Edward Ellice (MP for St Andrews)

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Edward Ellice, Jr.

Edward Ellice, the younger (19 August 1810 – 2 August 1880) was a British Liberal Party politician and landowner.


He was the eldest son of Edward Ellice, from his first marriage to Hannah Althea Grey, the youngest sister of Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey.[1] The Ellice family was English by descent, and had settled in Aberdeenshire in the mid-17th century.[2] Edward Ellice was born in London in 1810[3] and was educated at Eton College (1823–1836) and at Trinity College, Cambridge.[1] He matriculated at the University of Cambridge on the 6 June 1828 and in 1831 was awarded a Master of Arts degree without having first obtained a bachelor's degree.[3]

In 1832, he was appointed as Private Secretary to John Lambton, 1st Earl of Durham for his diplomatic mission to Russia.[3] Lord Durham was a close friend and a relative of Ellice's father, having married the Earl Grey's second daughter.[3] Ellice was an unsuccessful candidate for Inverness Burghs in the 1835 general election, but was elected to represent Huddersfield in a May 1837 by-election. In the general election that year he was elected to represent St Andrews Burghs, a seat he held until 1880.[3]

Ellice continued as Durham's private secretary during his term as Governor General of the Province of Canada; whilst he was working in Canada, his wife Katherine and her sister were captured for six days during the Rebellions of 1837–1838.[2]

He remained a backbencher throughout his political career, taking special interest in the reform of the Scottish Poor Laws.[3] He supported the idea of "clearance", but viewed indiscriminate forcible eviction of the peasantry as "cruel and indefensible".[3]

He was offered a peerage by William Gladstone in 1869, but declined the offer,[4] and retired from Parliament in early 1880, shortly before his death aged 69.[3]

Ellice married the diarist Katherine Jane Balfour, daughter of General Balfour of Balbirnie, in 1834. She accompanied him to Russia and Canada. In Canada she was taken prisoner for ten days.[2] Following her death in 1864, he married in 1867 Eliza Stewart, daughter of Thomas Campbell Hagart of Bantaskine, widow of Alexander Spiers of Elderslie.[4]


  1. ^ a b "Ellice, Edward (ELY828E)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  2. ^ a b c K. D. Reynolds, ‘Ellice , Katherine Jane [Janie] (1813–1864)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 19 June 2017
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Spain, Jonathan (30 May 2013). "Ellice, Edward (1810-1880), landowner and politician". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/8651. Retrieved 27 January 2019. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  4. ^ a b Debrett's House of Commons, 1870
  • Oliver & Boyd's new Edinburgh almanac and national repository for the year 1850. Oliver & Boyd, Edinburgh, 1850
  • Jonathan Spain, "Ellice, Edward (1810–1880)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, May 2006 accessed 11 July 2006
  • Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Huddersfield
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of Parliament for St Andrews Burghs
Succeeded by