Thomas Scott-Ellis, 8th Baron Howard de Walden

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Thomas, 8th Baron Howard de Walden

Thomas Evelyn Scott-Ellis, 8th Baron Howard de Walden, 4th Baron Seaford (9 May 1880 – 5 November 1946)[1] 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.[2]

Early life[edit]

Thomas Ellis was born in London on 9 May 1880, the only son of the 7th Baron Howard de Walden and Blanche Ellis (née Holden), daughter of William Holden the co-heir of Palace house, Lancaster.[3][4] 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.[5]

Military career[edit]

Commissioned into the 10th Hussars as a second-lieutenant on 19 April 1899, and honorary colonel of the Royal Scots Fusiliers,[6] he saw active military service in the Second Boer War and was promoted to lieutenant on 1 April 1900.[7] Following the end of that war, he retired from active service in August 1902.[8] He was appointed a captain (supernumerary) in the 2nd County of London Yeomanry (Westminster Dragoons) on 13 September 1902.[9] Scott-Ellis resumed active military service during World War I, being promoted Major in the Royal Tank Corps.[10]

Collecting and interests[edit]

Croesnewydd Hall, Wrexham, Wales

After succeeding to his family titles in 1899 he received his inherited estates when he came of age in 1901. This included a large part of Marylebone, London and earned him the title of 'Britain's wealthiest bachelor'. His fortune derived from his grandmother's estates which she had inherited as daughter of the Duke of Portland. The Ellis family estates, built on slavery and sugar estates in Jamaica, primarily Montpelier, Jamaica had been conveyed by his grandmother to his uncle, Evelyn Henry Ellis, in 1891.[11]

Lord Howard de Walden 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.[12] He purchased 'Croesnewydd hall' near Wrexham in 1929 which had been the home of his ancestors; that in between leasing Chirk Castle, Denbighshire from 1911 in preparation for his marriage, which became his main residence after World War I until 1946; and where he learned the Welsh language, he also spent time at 'Plas Llanina', Ceredigion.[3]

The Barony also inherited Dean Castle in Kilmarnock via inheritance from his grandmother, the 6th Baron's wife, 'Lady Lucy Cavendish-Scott-Bentinck'.[13]

A great sportsman, he was back up for the British fencing team at the 'Intercalated games' at Athens, 1906. He was a member of a Jockey club between 1905-1924, and had passions for horse-racing and sailing. He interested in powerboats,[14] and was crew member of the Dylan he participated in the first and only motor boat competitions at the Olympics of 1908 in London.[15] 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.[16][17]

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.

Scott-Ellis had been awarded the a degree of LL.D. honoris causa by the University of Wales, he was President of the National Museum of Wales also a governor in the National Library of Wales.[3] In addition, he was chairman of the British Empire Academy.[18]

He had also been made a trustee of the Tate Gallery in 1938 and served as president of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales from 1931 to 1945.[19] In 1934, he served as treasurer of the Royal Salop Infirmary in Shrewsbury.[20]

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.[21]

Augustus John, in his memoirs, recalls visiting de Walden at Chirk Castle and being "greatly impressed to find our host one morning, clad, cap-à-pie, in a suit of ancient armor and reading his newspaper."[22]

Lord Howard de Walden was also an author, who produced several plays under the pseudonym of T. E. Ellis.[3] His passion was to do with literature from the medieval period, especially Welsh literature. He participated in writing in the National Eisteddfod of Wales, in particular to do with the fables of the Mabinogion.[14]

Dispute with John Lewis[edit]

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.[23]


Arms of Scott-Ellis, Baron Howard de Walden.svg

In 1912, Lord Howard de Walden married Margherita Dorothy van Raalte (CBE, DStJ, born 1890 died 1974);[24] herself a collector of antiquities. Their six children were:

Lord Howard de Walden died, aged 66, on 5 November 1946 in London,[4][30] being succeeded in the family titles by his son, John Osmael Scott-Ellis.


  • Some Feudal Lords and Their Seals (1903)
  • Banners Standards and Badges from a Tudor Manuscript in the College of Arms (1904)
  • The Children of Don: a drama in verse (1912)
  • Song of Gwyn ap Nudd (1913)
  • Pont Orewyn (1914)
  • Lanval: a drama in four acts (1908)
  • Dylan (1919)
  • The Cauldron of Annwn (1922)
  • The Cauldron of Annwn, including the story of Bronwen (1929)
  • Five Pantomimes (1930)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Lord Thomas Evelyn Scott-Ellis, 8th Baron Howard de Walden".
  2. ^ "Thomas Scott-Ellis". Olympedia. Retrieved 4 April 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d "SCOTT-ELLIS, THOMAS EVELYN (1880 - 1946), 8th BARON HOWARD DE WALDEN and 4th BARON SEAFORD, landowner and sportsman, writer, and patron of the arts". Dictionary of Welsh Biography. National Library of Wales. 1959.
  4. ^ a b Maclagan, Michael; H.C.G. Matthew (2004). "Ellis, Thomas Evelyn Scott-, eighth Baron Howard de Walden (1880–1946)". In Matthew, H. C. G (ed.). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (1st Online Edition 2011 January ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/35995. Retrieved 1 June 2014. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  5. ^ "College of Arms - College of Arms". Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  6. ^ Hesilrige 1921, p. 487.
  7. ^ Hart 1902, London.
  8. ^ "No. 27460". The London Gazette. 1 August 1902. p. 4963.
  9. ^ "No. 27473". The London Gazette. 12 September 1902. p. 5890.
  10. ^ "Royal Tank Regiment". Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  11. ^ Higman 2004, p. 67.
  12. ^ "Lord Thomas Evelyn Howard de Walden, Musée Rodin, Les collections du Musée Rodin". Musée Rodin (in French). Retrieved 18 August 2017.
  13. ^ "Dean Castle".
  14. ^ a b "Thomas Evelyn Scott-Ellis, 8th Baron Howard de Walden (1880-1946)".
  15. ^ "RMYC - The Royal Motor Yacht Club, Poole Harbour, Dorset". The Royal Motor Yacht Club. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  16. ^ "The Steam Yacht Branwen". International Marine Engineering. Marine Engineering. 11 (August): 317–318. 1906. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
  17. ^ "Shipbuilding Notes". Page's Weekly. Page's Weekly, London. 7 (Friday, 3 November 1905): 1009. 1905. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
  18. ^ Sun (Auckland), vol. 1, issue 64, 7 June 1927, p. 12.
  19. ^ Brace, M (2004). The History of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales. p. 46. Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales
  20. ^ Keeling-Roberts 1981, p. xv.
  21. ^ Trust, East Ayrshire Leisure (6 March 2019). "What's On". East Ayrshire Leisure Trust. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  22. ^ Richards 1973, p. 225.
  23. ^ "Obituary: Mr John Lewis". The Times. 9 June 1928. p. 16.
  24. ^ "The Van Raalte Family". Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  25. ^ "Harrach 1900-present".
  26. ^
  27. ^ Pottle, Mark (23 September 2004). Ellis, (Esyllt) Priscilla [Pip] Scott- (1916–1983), diarist. Vol. 1. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/76869.
  28. ^ "Hon. (Esyllt) Priscilla ('Pip') Hanson (née Scott-Ellis) - National Portrait Gallery". Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  29. ^ "The Hall and Gardens - Thrumpton Hall Venue". Thrumpton Hall. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  30. ^ "The Lordship & Barony of Kilmarnock". 2011.

Books cited[edit]

Peerage of England
Preceded by Baron Howard de Walden
Succeeded by
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Baron Seaford
Succeeded by