VCW Chronology — a work in progress

1889, Nov 11: Born David Hugh Williams to Elias / Ellis Owen Williams and Ellen/Ellin Thomas at Benar View Cottages, Ffestiniog, Merionethshire, Wales.

1891: Resident at Pwllheli, Caernarvonshire, Wales.

circa 1891: Migrated to South Wales with his family

1901: Resident at 56, High Street, Abertridwr, Glamorgan with parents and 3 younger siblings. Father Elias (elsewhere Ellis) is listed on Census record as ‘colliery timberman’.

1911, Q4: As David Hugh Cyril Williams, marries Beatrice Ellen Oates in Merthyr Tydfil district. David was a coal miner at this time. His father is recorded as deceased. Ellen’s father was also a coal miner. David and Beatrice are both listed as living at 10 John Street, Georgetown (now part of Tredegar).

1912, Jul 5: Birth of Lawrence Clive Williams to David & Beatrice. DHW’s occupation on the birth certificate is ‘boot-dealer’s salesman.’ Address 10 John  Street, Georgetown.

1913 (as reported later): Leaves Beatrice and their two young children, who fall on Parish Relief for support.

1913, Dec 23: Birth of Norman Oates Williams. Father’s occupation, and address, unchanged.

1915, Jun 15: Army enlistment, Pte V C Wellington, Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry.

1916, Q2: Marriage (as VCW) to Ellen Quipp, a hotel chambermaid from Derby working in Bournemouth, at Christchurch, while his unit is stationed in Hampshire. By one account, he leaves her after four months, but see below.

1917: Hospitalized at 3rd London General Hospital, Wandsworth. He wrote a short poem which was published in the hospital’s Gazette, and later reproduced in The Journal of Nursing for 9 June 1917.

1917, Jul 12: Army discharge, L/Cpl V C Wellington, Somerset Light Infantry, with shell-shock.

1918-1920: Reportedly (1926 bigamy trial) employed as an Assistant Investigation Officer at the Ministry of Labour, on a salary of £200 per annum, rising to £300.

1920: Resident as VCW with an Ellen Wellington (née Quipp?) at 3 Rothwell Street, London; this 4-storey house near Primrose Hill had multiple occupants. Ellen was a very common name at that time and this may not be the Ellen he married in 1916 and apparently deserted 3 or 4 months later. However, later evidence (see below) suggests she might be, and that they had got back together. Possibly Ellen was employed domestically by Mr & Mrs Brown, who appear to be the principal householders.

1920, May 4: As DHW, sentenced to 3 months at Merthyr Petty Sessions for desertion of his family (i.e., Beatrice Ellen and their children).

1920, June 1: As David Hugh Cyril Williams, pleads guilty at Glamorgan Assizes, Swansea to bigamy in respect of marriage to Ellen Quipp whilst Beatrice Ellen Oates still lived. Sentenced to 3 months hard labour, HMP Swansea. His occupation given as ‘mining student’, this conflicts with the Ministry of Labour position reported elsewhere for the period 1918-20, but it may refer to his occupation at the time of his first marriage.

1921-37: Ellen Wellington still resident at 3 Rothwell Street, London until 1922. A single Ellen Wellington then appears in electoral records at various North London addresses, the occupancy details suggesting she was in domestic service at some or all of them. She then seems to disappear from London.

1923, Feb 27: Birth of son Douglas Carron Wellington to ‘Mabel Wellington, formerly Carney’, in London. The father’s occupation listed as ‘mining engineer’. He registered the birth, giving his address 62 St Charles Square, Kensington as the location. There was no marriage between VCW and Mabel. In VCW’s later bigamy trial is cited the story that he was previously to have married a lady from Haringey, but her father discovered he was already married and the wedding was called off two days before the appointed day. Mabel was that lady and has been identified.

1923: Resident single at 62 St Charles Square, Kensington, London. The house had multiple occupants.

1923: Obtained from Messrs. Samuel Smith, wholesale jewellers of Redcliff Street, Bristol, £800-worth of goods under false pretences. This offence admitted and taken into consideration in sentencing at his 1926 bigamy trial.

1924, Jan 26: Marriage (as Deane Stuart-Wynne) to Constance Shorrock, at Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Lancs. His occupation given as ‘enquiry agent’.

1924, Sept 18: Birth of his son Deane Stuart Wynne (Jr) to Constance, at Long Ashton, Somerset (d2007).

1925, July: Obtained £100 by false pretences in Manchester. This offence admitted and taken into consideration in sentencing at his 1926 bigamy trial.

1925, Q4: Birth of his un-named second son by Constance, at Richmond, Surrey, to be adopted and become Basil Cuthbert Baldwin (d2007).

1925, December: As Peter Ward, ‘mining engineer’, marries Violet Baker in Willesden, London, having apparently met her in Scotland. He borrowed £400 from her father, bought a car, and joined the Neasden Golf Club, in NW London (it closed 1930), passing himself off as a man of means. Officials seem to have been careless in filling out the certificate, in one place his name is ‘Dave Peter Ward’, in another ‘Peter Ward’. The ensuing court case states that he claimed to be ‘Capt. Peter Ward’.

1926, June 23: As Deane Stuart Wynne, 36, traveller, pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to bigamy, for marrying Violet Baker, his then wife Constance being still alive. Constance’s marriage certificate is annotated ‘Rex v Wynne Exhibit 1′. His previous bigamy conviction in 1920 was cited. He was sentenced to 3 years. Wynne family lore mentions Dartmoor Prison, however all its records were destroyed by fire in The Dartmoor Prison Mutiny of 1932, so this cannot be proven. The case was reported by a press agency, whose story appeared in various forms, with some interesting additional background, in papers including the Dundee Courier and the Western Daily Press for 24 June 1926, and the Cheltenham Chronicle (as WDP but with a psychological addition from a doctor at Brixton Prison, where he was perhaps held on remand) for 26 June 1926. Many of the published reports mis-spell ‘Deane’ as ‘Jean’, suggesting the story was ‘phoned in’, which it must have been to make the next day’s papers.

