The normally reliable *Red family tree book gives Alice's birth date as 16th August 1781 (though this date is not written in the primary hand), while the electronic tree of James Sneyd gives it as 1779. Since her memorials says she was 71 when she died, this supports the latter year as being correct. The August date is presumed correct, even if the year that went with it was not. In addition the census of 1851 clearly shows that on 30 March 1851 she was 71 years old.


Portrait


Alicia Boileau (1779-1851).jpg
This image, believed to be of Alicia, was kindly provided by Robin Elliott through his cousin Charles Baron, and is reproduced with his permission. It is thought to be a photograph of an oil miniature, the location of which is unknown. If you have this original, do please get in touch with us.


Mentions in Emily's Memoir


"My Grandfather, above named, went out in 1796, and having married in India Alicia Boileau - from whom you inherit your Huguenot pedigree - sent home my Father at three years old (in 1806) from Calcutta to be brought up by his Grandfather and Grandmother - another Mr.Charles Elliott - then living at Clapham." p1


"His Father was at this time 'Resident of Delhi' - in charge of the 'Great Mogul', state prisoner of Government and never moved out without my Grandfather, and a guard of 300 mounted men. This great man was so grateful to my Grandfather for getting his pension raised from £20,000 to £25,000 per annum, and finding it impossible to get this honorable Englishman to accept any pecuniary compensation for doing what he considered a mere act of justice, he induced my Grandfather to allow the little form of adopting my dear Grandmother as one of his 'daughters'! - whereupon his real daughter placed on her finger a ring containing a single emerald, the largest I have ever seen except among Royal jewels. She gave this ring to my Father - and all my life, as long as he lived we knew it, and its story, on his finger. It is in possession of your Uncle Charles’ family now." p4


"My gentle mother has often described how she dreaded the ordeal of being introduced to my formidable Grandfather, who was not welcoming her as a daughter in law. She was now staying in London with her Guardian, Sir James Stephen, Colonial Secretary - and on a certain day they were all invited to a large dinner party at Portland Place. Great was my dear Grandmother's loving wish that her future daughter in law should please her Sire! And having already made her acquaintance at her Guardian's, she managed to waylay the timid girl ere she entered the Drawing Room, and encouraged her to fear nothing. I can picture her as I have heard her describe that night, as my dear kind Grandmother took her by the hand, and led her into the large gathering, where were many criticizing eyes. Dressed in white India muslin, with her glorious black hair done in coils upon coils on the top of her head, with strings of pearls twisted in amongst them - her only ornament - her lovely pink and white complexion, which she kept to the day of her death, her perfect features, and deep set, dark, loving hazel eyes, my Grandmother rightly thought she would soften the heart of stone, and in her own merits, break down the strongest prejudice. And she was not far wrong; for after holding her at arms length for a few seconds, my Grandfather stooped down and kissed her forehead; and the ice was broken, and the thaw set in. She had not easy work with him though for many years; but her imperturbably sweet temper, and almost too perfect conduct as a wife, at last won him completely - and he was known to say 'Was there ever such a perfect woman as Emily’! And during his latter years nothing was too good for her - and after his dear wife's death she was more and more to him - drawing his now softened and humble heart to believe in God's love to him ..... But I have forestalled." pp7-8


"In 1847 a great event happened. Half the Rectory was to be rebuilt, and our Grandparents invited us four younger ones, and governess to spend three months at 47 Portland Place, their London home. As soon as we arrived, our Grandfather met us in the Hall, and took care to tell us that our place was at the top of the house! while the dear Grandmother took care to show us that we had a place in her heart and thoughts all day long. When we arrived on the 4th Floor where our rooms were, we found a sumptuous tea prepared for us - which made a great impression on our minds. In fact the dear old lady determined to spoil us with love for the happy time she meant to keep us.

And here I must describe my dear Grandmother, for this was really our introduction to her. Being of Hugenot descent, one of the Boileaus de Castlenau, near Nismes, who fled to Ireland at the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, rather than become Roman Catholic, she had Irish and French blood both in her veins. Her dancing black eyes and great vivacity and high spirits won all children; while her thoughtfulness for others, and power of adapting her conversation to the different class of minds she was talking to, made her popular in all society whether high or low, old or young.

I always remember her dressed in stiff black satin, with rather stiff black curls caught back with a comb either side of her face, after the fashion of those days. It was the only stiff thing about her, though, as any one would have said had they seen the wonderful old lady, now 66, every evening amusing her grandchildren by making what she called "cheeses"; by whirling round at any pace on her toes, and then quietly subsiding on to her knees, leaving her dress standing up stiffly, like cheese, all round her! As we proceeded to cut up this cheese, she would gradually pretend to die, and just as we were lamenting over her, up she would get on all fours, and scramble after us all round the room. I can remember her doing this as late as 1850 when she was 69, in the drawing room at Tattingstone. She belonged to a generation made of different material from the present one - for I do not know one to equal her nowadays.

At the end of our happy three months in London, we left this dear Grandmother, and stately and somewhat terrifying Grandfather, and returned to our much improved home." pp14-15


"After 1847 the great event of every year was our grandparents' visit from London - with carriage and pair, coachman and footman and maid, for all August and half of September. These were high days for us - and often a half holiday for two would be asked, and we would go out, as proud as princes, to drive in the 'rumble' at the back of the great landau, Mr. Gee the coachman, and a favourite footman, Frank, who had been many years with them, enjoying our fun from the Box. Our dear Grandmother always came from London laden with presents for us; the most memorable of which was a Dolls' House, for which the aforesd. 'Frank' had made all the furniture; and she herself had dressed every doll - from the nurse and baby in bedroom to the grand coachman in 'Servants' Hall'; and two lovely ladies in wax in the drawing room, one in blue satin and white bugles; the other in pink satin and black beads. (That I should actually be able to recall their dresses at this length of time proves how few pleasures we had). Books - Toys - Dresses of all sorts came also - and frequent showers of pink and white sugar plums thrown from her bedroom window were a great treat to those who never had any at any other time in the year.

