The Ellis Family
The Ellis family figured significantly on both the parliamentary and the royalist sides during and after the Civil War and Restoration. Even a brief overview of the seventeenth-century history of this colorful family underlines the difficulty of assuming that every branch of an ostensibly royalist family was loyal to the king. Reverend John Ellis descended from a branch of the Ellis family that had settled in York. He graduated from Cambridge where he became a Fellow of St. Catherine’s Hall and, subsequently, a chaplain to Archbishop George Abbot and a Rector of Waddesdon in Buckinghamshire. Ellis was a famous figure in religious debates. At the beginning of the Civil War, he was an advocate for Parliament against the king but then retracted his republicanism and changed his allegiance back to the king. He had six sons and two daughters, and his four elder sons were also famous for their differing political and religious allegiances. His eldest son and namesake John Ellis, born in 1645, became an Under Secretary of State to King William. The next and second eldest son, William Ellis, became Secretary to the Duke of Tyrconnel, when he was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. William Ellis later followed the Catholic James II into exile; he was Secretary of State to him and later Treasurer to his son the old Pretender. The third son became a Roman Catholic bishop and the fourth an Anglican bishop in Ireland.
- The Ellis Correspondence. Letters Written During the Years 1686, 1687, 1688, and Addressed to John Ellis, Esq. Comprising Many Particulars of The Revolution, ed. Hon. Agar Ellis, 2 vols. (London: Henry Colburn, New Burlington Street, 1829), 1: xii–xxiii. The original letters are preserved in the Birch Collection at the British Library. ↵