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Posted: 31 Jul 2020, 10:44
by woodchal
Any one investigating the Challis family?

Many people think the name is of Norman origin, with it being a locational name from Eschalles, a place in Pas-de-Calais. Others link it to immigration of Huguenot lace makers (Challis being a type of lace).

There is a wide range of spelling of our surname in the earliest records; Chalice, Challice, Chalys, Challiss, Challes, Chellis, Callis and more. Some of these variations continue in some family lines to the modern day. However, my branch of the family standardised on the Challis variation.

I can trace the Challis line back to a Daniel Challis (1664-1731) in Bocking, Essex, but no further. At the same time there was also a Daniel Challiss (1678-1760) who was based in the neighbouring parish of Panfield.

Some family histories have confused and combined our Daniel Challis of Bocking, with the Daniel Challiss of Panfield. However we have access to Daniel of Bocking’s will in which the family of our Daniel is well described.

Our Daniel is described as Daniel the Elder. It is possible that Elder was used to distinguish him from the younger Daniel Challiss in the next village, but it may also reflect his position in a non-conformist church.

The possibility that we had a Huguenot history was sparked by finding a presentation by Alderman Michael Savory made on 23 September 1996 entitled “The influence of Huguenots on the City of London” (http://www.guildhallhistoricalassociati ... London.pdf)

in which he made the statement:- “While the Challis's have had a remarkable journey: Simon Challis, at the request of Lord North, was made a Freeman of the City on 7th October 1600. Two hundred years later, Thomas Challis, a butcher in St. Giles Ward, sired a son who became Lord Mayor in 1852.”.

Until this year Thomas is the only Lord Mayor not to have had a Lord Mayor’s Show. He took office on 9 November 1852 and the traditional Lord Mayor's Show was not held as the City was preparing to hold the state funeral of the Duke of Wellington on the 18th November. Maybe this year’s Lord Mayor maybe the second not to have a show – what are the chances of holding a mass gathering event in London on 14th November this year?