Brighton and Hove people: E

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EDISS, Connie
Connie EdissBorn Ada Harriet Coates in Brighton, daughter of a bookmaker turned house painter, Her mother and aunt had been members of the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company. Her career began (as Connie Coutts) as a music hall singer from the age of 12 before being 'discovered' by 'Gaiety' George Edwardes when she was performing at the Alhambra, Brighton in 1895 and moving over to 'legitimate' theatre. She spent much of her stage career in New York, crossing the Atlantic in 1907 to appear on Broadway, returning to London in 1919. She had leading roles in three sound films towards the end of her life: for Gainsborough and director Victor Saville in 1930, with George Robey for director Graham Cutts in 1931, and finally in the film of Night of the Garter (1933) with most of the cast from the previous year's stage version. She died in Brighton was buried in Brighton and Preston Cemetery.
Obituary: The Stage, 26 April 1934
39 Newhaven Street [home in infancy]
20 Ivory Place [childhood home 1881]
EDLIN, Tubby (Harry Smith Edlin)
Tubby EdlinBorn in Stratford, London into a family of Brighton innkeepers and hoteliers. He grew up in his parents' pub, the Regency Tavern in Russell Square. His brothers Walter and Frederick ran a number of establishments, including the King and Queen in Marlborough Place, Richmond Hotel in Richmond Place, the Great Globe in Edward Street and the Northern Hotel (now the Hobgoblin) in York Place. He attended Brighton Grammar School and was already a stage performer, singing and playing the piano in his mid teens. At the age of 15 in January 1896 he was taken on as a fitter's apprentice at the Brighton railway works. In 1897 he appeared in one of G A Smith's first films, Football Game and Scrimmage. In his only other known film, apart from newsreels, he starred in the film version of Alf's Button (1930), reprising the role he had played on stage. Among his theatrical successes was a leading role in Noel Coward's first stage work, London Calling! (1923). He had a flat over another family business, the Sussex Hotel, and in the 1930s he owned a yacht, the Anzac, moored at Shoreham. He died in Hove, leaving £16,057 18s 1d.
Image: Edlin on stage in London Calling (1924)
Regency Tavern, 33 Russell Square [childhood home]
18 Marlborough Place [family home 1911]
77 St Catherine's Terrace [home 1959]
14 Eaton Gardens [deathplace]
EDMUNDS, Christina
Christina EdmundsThe 'chocolate cream poisoner', who was living with her widowed mother in 1870 when she gave a poisoned chocolate cream to the wife of Dr Charles Beard, who was seriously ill but recovered. In 1871 she embarked on a campaign of injecting strychnine into choccolate creams bought from Maynard's sweet shop and returned. Several people were made ill and a four-year-old boy on holiday in Brighton died. Only then did Dr Beard then gave his suspicions to the police. Edmunds was tried at the Old Bailey in January 1872; her death sentence was commuted because of her mental condition and she spent the remaining 35 years of her life in the Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum. 16 Gloucester Place [residence 1871]
EGREMONT, Earls of Land-owning family. See George Wyndham. Upper Rock Gardens
Egremont Place
ELLIOTT, Charles
A priest in Clapham, father of Charlotte Elliott, Henry Venn Elliott, Edward Bishop Elliott and five others. He moved to Brighton by 1825, where he founded St Mary's as a proprietory chapel. Westfield Lodge, 112 King's Road [residence]
ELLIOTT, Charlotte
Charlotte ElliottPoet and hymnodist. Elder sister of Henry Venn Elliott, she grew up in Clapham and moved to Brighton in 1823 after a serious illness that left her weak and house-bound. She was already a portrait painter and writer of humorous verse and now began to write hymns, the best known of which is 'Just As I Am', written when she resolved her doubts about her unsuitability to be a Christian. She wrote another 150 hymns and numerous poems. She lived in Torquay from 1845 to 1857, although in 1851 she lived in Pont Street, London with her younger sister Eleanor. She returned to Brighton, where she lived and died at the home of Eleanor, who had by now married Rev John Babington. She is buried at St Andrew's Churchyard, Hove. 10 Norfolk Terrace [residence 1857-1871]
ELLIOTT, Rev Henry Venn
Henry Venn ElliottPerpetual curate of St Mary's Church and the founder of St Mary's Hall, which opened in 1836. His brother Edward Bishop Elliott (1793-1875) was incumbent of St Mark's Church, Kemptown from 1849. Venn was his mother's maiden name. He was succeeded as vicar by his third son, Julius Marshall Elliott, who was the second person to climb the Matterhorn but died at the age of 28 in 1869 when climbing the Schrockhorn; he was commemorated by the Julius Elliott Memorial Schools in Mount Street. Henry is buried at St Andrew's Churchyard, Hove.
Image: Brighton & Hove Libraries
31 Brunswick Square
St Mary's Hall, Eastern Road
ELLIS, James
d 1891
Proprietor of the Bedford Hotel, leasing it in 1844 from its founder, William Manfield, purchasing it outright in 1855. Bedford Hotel, King's Road
Harriet Elphinstone-DickSwimmer, née Harriet Elizabeth Rowell. Born in Brighton, daughter of a watchmaker and jeweller with premises in Castle Square and Pool Valley. She taught swimming at Brill's Baths. One September she swam the seven miles from Shoreham Harbour to the West Pier in Brighton in rough seas in 2 hrs 43 mins. She emigrated to Australia in 1875 with her partner Alice Moon, daughter of a Brighton doctor, and settled in Brighton, the Melbourne suburb. 8 Pool Valley [childhood home]
Brill's Baths, Pool Valley [workplace]
Land-owning family.
      Edward Elryngton was granted a lease on the Manor of Preston in 1510 by the Bishop of Chichester. He owned extensive estates across the south of England, much acquired from Henry VIII in 15441 after the dissolution of the monasteries. He married Beatrix, third daughter of Ralph Shirley and aunt of William Shirley. He is buried in St Peter's Church at Preston.
      Richard Elrington was the lessee of Preston Manor until his death, when the estate passed to his widow Mary (née Isley) and thence to Anthony Shirley, her son by her previous marriage to William Shirley, in 1569. His half-brother was Sir Edward Bray MP (1519-1581).
Elrington Road
Preston Manor, Preston Drove

