Rt. Hon. Edward Ellice

12th Sep 1783 - 17th Sep 1863

Claimant or beneficiary


Merchant and politician, awarded compensation as a partner in Ellice Kinnear, including as mortgagee of the Richmond estate in Grenada, and as executor of Alex. McGregor in Tobago, and also appearing in a number of claims (but not as awardee) as a former partner in Inglis Ellice (q.v), which was a major slave-owning and mortgagee firm before its collapse in 1823. MP for Coventry 1818-1826 and 1830-1863: his detailed entry in the History of Parliament says of him he was 'his father’s business heir and a successful trader to the North Americas, Canada and the West Indies, where his failure to sell out in time eventually cost him £70,000.'

  1. Third son of Alexander Ellice [Rubinstein 1811/2, but d. 1805] who was founder of Phyn Ellice and left £175,000, and himself a wealth-holder. Edward Ellice was an American & West Indies merchant (Ellice Kinnear 143 Leadenhall St.). Educated Winchester and Marischal College Aberdeen (MA 1800). Left £160,000.

  2. Edward Ellice retired from Inglis Ellice on 30/04/1821: his withdrawal was contested by a creditor of Inglis Ellice (which had subsequently collapsed) in David v Ellice in 1826.

  3. First wife, Hannah, was the daughter of the 1st Earl Grey. (Their son, Edward (1810-1880), was MP for St Andrews burghs 1837-1880.) (Hannah died 28 July 1832.) By marriage Ellice became brother-in-law of Charles Grey (later the 2nd Earl) and thus at centre of the Whig elites: elected to Brooks's 1809. He became an important figure in the Whig party - as joint secretary to the Treasury and government whip (1830), Secretary at War (1833-34) but above all as political manager - in organising honours and the purchase of seats, as éminence grise in the 1830s, and subsequently as a political meddler. He also served on the Roebuck committee of inquiry into the conduct of the Crimean War (1855). His marital associations with the Whig elites also extended when he married (25 October 1843) Lady Anne Amelia, née Keppel, widow of Thomas William Coke, first earl of Leicester, and daughter of the fourth earl of Albemarle. However, she died 22 July 1844. Played a key role in effecting the union in Canada of the North-West Company and the Hudson's Bay Company in 1821; towards the end of his life in 1863, and amid considerable controversy, he sold his interest at a great profit to the International Finance Society.

  4. The son of Ellice and Hannah Grey, Edward junior, was also an MP - for St Andrews District of Burghs 1837-1880. On the Whig side of the Liberal Party he was opposed to too radical a parliamentary reform measure. As a Scottish landowner he advocated clearances though tempered by proper emigration schemes and opposed compulsory evictions.

  5. Although the younger Edward was deputy governor of the Hudson's Bay Company in in 1858, he 'had slight contact with North American affairs in later life'. The Ellice connection with North America ended in 1867.


T71/880 Grenada claim nos. 439 (Annandale Estate), 440 (Annandale Estate) and 758A&B; T71/891 Tobago claim no. 15; http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1820-1832/member/ellice-edward-1783-1863 [accessed 31/01/2018].

  1. William D. Rubinstein, Who were the rich? 1860- (Volumes 3 and 4, manuscripts in preparation), reference 1864/24.

  2. The Law Journal for the Year 1826, comprising cases in the Courts of Chancery, King's Bench and Common Pleas from Michaelmas Term 1825 to Trinity Term 1826 both inclusive (London, 1826), pp. 125-130.

  3. Entry by Gordon F. Millar in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. [Millar incorrectly refers to Inglis, Ellice, & Co rather than Phyn Ellice.] See also: J. C. Clarke, ‘The fortunes of the Ellice family: from business to politics, 1760-1860’ (Oxford D.Phil., 1973); R. H. Fleming, 'Phyn, Ellice and Company of Schenectady', Contributions to Canadian Economics, 4 (1932), pp. 7-41; entries by James M. Colthart for Alexander Ellice in Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online (Toronto, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 1959-; http://www.biographi.ca/index-e.html), vol. V, 1801-1820 and for Edward Ellice, vol. IX, 1861-1870. [The best short survey.]

  4. Jonathan Spain, ‘Ellice, Edward (1810–1880)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2006, accessed 1 Dec 2012.

  5. Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online.

