By 1847 he had returned to England and held the junior political office of a Lord-in-Waiting to Queen Victoria [who was now married to Prince Albert] until 1852. By 1857 John Elphinstone was back in India where he caught England’s imagination by “well handling” the so called Indian Mutiny. remarkBenjamin Disraeli in his three hour speech to the House on 27th July1857 presented the critical disturbances as a national revolt and enumerated various causes which justified this general revolt. remarkQueen Victoria may have seen it otherwise and personally recommended in 1859 that John Elphinstone be awarded the GCB [Grand Knight Cross of the Order of the Bath] and raised to a peerage of the United Kingdom. Folks at large would have noticed that this high award was equal to that given to his boss, Lord Canning, who was then Governor General of India before it became an appointment known as “Viceroy”. Elphinstone’s death the following year, unmarried, aged only 53 all probably added to his name still being well known in the early 1860’s, all the more so since HRH Prince Albert, the Prince Consort had died in 1861also at a relatively young age. John Elphinstone was buried in the same modest Surrey churchyard as his Uncle Mountstuart – and, incidentally, but much later, Sir Thomas Beecham, Frederick Delius and Norman Del Mar.[Note: ZZZ] His British peerage became extinct but his Scottish peerage devolved on his first cousin, John Elphinstone Fleming who died the following year, on 13th January 1861,such that the Scottish peerage then devolved on William Buller-Fullerton-Elphinstone as the 15th Lord Elphinstone.[Note: JJJ] When Queen Victoria later wrote source[17th August 1876] in her Scottish Journal about inviting Lord and Lady Elphinstone to dinner at Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh [at the time of her unveiling the statue of the late Prince Consort] it would have been the 15th Lord Elphinstone who attended along with the usual in-crowd – Duke of Buccleuch, Lord Roseberry, Lord Dalkeith, the young Lord Elgin…etc.

It was then the 16th Lord Elphinstone who married [in 1910] Lady Mary Bowes-Lyon, sister to HM Queen Elizabeth, the late Queen Mother such that the present,19th,Lord Elphinstone who succeeded to the title in 1994, aged 14,is 3rd Cousin to HRH The Prince William, Duke of Cambridge.

But in the year 1858 when the Southsea developer[s] may already have been thinking about street names they had for choice, as far as the amazing extended Elphinstone family was concerned;

a) A sitting MP for Portsmouth, b) A VC Hero standing on Southsea Common already selected to join the Royal Household c) A Hero in India who had helped save the empire and d) in his last year, a very modest person who was one of the few Englishmen, it may be claimed, who ever really understood India.


So, if the three streets were each named after three peerages it would be that they were named after the 7th Earl of Shaftesbury, the 1st and/or 2nd Barons Ashburton and the 13th Baron Elphinstone. In selecting the names of these three fine families the developers, whether intentionally or not, had chosen families who most strongly represented three of the Victorian age’s greatest achievements – whether or not, in 2018, we all necessarily regard those as admirable achievements. One was the development of social awareness through improved social institutions, another was the development of England’s finest banking, financial and trading reputation throughout the world and the third was the building of the Empire notably in India. These families (some of whom were descended from European immigrants) were not those who just remained hidden away in some small part of England waving their Union flags but were those who helped build a bigger better world of international understanding.

So what did Queen Victoria think of these three fine Lords? remarkIt seems that she disliked Lord Shaftesbury, remarkadmired Lord Ashburton and remarkconsidered Lord Elphinstone “our friend”. So, the developer[s] who named the three streets seem also to have spanned the range of Queen Victoria’s personal preferences not that everybody agreed with her judgements. She did, after all, according to Mr Weintraub (Victoria Biography of a Queen, page 415), once use the phrase “the low Portsmouth people”.