Whittaker Avenue, TW9

Place Name

John Whittaker Ellis (January 25, 1829 – September 20, 1912) was the first Mayor of Richmond when the post was created in 1890, having earlier been the Lord Mayor of London and while he was a sitting Conservative Member of Parliament at the time. All of these various posts would normally be enough to see his name commemorated but Sir John went one further. When the Vestry decided it could not afford the Castle Hotel as a site for a new Town Hall, he bought it for them and in return asked that a road should be constructed from the building to the River Thames so that the public could have access to the water front. Not everyone was so impressed with his generosity and the new road was only begrudgingly named after him, having originally been called Castle Road, following a Vestry meeting on July 7, 1890. It was only changed two years later shortly before the official opening by the Duke of York in 1893. Sir John was the fifth son of Joseph Ellis, owner of the Star and Garter Hotel (and himself a former owner of the Castle), he became a banking executive, auctioneer and estate agent, as well as holding several local government posts. He was elected for one of the two seats for Mid Surrey at a by-election in 1884. When that area was abolished he was nominated for and won the 1885 general election and that of the next year for the inceptive Kingston upon Thames seat which took in Richmond but retired in 1892.





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