1National Archives, LR 15/147
ELVEY, Maurice
Maurice ElveyProbably the most prolific British film director of all time. He was born a twin in Stockton-on-Tees, in poverty, the son of a commercial traveller, and started work as a street vendor at the age of nine. During the 1890s his family moved to Fulham, London. He became an actor, making his first appearance in 1905 in pantomime at the Theatre Royal Nottingham and played in London the next year. He was in the USA in 1910 and 1912-1913. In a film career that started in 1913 he made over 300 feature films. He joined Stoll Picture Production in 1918. Apart from two brief periods working abroad—for Fox in Hollywood 1924-1926 and at Ufa in Berlin in 1930—in a period of 44 years his films were all made in the UK. Around 1940-41 he moved from London to Haywards Heath, where he remained until his death in a Brighton nursing home.
Image: British Film Institute
ELWYN-JONES, Baron See JONES, Frederick Elwyn
ENRAGHT, Fr Richard William
Richard William EnraghtCurate to Fr Arthur Wagner at St Paul's West Street, Brighton, then appointed priest-in-charge at St Andrew's Church, Portslade with St Helen's Church, Hangleton 1871-1874. Organising Secretary of the National Association for the Promotion of Freedom of Worship. He moved to a parish in Birmingham in 1874. In 1880 he became the last High Anglican priest to be imprisoned in England under the 1874 Public Worship Regulation Act for ritualistic practices. He was honoured by Brighton & Hove City Council in 2006 as a 'fighter for religious freedom'.
Image: Pusey House Oxford, Hall Collection
St Andrew's Church, Church Road, Portslade
EVANS, Maurice (Herbert)
Maurice EvansRegarded as America's leading Shakespearean actor of his day (except by Orson Welles). After the Second World War, during which he served in the US Army Entertainment Section, he also became producer on Broadway. His first film was White Cargo (1930) but after making 11 more films over the next six years be did not appear on film again until 1951. Most of his screen work thereafter was for American television, regularly appearing on Hallmark Hall of Fame and in the series Bewitched (as Samantha's father) and Batman (as the Puzzler). He appeaed in Rosemary's Baby (1968) and was Dr Zaius in the film Planet of the Apes (1968) and its sequel. Although a naturalised American, he returned to England at the end of the 1960s and settled in Sussex. He died at a nursing home in Rottingdean.
EVEREST, Sir George William
George EverestSurveyor and geographer, born in Powys, Wales and commissioned into the Royal Artillery in 1818. Everest (pronounced 'Eve-rest') was Surveyor-General of India 1830-1843, after whom the mountain was named in 1865. He returned to the UK in 1843 and was knighted in 1861. He died in London but is buried at St Andrew's Church, Hove. St Andrew's Church, Church Road, Hove
EWART, Sir Joseph MD, FRCP, JP
Sir Joseph EwartBorn on the family estate at Holhead, near the Scottish border in Cumberland. On qualifying as a surgeon and MD in 1853, he joined the East India Company as an assistant surgeon in the Bengal establishment. He taught medicine at Calcutta University and became a Commissioner and magistrate there. He retired in 1879 and settled in Brighton, soon becoming involved in civic affairs. A liberal, even described as radical, in politics, he was three-term mayor of Brighton in 1891-1894 and stood unsuccessfully for parliament in 1895, the year he was knighted. He was one-time chairman of the Brighton Sanitary Committee1.
Image: Portrait by Henry Weigall (1894) [Royal Pavilion & Museums]
Ewart Street
Bewcastle, 164 Dyke Road [residence 1901-1906]

1Lancet, 22 January 1887 (Vol 129, issue 3308: 195)
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Page updated 5 March 2022