George Ellis

19th Dec 1793 - 10th Apr 1815


Biography

George Ellis was born 19 December 1753, three months after the death of his father George Ellis of Greencastle, Jamaica. His mother was Charlotte, daughter of Samuel Long of Longville, Jamaica. Charlotte's brother was Edward Long the author of History of Jamaica (1774) - Ellis and his uncle apparently shared a close relationship. Ellis's father made provision for his wife Charlotte in his will with an annuity of £1,200 but made no reference to the children arising from their union. Instead the infant George's uncle John Ellis inherited the property as heir-at-law. Samuel Long intervened as the child's grandfather and convinced his daughter to allow 'John Ellis possession of the property and to surrender £500 of her annuity during her child’s minority, in return for which John Ellis agreed to pay for his education and, when he came of age, to give him £20,000 and a life interest in a small Jamaican sugar plantation, on condition that his nephew then executed a release confirming to him his ‘absolute right for ever to the property’.'

There is conflicting information on where Ellis was schooled. The Eton College Register contains an entry for a G. Eliis in 1764-70 although the text makes clear that the identification of G. Ellis as George Ellis is tentative. The ODNB states that Ellis was educated at Westminster School and then at Trinity College Cambridge. Ellis went on to publish several work of note including Specimens of the Early English Poets (1790) which went through six editions between 1801 and 1851. He was also wrote poetry and contributed to the journal The Rolliad, in which he criticised the Pitt administration. In 1801 Ellis struck up a friendship with Walter Scott and the two remained close until the former's death. Ellis was a fellow of the Royal Society and of the Society of Antiquaries.

In 1796 he entered Parliament as a junior member for the rotten borough of Seaford joining his cousin Charles Rose Ellis who was the senior member. He remained in Parliament until 1802 but did not seek re-election.

On 10 September 1801 Ellis married Anne, the daughter of Sir Peter Parker first baronet, of Basingbourn, admiral of the fleet. The couple had no children. They resided in Connaught Place, Sunninghill, near Ascot where Ellis died in 1815. At the time of his death Ellis was in possession of 'the Jamaican plantation and other property, and his estate was valued at £30,000.'

Sources

1. http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1790-1820/member/ellis-george-1753-1815 [accessed 20 November 2013]

2. J. M. Rigg, ‘Ellis, George (1753–1815)’, rev. Rebecca Mills, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/8692, accessed 25 Nov 2013]

Richard Austen-Leigh, The Eton College register, 1753-1790 : alphabetically arranged and edited with biographical notes, (Eton, Spottiswoode, 1921), p.179. Available online https://archive.org/details/etoncollegeregis00austuoft

Humphrey Gawthorp, 'George Ellis of Ellis Caymanas: A Caribbean Link to Scott and the Bronte Sisters' (2005). Available online http://www.bl.uk/eblj/2005articles/article3.html [accessed 25 November 2013]

Thomas Thomason, History of the Royal Society: From its Institution to the End of the Eighteenth Century, Appendix IV (London, Robert Baldwin, 1812), p.lxv.

3. http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1790-1820/member/ellis-george-1753-1815 [accessed 20 November 2013]


Further Information

Absentee?
British/Irish
Spouse
Anne Parker
Will

National Archive PROB 11/1568/115 http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=D609158

School
Eton [1764-70 ]
University
Trinity College Cambridge
Occupation
Politician, poet, plantation owner

Legacies Summary

Cultural (2)

Fellow
Royal Society...... 
Member
Society of Antiquaries...... 

Historical (8)

Journal ArticlesAuthor?
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Journal ArticlesAuthor?
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notes →
George Canning, William Gifford and George Ellis founded The Anti-Jacobin. Ellis appears to have been a constant contributor to The Anti-Jacobin in the 1790s....
BooksAuthor?
Poetical Tales by Sir Gregory Gander... 1778 
BooksAuthor?
Memoir of a map of the countries comprehended between the Black sea and the Caspian; with an account of the Caucasian nations, and vocabularies of the... 1788 
BooksAuthor?
History Of The Late Revolution In The Dutch... 1789 
BooksAuthor?
Specimens of the early English poets; to which is prefixed, an Historical sketch of the rise and progress of the English poetry and language, with a biography of each... 1803 
BooksAuthor?
Specimens of early English metrical romances, chiefly written during the early part of the fourteenth century; to which is prefixed an historical introduction, intended to illustrate the rise and... 1805 
Journal ArticlesAuthor?
Review of Scott, Lady of the... 1810 

Relationships (1)

First Cousins