So, to recap, the few crumbs I have about Charles ELLIS are:
- Charles ELLIS is the same age as Charles LOCKHART/THOMAS
- Charles ELLIS named his first two sons after John Ingram LOCKHART
- Charles ELLIS has a woman in his life, Alice ELLIS, who may or may not be his mother
- Alice ELLIS has the same first name as Alice THOMAS
Not really a lot of crumbs to make a trail, is it?
If I could prove that Charles ELLIS is the illegitimate son of John Ingram LOCKHART, I would be a fair way to proving that Charles ELLIS is Charles THOMAS/LOCKHART.
The Next Step and Another Crumb
Alicia Eleanora’s husband, Henry BRAND, was a solicitor like Charles ELLIS. I have copies of Henry’s Articles of Clerkship and it occurred to me that there should be some for Charles as well. I found a likely looking record in the National Archives (UK) and ordered a copy. What I found was interesting:
- An oath was made by “Charles Ellis of Verulam Buildings Grays Inn”.
- The Articles of Clerkship was made between “John Ingram LOCKHART of Tubney Lodge Abingdon in the County of Berks Esquire of the first part”, Charles ELLIS of the second part and “Henry TOPPLE of Bury Saint Edmunds in the County of Suffolk Gentleman one of the Attornies of His Majesty’s Court of Kings Bench at Westminster of the third part”.
- The original Articles of Clerkship were dated 11 April 1814.
- Charles ELLIS was admitted as an Attorney of His Majesty’s Court of Kings Bench at Westminster on 16 June 1820.
- The oath was signed 3 May 1821 before J. Richardson in his chambers at Sergeant’s Inn Chancery Lane London.1
Hmmm. John Ingram LOCKHART was certainly quite involved in Charles ELLIS’ life if he sponsored him into his clerkship. This was a very good sign that there was a long-term and ongoing relationship between the two men. But what exactly was that relationship? Unfortunately, the Articles are silent on this.
A Late Breaking Crumb
A fellow BRAND family researcher (Thank you, Penny!) has pointed out an advertisement in the London Gazette requesting any claims on the estate of the late Daniel Tandy:
…are requested forthwith to send the particulars on their respective claims to Charles Ellis, Esq. 4, Verulam-Buildings, Gray’s Inn, London, or to Mr. Henry Brand, of Topsham aforesaid, Solicitor…2
This is the first time I have seen a direct relationship (business or otherwise) between Charles ELLIS and Henry BRAND which wasn’t “mixed up” with other parties. Presumably they would have known each other to be involved together in this estate.
Where are the Next Crumbs?
I started varying the search terms when searching the newspaper archives. For example, I found various places where Charles ELLIS lived (such as Dalston and Hampton Court) and tried using them as variables. It helped to tease out additional articles that I had missed earlier. It doesn’t help either that Charles ELLIS is referred to as “Mr ELLIS” as often as not.
Anyway, I eventually came across a series of newspaper articles which I found intriguing about a series of interdependent law suits in the Courts of Chancery. This lead to finding summaries of the suits in such works as “English Reports in Law and Equity” and so on, which are great places to find the whole story rather than trying to piece it together from bits and pieces of newspaper articles. Otherwise, most of the time, you won’t have all the pieces for it to make sense.
The Law Suits
The Law Suits in question are:
LOCKHART v REILLY
REILLY v LOCKHART
REILLY v LOCKHART
ELLIS v ELLIS
ELLIS v LEE
Do any of these names ring a bell? They should, they are all over the last few articles.
This is not going to be easy, but I’ll try to give a very brief summary of the background and people involved. Be assured that it is much more complicated than what I’ve written but it will take too long to detail all the ins and outs.
Thomas REILLY the elder received some property from the estate of his deceased brother, John Taylor REILLY. In 1822, a trust was created with Thomas REILLY the elder being a tenant for life with the remainder to his elder son, Thomas REILLY the younger, and his sons. James LOCKHART the younger, the nephew of John Ingram LOCKHART, and Charles ELLIS were appointed trustees with powers of sale and exchange. The estate involved was encumbered with several mortgages so the property was sold by the trustees in 1824 and the mortgages were paid off with about £8824 remaining.
All well and good up until this point. The problems arose from what happened next.
The trustees proceeded to lend the money to John WASTIE (previously known as John Ingram LOCKHART) for mortgages on two properties. Then Thomas REILLY the elder died in 1831, John WASTIE died in 1835, Charles ELLIS died in 1845, Maria ELLIS married Henry Isaac LEE, and the REILLYs still didn’t have their principal and interest. There had been an attempt to recover the money by Charles ELLIS from the estate of John WASTIE but Charles died before it was all finalised. Suits were lodged in all directions and over different years, including one by Maurice Shelton REILLY, the son of Thomas REILLY the younger, when he came of age.
The end result was that a decision was finally made in 1855 and it was found that the original money lent to John WASTIE was a breach of trust by James LOCKHART and Charles ELLIS as trustees for the REILLY trust and that restitution must be made.3,4
But here is the interesting bit…
…and it was stated the trustees were influenced in this disposition of the balance by the fact that LOCKHART was the heir-at-law of WASTIE, and ELLIS his natural son.5
When I read that, I screamed and did a genie dance around the house. I couldn’t believe it! There it was in black and white. Charles ELLIS was the natural son of John WASTIE previously known as John Ingram LOCKHART!
Another source went further:
The said C. ELLIS was the natural son of Mr WASTIE, and in the year 1824 acted as his solicitor, and the said J. LOCKHART was the nephew of Mr. WASTIE…6
So, Charles ELLIS was not only acting as trustee for his father-in-law’s family trust, but he was also, at the same time, acting as his father’s solicitor when he loaned money from the REILLY family trust to his father. Talk about a conflict of interest!