I remember being much overawed one day by finding out that this dear bright Grandmother always spent from 6-7 p.m. quietly in her bedroom at her devotions (before late dinner) every day - saying that at bed time she was too tired to enjoy prayer and reading. I think hers an example worth following where it can be done." p16


"In 1850 our Parents were longer in London than their usual annual visit to Portland Place, as our dear Grandmother’s fatal illness had begun." p17


"In 1851 the dear Grandmother died, giving blessed testimony of her trust in the Lord and perfect peace. Her funeral at Tattingstone was an event in our childhood - many relatives coming down for the day, whom we had never seen before; amongst others I particularly recall my Great Uncles Henry, and Edward Elliott. Our Grandmother did not wish us children to wear black for her - and some weeks before her death got her faithful maid to make us each a lavender grey dress - saying "it will come in for them by and bye you know, when I am gone - and save their Mother trouble." " p18



Census


47 Portland Place 1851 census entry.jpg
Census image courtesy of Charles Baron. They had a lot of servants at 47 Portland Place, London!
The census states Alicia's place of birth as Dublin, implying that her father didn't move from Dublin to Chester until 1779 at the earliest.
Alicia died later in this year.


Memorials


St Marys Tattingstone vault stone.jpg
Image courtesy of Charles Sale, www.gravestonephotos.com.

In this Vault repose the mortal remains of ALICIA the beloved wife of CHARLES ELLIOTT, ???? of Portland Place, London, who departed this Life on the 5th July, 1851, Aged 71 Years.
Also of the said CHARLES ELLIOTT, ???? who died on the 4th May, 1856, Aged 79 Years.
Also of WILLIAM HENRY ELLIOTT, ESQUIRE of H.M. Bengal Civil Service, Second Son of the said CHARLES ELLIOTT ESQUIRE who died on the 8th October 1870, Aged 59 Years.
Also of the Rev. CHARLES BOILEAU ELLIOTT, Eldest Son of the said CHARLES ELLIOTT ESQUIRE who died on the 1st July 1875, Aged 72 Years.
Also of EMILY GERTRUDE, his wife, who fell asleep on the 3rd January 1877, Aged 70 Years.



St Marys Tattingstone monument to Alicia Boileau.jpg
Image courtesy of Charles Sale, www.gravestonephotos.com.

NEAR THIS TABLET REPOSE THE MORTAL REMAINS OF ALICIA. FOR NEARLY FIFTY YEARS THE LOVING AND TENDERLY BELOVED WIFE OF CHARLES ELLIOTT ESQUIRE, OF THE EAST INDIA COMPANY'S BENGAL CIVIL SERVICE.
DESCENDED FROM THE ELDEST BRANCH OF THE BOILEAUS DE CASTELNAU, OF THE PROVINCE OF LANGUEDOC, WHO, AT THE REVOCATION OF THE EDICT OF NANTES, CHOOSING RATHER TO ABANDON THEIR COUNTRY THAN THE TRUTH OF GOD, TOOK REFUGE IN IRELAND FROM ROMISH PERSECUTION.
SHE UNITED THE VIVACITY AND BRILLIANCY OF THE RACE FROM WHICH SHE SPRANG WITH THE TALENT AND WARMTH OF HEART OF THAT WITH WHICH SHE BLENDED IN BIRTH; WHILE THE QUALITIES, WHICH ESPECIALLY CAPTIVATED AND ENDEARED HER TO ALL WERE RENUNCIATION OF SELF AND CONSIDERATION OF OTHERS.
AFTER A LONG LIFE OF ALMOST UNINTERRUPTED HEALTH AND ENJOYMENT, ERE AGE WITH ITS WITHERING TOUCH HAD IMPAIRED A SENSE OR DEADENED A FEELING, SHE WAS SUDDENLY STRICKEN BY SEVERE DISEASE; UNDER WHICH AN UNRUFFLED CALMNESS IN THE ANTICIPATION OF DEATH MARKED THE STRENGTH OF HER FAITH IN HER REDEEMER'S SACRIFICE, WHILE HER CONFIDENCE IN HIS LOVE CONVERTED INCREASING SUFFERINGS INTO OCCASIONS OF INCREASING PRAISE.
BLAMELESS AS SHE APPEARED TO OTHERS IN ALL THE RELATIONS OF LIFE, SHE YET SAW HERSELF IN THE LIGHT OF GOD'S WORD, A SINNER JUSTLY CONDEMNED. AS SUCH, SHE CAST HERSELF AT THE FOOT OF THE CROSS OF CHRIST;
AND, PLEADING HIS ONLY MERITS
WITH A HOPE FULL OF IMMORTALITY
SHE FELL ASLEEP IN HIM
ON THE 5TH DAY OF JULY 1851,
IN THE 72ND* YEAR OF HER AGE.

*i.e. aged 71; when you are 1 year old you are in your 2nd year.




Children


With Charles Elliott (1776-1856):
  1. Rev. Charles Boileau Elliott (1803-1875).
  2. Harriet Alicia Elliott (1810-1811).
  3. William Henry Elliott (1811-1870).
  4. George Donnithorne Elliott (1815-1854).