas term endings I have no doubt as an ex Cambridge man who has entered other Oxford and Cambridge Term beginning and end of Term dates that he is the source for these entries

29  Thurs  Canton taken by the English and French, 1857


A relative of Elwes was involved in this action


At the foot of the page is the factoid  "The First Game Laws, 1496" 

Here again, as with grouse shooting et al.  I cannot seriously believe that this fact came curtesy of Wisden 












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