Further Information

(1) Lady Hannah Althea Grey [30 October 1809-28 July 1832]; (2) Lady Anne Coke, née Keppel [25 October 1843-22 July 1844]
With (1) Edward Ellice (1810-1880)

Under £160,000 in UK: administration with will, 8 March 1864, CGPLA Eng. & Wales [Oxford Dictionary of National Biography]; according to Rubinstein he left £160,000.

Wealth at death
£160,000 [Approximate.]
Winchester College
Marischal College , Aberdeen [?-1797; MA 1800 ]
1811/2 [Alex. Ellice]; 1864/24 [Edward Ellice]
Oxford DNB Entry

Associated Claims (8)

£4,525 7s 8d
Other association
£13,823 6s 5d
Unsuccessful claimant (Mortgagee)
£11,257 5s 7d
Unsuccessful claimant (Assignee)
£1,830 3s 10d
Beneficiary (Mortgagee)
£1,228 3s 3d
Beneficiary (Mortgagee)
£1,683 19s 8d
Awardee (Mortgagee)
£2,301 17s 0d
Awardee (Executor or executrix)
£1,771 11s 7d
Claimants in List E or Chancery cases (Executor or executrix)

Associated Estates (14)

The dates listed below have different categories as denoted by the letters in the brackets following each date. Here is a key to explain those letter codes:

  • SD - Association Start Date
  • SY - Association Start Year
  • EA - Earliest Known Association
  • ED - Association End Date
  • EY - Association End Year
  • LA - Latest Known Association
1825 [SY] - 1834 [LA] → Mortgage Holder
1817 [EA] - 1821 [EY] → Joint owner
1817 [EA] - 1823 [EY] → Joint owner
1813 [EA] - 1819 [LA] → Joint owner
1822 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Joint owner

Shown under the late firm of Inglis Ellice 1822-1834. Edward Ellice had left the partnership in 1821, but appears to have maintained an ownership interest in this estate, for which he and other partners in E & R Ellice and its successor Ellice Kinnear were awarded the compensation.

1817 [EA] - → Joint owner
1829 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Mortgage Holder
1834 [SY] - 1834 [EY] → Mortgage Holder
1815 [EA] - 1821 [LA] → Joint owner

Partner in Inglis Ellice until 1821

1819 [EA] - 1822 [LA] → Mortgage Holder
1817 [EA] - 1820 [LA] → Joint owner
1823 [EA] - → Other

Previously joint owner of 10 of these enslaved people.

1818 [EA] - 1818 [LA] → Joint owner

Partner in Inglis Ellice

1819 [EA] - 1822 [LA] → Mortgage Holder

Legacies Summary

Commercial (2)

Firm Investment
Inglis Ellice & Co.
North American merchant  
Firm Investment
Ellice Kinnear
General overseas merchant  
notes →
Extensive economic interests in North American, and especially Candian, fur trade, shipping and other merchanting activities. Promoted these through his political activities. For a good survey...

Cultural (3)

...The Duchess of Bedford on a balcony, Sir Edwin Henry Landseer (pen &... 
'Bacchus and Ariadne' by Luca Giordano (1634-1705) is described as 'the greatest painting by one of the greatest Italian painters of that time. It was the first painting given to Coventry with the... 
Founder member
Reform Club...... 
notes →
Ellice was instrumental in engineering the collaboration between Whigs and Radicals in 1836 that led to the establishment of the Reform...

Imperial (1)

Hudson's Bay Company Canada 
notes →
Played a key role in effecting the union in Canada of the North-West Company and the Hudson's Bay Company in 1821; towards the end of his life in 1863, and amid considerable controversy, he sold his...
sources →
Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online (Toronto, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 1959-; http://www.biographi.ca/index-e.html), vol. V, 1801-1820 and for Edward Ellice, vol. IX,...

Political (4)

office →
Joint Secretary of the Treasury
1830 - 1832
office →
Secretary of War
1833 - 1834
Local Government
office →
Whig-Liberal / / West India interest 
election →
Coventry Warwickshire
1818 - 1826
election →
Coventry Warwickshire
1832 - 1863

Relationships (4)

Husband → Second Wife
Marriage Details →
25th Oct 1843
Son → Father
Other relatives
Notes →
Edward Ellice's son Edward Ellice jun. married the daughter of Elizabeth...