Ellis, Charles Rose, first Baron Seaford 1771-1845, was the second son of John Ellis, who was himself second son of George Ellis, sometime chief justice of Jamaica, and descendant of Colonel John Ellis, who settled in that island in 1665, and founded a family there. He was born on 19 Dec. 1771, and, having inherited a large West India property, entered the House of Commons in March 1793, when barely of age, as M.P. for Heytesbury. He was not a brilliant speaker, but through his cousin, George Ellis [qv.], who was Canning's intimate friend, he became acquainted with that statesman, of whom he remained a consistent follower until the end of his parliamentary career. In 1796 he was elected both for Wareham and Seaford, but preferred to sit for the latter place, and on 2 Aug. 1798 he married Elizabeth Catherine Clifton, only daughter and heiress of John, lord Hervey. About the same period he purchased the estate of Claremont in Surrey, where he exercised a large hospitality, and he was re-elected for Seaford in 1802. His wife died on 21 Jan. 1803, and on 8 July of that year his infant son, Charles Augustus Ellis, succeeded his maternal great-grandfather, Frederick Hervey, earl of Bristol and bishop of Derry, in the ancient barony of Howard de Walden (see Foster, Peerage). He lost his seat in 1806, but was elected for East Grinstead in 1807. He was re-elected for Seaford in 1812, and continued to represent that place until his elevation to the peerage in 1826. His importance in the House of Commons rested in his being the acknowledged head of what was known as the West Indian interest, and Canning often found his assistance of great value to him, though his chosen intimate was George Ellis, who was one of the recognised wits of the time, and whose untimely death in 1815 was universally lamented. In 1826 Canning was allowed to nominate a friend for a peerage, and he nominated Ellis, to the surprise of every one, according to Greville, and he was accordingly created Lord Seaford on 16 July 1826. Seaford died on 1 July 1845 at Wood End, near Chichester, and was succeeded in his peerage by his elder son, Lord Howard de Walden, a well-known diplomatist.

     Gent. Mag. October, 1845.

Contributor: H. M. S. [Henry Morse Stephens]

Published: 1888