Thomas Scott-Ellis, 8th Baron Howard de Walden

Thomas Evelyn Scott-Ellis, 8th Baron Howard de Walden, 4th Baron Seaford (9 May 1880 – 5 November 1946) was an English peer, landowner, writer and patron of the arts.

Thomas, 8th Baron Howard de Walden

Lord Howard de Walden was also a powerboat racer who competed for Great Britain in the 1908 Summer Olympics.

Early lifeEdit

Thomas Ellis was born in London on 9 May 1880.[1] 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.[2]

Military careerEdit

Commissioned into the 10th Hussars as a second-lieutenant on 19 April 1899, he saw active military service in the Second Boer War and was promoted to lieutenant on 1 April 1900.[3] Following the end of that war, he retired from active service in August 1902.[4] He was appointed a captain (supernumerary) in the 2nd County of London Yeomanry (Westminster Dragoons) on 13 September 1902.[5] Scott-Ellis resumed active military service during World War I, being promoted Major in the Royal Tank Corps.[6]

Collecting and interestsEdit

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.[7] 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.[8] In 1911, in preparation for his marriage, he leased Chirk Castle, Denbighshire, which became his main residence after World War I until 1946, and where he learned the Welsh language; he later served as president of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales from 1931 to 1945.[9] In 1934 he served as treasurer of the Royal Salop Infirmary in Shrewsbury,[10]

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.[11]

As a crew member of the Dylan he participated in the first and only motor boat competitions at the Olympics of 1908 in London.[12] 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.[13][14]

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.

Lord Howard de Walden was also an author, who produced several plays under the pseudonym of T. E. Ellis.[15]

Dispute with John LewisEdit

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.[16]


In 1912, Lord Howard de Walden married Margherita Dorothy van Raalte (CBE, DStJ, born 1890 died 1974);[17] herself a collector of antiquities. Their children were:

Lord Howard de Walden died, aged 66, on 5 November 1946 in London,[1] 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 Mansucript in the College of Arms (1904)
  • The Children of Don: a drama in verse (1912)
  • Pont Orewyn (1914)
  • Lanval: a drama in four acts (1908)
  • Dylan (1919)
  • The Cauldron of Annwn (1922)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Maclagan, Michael; H.C.G. Matthew (2004). "Ellis, Thomas Evelyn Scott-, eighth Baron Howard de Walden (1880–1946)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (1st Online Edition 2011 January ed.). Oxford University Press. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  2. ^ "College of Arms - College of Arms". Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  3. ^ Hart′s Army list, 1902
  4. ^ "No. 27460". The London Gazette. 1 August 1902. p. 4963.
  5. ^ "No. 27473". The London Gazette. 12 September 1902. p. 5890.
  6. ^ "Royal Tank Regiment". Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  7. ^ Barry Higman, Montpelier (Kingston: University of the West Indies Press, 1998), p. 67.
  8. ^ "Lord Thomas Evelyn Howard de Walden, Musée Rodin, Les collections du Musée Rodin". Musée Rodin (in French). Retrieved 18 August 2017.
  9. ^ Brace M '‘The History of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales'’, CPRW Welshpool, 2004. pg46.
  10. ^ Keeling-Roberts, Margaret (1981). In Retrospect: A Short History of The Salop Infirmary. p. xv. ISBN 0-9507849-0-7.
  11. ^ Trust, East Ayrshire Leisure (6 March 2019). "What's On". East Ayrshire Leisure Trust. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  12. ^ "RMYC - The Royal Motor Yacht Club, Poole Harbour, Dorset". The Royal Motor Yacht Club. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  13. ^ "The Steam Yacht Branwen". International Marine Engineering. Marine Engineering. 11 (August): 317–318. 1906. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
  14. ^ "Shipbuilding Notes". Page's Weekly. Page's Weekly, London. 7 (Friday, 3 November 1905): 1009. 1905. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
  15. ^ Welsh Biography Online. Accessed 16 June 2014
  16. ^ "Obituary: Mr John Lewis". The Times. 9 June 1928. p. 16.
  17. ^ "The Van Raalte Family". Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Hon. (Esyllt) Priscilla ('Pip') Hanson (née Scott-Ellis) - National Portrait Gallery". Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  20. ^ "Priscilla Scott-Ellis". Spartacus Educational. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  21. ^ "The Hall and Gardens - Thrumpton Hall Venue". Thrumpton Hall. Retrieved 9 August 2020.

External linksEdit

Peerage of England
Preceded by
Frederick George Ellis
Baron Howard de Walden
Succeeded by
John Osmael Scott-Ellis
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Frederick George Ellis
Baron Seaford
Succeeded by
John Osmael Scott-Ellis