Eton College, Windsor, Windsor and Maidenhead SL4 6DW
Audley End House and Gardens, Audley End Rd, Audley End, Saffron Walden CB11 4JF, UK
Chirk Castle, Chirk LL14 5AF, UK
Thomas Evelyn Scott-Ellis, 8th Baron Howard de Walden, 4th Baron Seaford (9 May 1880 – 5 November 1946) was an English peer, landowner, writer and patron of the arts. Lord Howard de Walden was also a powerboat racer who competed for Great Britain in the 1908 Summer Olympics. Austin Osman Spare was an English artist and occultist. Spare's major patron during this period was the wealthy property developer Pickford Waller, although other admirers included Desmond Coke, Ralph Strauss, Thomas Scott-Ellis, 8th Baron Howard de Walden and Charles Ricketts.
Thomas Ellis was born in London on 9 May 1880. He was baptised with the name of Thomas Evelyn Ellis, and was known within his family as "Tommy". Educated at Eton College and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, in 1917 he assumed the surname Scott-Ellis by Royal Licence.
Commissioned into the 10th Hussars as a second-lieutenant on 19 April 1899, he saw active military service in the Second Boer War and was promoted to lieutenant on 1 April 1900. Following the end of that war, he retired from active service in August 1902. He was appointed a captain (supernumerary) in the 2nd County of London Yeomanry (Westminster Dragoons) on 13 September 1902. Scott-Ellis resumed active military service during World War I, being promoted Major in the Royal Tank Corps.
After succeeding to his family titles in 1899 he inherited further estates in 1901, including property in Marylebone, London and earned the title of 'Britain's wealthiest bachelor'. His family's wealth was initially derived from slavery and sugar estates in Jamaica, primarily Montpelier, Jamaica. He took a lease on Audley End House, Essex which had once belonged to his ancestors, in 1904 but reportedly never felt settled there. The artist Auguste Rodin created a bust of Lord Howard de Walden in 1906 which is held in the collection kept at the Rodin Museum in Philadelphia. In 1911, in preparation for his marriage, he leased Chirk Castle, Denbighshire, which became his main residence after World War I until 1946, and where he learned the Welsh language; he later served as president of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales from 1931 to 1945. In 1934 he served as treasurer of the Royal Salop Infirmary in Shrewsbury. Lord Howard de Walden became a keen heraldist and genealogist, as well as amassing one of the most extensive collections of British armour, most of which is now on display at Dean Castle, Kilmarnock. As a crew member of the Dylan he participated in the first and only motor boat competitions at the Olympics of 1908 in London. His steam yacht, Branwen, 135 feet (41 m) length overall, launched 28 October 1905 was the first vessel built at the John I. Thornycroft & Company's Woolston yard. In 1914 he provided financial support for the creation of Crab Tree Club in London and also in that year he was one of the people "blessed" in Wyndham Lewis's Blast magazine. Lord Howard de Walden was also an author, who produced several plays under the pseudonym of T. E. Ellis.
John Lewis of the eponymous department store on Oxford Street engaged in a protracted legal dispute with de Walden, his ground landlord, over the Holles Street premises. The litigation went through the courts for twenty-three years and cost Lewis £40,000. At one point John Lewis was sent to Brixton Jail for contempt of court, and de Walden sued him for libel following his erection of placards at his stores. The case was eventually settled amicably.
In 1912, Lord Howard de Walden married Margherita Dorothy van Raalte (CBE, DStJ, born 1890 died 1974); herself a collector of antiquities. Their children were: John Osmael Scott-Ellis, 9th Baron Howard de Walden (1912–1999) married firstly Irene Gräfin von Harrach, daughter of Hans-Albrecht Graf von Harrach and Helene Gräfin von und zu Arco-Zinneberg, on 21 August 1934. He married secondly, Gillian Margaret Buckley, daughter of Cyril Francis Stewart Buckley and Audrey Burmester, in 1978; Hon. Bronwen Mary Scott-Ellis (1912–2003) married The Hon. James Louis Lindsay, son of the 27th Earl of Crawford and Constance Lilian Pelly, on 26 April 1933; Hon. Elisabeth Gwendolen Scott-Ellis (1914–1976) married, firstly, Lt-Cdr Serge Orloff-Davidoff, son of Count Alexis Orloff-Davidoff, on 24 July 1935. She married, secondly, Bernard Wheeler Robinson (died 1997), son of Dr. Wheeler Robinson, on 31 October 1959; Hon. (Essylt) Priscilla Scott-Ellis (1916–1983) married José Luis de Vilallonga y Cabeza de Vaca, marqués de Castellbell, on 27 September 1945. She married, secondly, Ian Hanson, a young opera singer from Manchester, in 1972; Hon. (Margaret Irene) Gaenor Scott-Ellis, JP (1919–2002) married Lieut. Richard Heathcoat-Amory, son of Lt.-Col. Harry Heathcoat-Amory JP DL and Evelyn Stanley, on 18 July 1938; Hon. Rosemary Nest Scott-Ellis (born 1922) married George Fitzroy Seymour JP DL, of Thrumpton, Nottinghamshire, on 1 June 1946. Lord Howard de Walden died, aged 66, on 5 November 1946 in London, being succeeded in the family titles by his son, John Osmael Scott-Ellis.
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