Edward Ellice (merchant)

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For other people named Edward Ellice, see Edward Ellice (disambiguation).
The Right Honourable
Edward Ellice
EdwardElliceSr.jpg
Painting by Sir Charles William Ross
Secretary at War
In office
1833–1834
Preceded by Sir John Hobhouse
Succeeded by John Charles Herries
Financial Secretary to the Treasury
In office
1830–1832
Preceded by Office created
Succeeded by Charles Wood
Personal details
Born (1783-09-27)27 September 1783
London, England
Died 17 September 1863(1863-09-17) (aged 79)
Glengarry, Scotland
Nationality British
Spouse(s) Lady Hannah Althea Bettesworth
Lady Anne Amelia Leicester
Children Edward Ellice, Jr.
Alma mater Marischal College
University of St Andrews

Edward Ellice the Elder (27 September 1783 – 17 September 1863), known in his time as the "Bear", was a British merchant and politician. He was a Director of the Hudson's Bay Company and a prime mover behind the Reform Bill of 1832.

Ellice was born on 27 September 1783 in London, England to Alexander Ellice and Ann Russell. In 1795, his father purchased the Seigneury of Villechauve from Michel Chartier de Lotbinière, Marquis de Lotbinière.

He was educated at Winchester and at Marischal College, Aberdeen. He became a partner in the firm of Phyn, Ellices and Inglis, which had become interested in the XY Company in Canada. He was sent to Canada in 1803, and in 1804 became a party to the union of the XY and North West Companies. He became a partner in the North West Company, and during the struggle with Lord Selkirk he played an important part.

He engaged in the Canada fur trade from 1803, and as a result was nicknamed "the Bear". On 30 October 1809 he married Hannah Althea Bettesworth, née Grey, daughter of Charles Grey, 1st Earl Grey, and the widow of Captain George Edmund Byron Bettesworth. He had one son by her, Edward.

In 1820, he was, with the brothers William and Simon McGillivray, active in bringing about the union of the North West and the Hudson's Bay Companies; and it was actually with him and the McGillivrays that the union was negotiated. He amalgamated the North West, XY, and Hudson's Bay companies in 1821.

He was Member of Parliament for Coventry from 1818 to 1826, and again from 1830 to 1863.[1] He served as a Secretary to the Treasury, and a whip in Lord Grey's government, 1830-1832. He was Secretary at War from 1832–1834, during which time he proposed that appointments in the army should be made directly from his office. He founded the Reform Club in 1836 and supported Palmerston as premier. He was appointed a Privy Counsellor in 1833.

He was awarded a DCL by St Andrews University. He privately urged French government to send troops into Spain in 1836. He was deputy-governor of the Hudson's Bay Company.

In 1843, he married, secondly, Anne Amelia Leicester, née Keppel, daughter of William Keppel, 4th Earl of Albemarle and widow of Thomas Coke, 1st Earl of Leicester. She died in the following year. His only son was Edward Ellice Jr., who also sat in Parliament. His brother General Robert Ellice married Eliza Courtney; one of their grandsons became his son's heir in 1880.

The Ellice Islands, formerly part of the colony of Gilbert and Ellice Islands and now the independent nation of Tuvalu, were named after him. The Rural Municipality of Ellice in Manitoba, Fort Ellice, and Ellice Avenue in Winnipeg[2] are named after him.

References[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Joseph Butterworth
Peter Moore
Member of Parliament for Coventry
1818-1826
With: Peter Moore
Succeeded by
Thomas Bilcliffe Fyler
Richard Edensor Heathcote
Preceded by
Thomas Bilcliffe Fyler
Richard Edensor Heathcote
Member of Parliament for Coventry
1830-1863
With: Thomas Bilcliffe Fyler 1830-1831
Henry Lytton Earle Bulwer 1831-1835
William Williams 1835-1847
George James Turner 1847-1851
Charles Geach 1851-1854
Sir Joseph Paxton 1854-1863
Succeeded by
Morgan Treherne
Sir Joseph Paxton
Political offices
Preceded by
Joseph Planta
George Robert Dawson

as Secretary to the Treasury
Financial Secretary to the Treasury
1830-1832
Succeeded by
Charles Wood
Preceded by
Sir John Hobhouse, Bt
Secretary at War
1833-1834
Succeeded by
John Charles Herries