Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Marquis and the Mariner's Daughter 3

Ely Lodge rebuilt
When the 4th Marquis of Ely died in 1889 almost all his estates in Counties Wexford and Fermanagh passed to his successor in the title. However, these estates were heavily encumbered with debt. The 5th Marquis was a remote cousin who was declared a bankrupt in 1882 and was still a bankrupt in 1894, thus being debarred from his seat in the House of Lords.

In the Introduction to the Ely Papers (a vast conglomeration of documents held in The National Archives UK) it is commented, perhaps unfairly, that apart from the Irish properties having become impoverished, there was also an obligation to pay 3 000 pounds a year to the 4th Marquis’s widow (i.e. Lady Caroline Anne) who lived until 1917, ‘the third Ely widow to saddle the estates with a jointure over an unusually long period of time'.

It seems right that Caroline should have been provided for in her husband’s will: he died at the early age of forty, an event nobody could have foreseen. It would be interesting to see the schedules giving details of the 4th Marquis’s marriage settlement dated 1875. At the time of his accession, his income was 30 000 pounds a year (with ‘great accumulations’). By the date of his death this had practically disappeared. By the twentieth century the succeeding generations lived in other parts of the country and no longer bothered much with the Irish estates.

A quiet street in Winchmore Hill
Caroline in due course set up her own establishment at Eversley Park*, Winchmore Hill, Southgate, where we find her aged 56 in 1901, described as ‘Peeress’ with ‘Means’ and head of a household comprising her sister-in-law, Ada, aged 39, and 7 servants including a Butler, Cook-Housekeeper, a Lady’s Maid (from Paris), two Housemaids, a Kitchen Maid and a Footman.

1901 Census Eversley Park

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Ten years later much the same lifestyle prevails at Eversley Park, but Ada is replaced by a Lady Companion.

1911 Census Eversley Park

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As we shall see, Caroline would not forget any of her servants when making her will.

Bells for summoning servants
shades of Upstairs and Downstairs

*Eversley Park in Green Dragon Lane was built in 1865.

Tom Sheldon

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