Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol II (1901).djvu/196

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

Arthur (afterwards Duke of Connaught), then eight years old; and when the prince came of age, was appointed on 1 May 1871 treasurer and comptroller of his household, an office which he continued to hold until his death. He attended the prince at Woolwich and Chatham and accompanied him to Canada, India, the Mediterranean, and elsewhere.

In 1858 Elphinstone arranged for Prince Albert his generous gift to the officers of the army of 'the Prince Consort's Library' at Aldershot. He was made a companion of the order of the Bath, civil division, on 23 Aug. 1865, and military division on 20 May 1871; a companion of the order of St. Michael and St. George on 28 July 1870, and was promoted to be a knight commander of the order of the Bath on 3 July 1871. In June 1873 he was appointed by the Prince of Wales vice-president of the British commission of the Vienna exhibition. He commanded the royal engineer troops at Aldershot from August 1873 to March 1877, and the troops and companies to December 1881. He was appointed aide-de-camp to the queen on 1 Oct. 1877, and was colonel on the staff and commanding royal engineer at Aldershot from 31 Dec. 1881 to 30 Dec. 1886. In 1884-5 he acted temporarily as military attache at Berlin. On 1 April 1889 he was appointed to the command of the western military district.

On 8 March 1890 Elphinstone left Plymouth for Teneriffe in the steamer Tongariro on a month's leave of absence for the benefit of his health, accompanied by his wife and some of his family. In the evening of that day, when off Ushant, he accidentally fell overboard and was drowned. The search for his body proved fruitless. The 'Court Circular' of 14 March announced that the queen had received with profound grief the news of the death of one who enjoyed her entire confidence for thirty-one years. By the queen's command a memorial service was held in Exeter Cathedral on 20 March. In the Devonport garrison chapel Elphinstone is commemorated by a brass tablet and a lectern, unveiled on 8 Jan. 1894 by the Duke of Edinburgh; a memorial stained-glass window has also been placed in the chancel of St. George's Church, Aldershot, by his brother officers. A portrait of Elphinstone in oils, by Hermann Schmeichen, has been placed in the mess-room of the royal engineers at Aldershot, and a replica presented by them to Lady Elphinstone.

Elphinstone married, on 5 Dec. 1876, Annie Frances, second daughter of W. H. Cole of West Woodhay, Berkshire, and afterwards of Portland Place, London, and Giffords Hall, Suffolk. She survived her husband, with,' four daughters, for the eldest of whom, Victoria Alexandrina (b. 8 Sept. 1877), the queen stood sponsor.

[War Office Records; Royal Engineers' Records; Despatches; Royal Engineers Journal, April, May, and August 1890; Times, 14, 19, 21, and 26 March 1890; Kinglake's Invasion of the Crimea; Russell's Crimean War.]

R. H. V.

ELTON, CHARLES ISAAC (1839–1900), lawyer and antiquary, was the eldest son of Frederick Bayard Elton of Clifton, and Mary Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Charrles Abraham Elton of Clevedon, sixth baroret. Born on 6 Dec. 1839 at Southampton, he was educated at Cheltenham College and at Balliol College, Oxford, where he matriculated as a commoner in 1857. He took a first class in classical moderations in 1859, and a second class in literæ humaniores, and a first class in law and history in 1861. He graduated B. A. in 1862, and was elected to the Vinerian law scholarship, and to an open fellowship at Queen's.

Entering at Lincoln's Inn he was called to the bar in 1865. Early in his career he was fortunate in attracting the attention of Sir George Jessel [q. v.] by his ready application of a passage of Bracton to a case in which Jessel was employed Elton did not have to wait for briefs long. He had been a severe student of black-letter law, and his great powers of application and tenacious memory combined to render him perhaps the most erudite lawyer of his generation. He rapidly acquired a large conveyancing practice, and was largely employed in court work in real property cases, especially where foreshores, minerals, and manorial rights were concerned. In 1885 be was made a queen's counsel, and elected bencher of his inn. Contrary to the general practice of chancery 'silks,' he did not attach himself to any one court, but practised as a 'special' whenever the matter was heavy enough for him to be retained. During the latter years of his life his appearances in court grew less and less frequent.

This was due to no decline in the demands made upon him, but to his easy circumstances and multifarious interests. In 1869 he had succeeded somewhat unexpectedly under the will of his uncle, R. J. Elton, to the property of Whitestaunton, near Chard in Somersetshire. As lord of the manor, owner of a house ranging in date from Edward IV to Elizabeth, and with the remains of a Roman villa in his grounds, he had ample opportunities of satisfying his excep-