1926, June – 1928 or 29: Believed in prison.

1929: Resident as VCW at 66 Blandford Street, London W1.

circa 1930: Forms company V. Carron Wellington Ltd in London, nature of business unknown, with office in Baker Street.

1930: Resident, as VCW and apparently single, at 22 King Street, London W1, which may now be Kingly Street W1, although the renaming apparently occurred in 1912.

1931 Aug 18: Birth of son to his secretary Winifred Mary Tanner, possibly following seduction after his or her (19th) birthday celebration (the dates were close). The boy was registered as Anthony C Wellington, and was adopted at eleven months old, to become Anthony Goadby.

1931-2: Resident at Flat 2, 95 Westbourne Terrace, London W2 with Lilian May Smith, as Mr & Mrs Wellington. This was Lilian’s flat, where she had lived since at least 1928.

1933-34: Proceedings to voluntarily liquidate V. Carron Wellington Ltd were conducted, and announced in the London Gazette. Presumably the company was insolvent, as creditors were invited by the liquidator to attend.

1933-9: Resident at Flat 1, 94 Westbourne Terrace, London W2 with Lilian May Smith, as Mr & Mrs Wellington.

1934: The phone book lists V.C. Wellington, Fine Art Publisher, at Flat 1, 94 Westbourne Terrace, London W2.

1935, January: At the Merioneth Eisteddfod in Dolgellau, a Rev T. O. Bowen, for his ode “My Brother’s Keeper”, was awarded a carved wooden chair (to add to his collection of 18) donated by Mr V. C. Wellington, Secretary of The Merioneth Society, London.

1936: VCW has business address 59 Westbourne Grove W2 but with “abode 94 Westbourne Terrace.” The phone book for this year lists V. C. Wellington, Farm Shop, Butcher, at 59 Westbourne Grove, with further premises (long since demolished) at 10 Sheldon Street, W2.

1937: V. C. Wellington, Butcher is reduced, in the phone book, to 10 Sheldon Street, W2 only.

1939, May: VCW listed in the phone book at 31 Cleveland Square, W2, presumably an apartment in this substantial house.

1942: V C Wellington listed in phone book at “Wicklow“, Whiteway, Cirencester, Gloucestershire — an attractive stone-built detached house on the outskirts of the town. This was Vincent and Lilian’s refuge from wartime London, confirmed from photographic evidence. The Cotswolds are a noted fly-fishing area, so this may be where Vincent acquired his interest in ‘the angle’. None of the reminiscences in his book appear to date from before the war.

1943: Meets his 19-year-old son Deane Stuart Wynne at the Salutation Hotel, Perth, Scotland. Deane was on leave from service in the Merchant Marine, where he had been a stoker/trimmer on the tramp ship Kingsbury, torpedoed in mid-Atlantic on St Patrick’s night that year, and had spent all night in the water south of Greenland before being picked up. VCW appeared at this time to be dealing in watches or gift items. In his book he mentions un-named friends in Perth with whom he would stay.

1943-54: Resident at 61 Palace Court, London W2 with Lilian as Mr & Mrs Wellington. This was a substantial mansion flat. Sells a valuable fishing reel in 1944, citing shortage of funds. Working at that time for ‘Mono-Initialcraft’ of 29 Duke Street SW1, engravers and makers of trophies & heraldic items.

1950 Mar 13: Elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland: ‘FSA Scot.’

1952, May 21: Elected Fellow of the Zoological Society of London: ‘FZS’, Mrs L M Wellington proposed him and resigned her Fellowship at the same time; she had been a Fellow since 1928.

1952: Publication of VCWs angling memoir The Adventures of a Sporting Angler, Oliver & Boyd, Edinburgh, the author’s name on the title page carrying the initials F.Z.S., F.S.A. Scot.

1954, Feb 22: Death of Lilian May Smith at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington.

1954, Apr 21: Correspondence address now ‘BM, Number One, London’. Vincent was perhaps obliged to vacate 61 Palace Court, which was probably rented or owned in Lilian’s name.

1955, Jan 3: Correspondence address now c/o Lloyds Bank Ltd, 81 Edgware Road, London W2.

1956, Jan 22: Address now 50 Inverness Terrace, London W2. This multiple-occupancy house was also the address of Anne/Annie Ceinwen Jones, and had been since 1945 or earlier. She had lived elsewhere in Paddington before the War.  At this time VCW was managing ‘Clwb y Cymry’, a social club for the Welsh in London, based at 225 Oxford Street, over the Studio One cinema. It had been newly opened in 1953.

1956, Nov 2: Correspondence address now ‘BM, Number One, London’.

1957, Apr 24: Address now Glenmoriston Private Hotel, On Ness Bank, Inverness. Vincent and Anne live as man & wife. She is apparently the owner of the hotel.

1960, Apr 15: Writes to ZSL from Inverness, resigning his Fellowship. His letter states he is in his 80th year. This is at variance with the birthdate of 1883 the ZSL had on record for him (which would make him about 77) and with his true birthdate of 1889 (he was actually 70).

1962, Aug 11: Death, at Inverness, aged 72. The certificate cites cirrhosis of the liver and gastro-intestinal bleeding as the causes. Enigmatically, it gives his name as Vincent Carron Wellington, formerly Ross. And it states ‘Married to ——’ (no name given). His gravestone in Inverness carries no date of birth or information, other than the name Vincent Carron Wellington, “In Loving Memory”, the date of his death, and a religious quotation.