Everything is Clearer with Diagrams…
If my theory is correct, everyone is related to each other! It was doing my head in, so I made a diagram (you’ll need to click on it to see the diagram details clearly):
Please note that not all of the relationships nor all of the dates and details in the diagram have been confirmed with original sources. This diagram is to be used as working notes outlining the main players to help with understanding the basic theory I am working on and also with the relationship complexities of the court case.
A Few More Interesting Crumbs
A few other interesting items also popped up intimately linking the ELLIS and LOCKHART families.
John Ingram LOCKHART’s sister, Mary Harriot GREENWOLLERS, appears to have settled some land onto the children of Charles ELLIS in 1838.7 Also, Henry Isaac LEE is the executor of Mary’s will. In her will she describes him as “my friend”. Not that it stopped the whole thing ending up in the Court of Chancery as well. This will was signed 15 April 1841.8
John WASTIE, previously John Ingram LOCKHART, leaves property to be used “for the support of Mr Charles ELLIS of Soho Square London Solicitor and his family” and again some money for “the maintenance of Mr ELLIS’ little ones”. But he doesn’t mention his daughter. This will was signed 7 August 1835.9
The most interesting one is the will of James LOCKHART, the father of John Ingram LOCKHART. In his will, he leaves 500 pounds each to:
…to Mr Charles Ellis now a Clerk to Henry Topple Esquire and to Alice the Sister of the said Charles Ellis…
with the interest being paid during their minorities and the principal paid when they reach their majority. This will is signed 5 March 1814 and is important as it is the only time I have found Charles’ sister, Alice (Alicia) mentioned since she was baptised and shows she was still alive in 1814.10
But where does all this leave us? Stay tuned for the round-up…
1 “Articles of clerkship (as a solicitor or attorney) for Charles Ellis, articled to Henry Topple, with affidavit,” database and image, The National Archives (UK) (http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C13351582 : accessed 22 July 2016), dated 1814; citing CP 5/170/20, The National Archives (UK), Kew.
2 DANIEL TANDY, ESQ. DECEASED. (13 January 1829). The London Gazette, Issue: 18540, p. 73. Creditors notice for estate of Daniel Tandy asking creditors to contact Charles Ellis and Henry Brand. Retrieved 6 August 2016 from: https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/18540/page/73
3 “English reports in law and equity: containing reports of cases in the House of Lords, Privy Council, Courts of Equity and Common Law, and in the Admiralty and Ecclesiastical Courts : including also cases in bankruptcy and crown cases reserved, [1850-1857]”, Ed. Smith C., Bennett, E.H.; digital images, Hathi Trust Digital Library (https://www.hathitrust.org : accessed 19 July 2016); Courts of Chancery, 1856-57: Lockhart v. Reilly. Reilly v. Lockhart; citing Vol 39, pps 135-142.
4 “Reports of cases heard and determined by the Lord Chancellor and the Court of Appeal in Chancery Vol 1, 1857,” (1872), digital images, Google Books (http://www.google.com/books : accessed 19 July 2016); LOCKHART v REILLY, REILLY v LOCKHART, REILLY v LOCKHART, ELLIS v ELLIS, ELLIS v LEE; citing pps 464-481.
5 LAW INTELLIGENCE. COURT OF CHANCERY – SATURDAY. (Before the LORD CHANCELLOR.) LOCKHART V> REILLY. – REILY V. LOCKHART. (18 January 1855). London Evening Standard, p. 4. Details of Court Case of LOCKHART v. REILLY stating Charles ELLIS is natural son of John WASTIE (previously known as John Ingram LOCKHART). Retrieved 19 July 2016 from: http://search.findmypast.com.au/bna/viewarticle?id=bl%2f0000183%2f18550115%2f031
6 “English reports in law and equity: containing reports of cases in the House of Lords, Privy Council, Courts of Equity and Common Law, and in the Admiralty and Ecclesiastical Courts : including also cases in bankruptcy and crown cases reserved, [1850-1857]”, Ed. Smith C., Bennett, E.H.; digital images, Hathi Trust Digital Library (https://www.hathitrust.org : accessed 19 July 2016); Courts of Chancery, 1856-57: Lockhart v. Reilly. Reilly v. Lockhart; citing Vol 39, p. 136.
7 “Tubney and Marcham: House, land and coppices in Tubney and land in Cothill Field in Marcham, 1838, (with settlement by Mrs. Mary H. Greenwollers, widow, of Tubney on the children of Charles Ellis, gentleman, of London, 1837).”, (1837-1838), Berkshire Record Office as per Discover index, The National Archives (UK); citing D/EX 90/2 under D/EX (1-100) – Miscellaneous Unofficial Collections, Catalogue No 1.
8 “Will of Mary Harriet Greenwollers, Widow of Tubney, Berkshire,” database and image, The National Archives (UK) (http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D72841 : accessed 3 August 2016), dated 4 November 1841; citing PROB 11/1953/349, The National Archives (UK), Kew.
9 “Will of John Wastie of Great Haseley, Oxfordshire,” database and image, The National Archives (UK) (http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D275328 : accessed 3 August 2016), dated 20 November 1835; citing PROB 11/1854/310, The National Archives (UK), Kew.
10 “Will of James Lockhart of Sherfield House, Hampshire,” database and image, The National Archives (UK) (http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D218776 : accessed 3 August 2016), dated 1 December 1814; citing PROB 11/1563/8, The National Archives (UK), Kew.