The silver presentation freedom casket of rectangular form; the panelled body incorporating applied gilt and reed foliate motifs and neo-classic cartouches upon a stippled and diapered ground, and enclosing two circular convex enamelled plaques, one depicting 'St Paul's Church' and the other 'St Paul's Clock House and Parish Rooms'; the corners comprising architectural pilasters enclosing Gothic styled panels, and the matching push-on cover of raised panelled form bearing similar embellishments and surmounted by a griffin with coronet encircled neck and bearing an inscribed Crest, which is believed to be that of the Ellison family, and the dedication 'Presented to T E Ellison Esq., May 1911; opening to reveal a fitted blue silk interior, now rather faded with age, all resting upon a green velvet covered wooden plinth (also rather worn).
Enclosed within is an illuminated address on silk which is now sadly in a severe state of decay and cannot be touched, it also contains a list of subscribers and reasons it was given to the recipient printed on vellum in a highly decorative style.
Hallmarked - Birmingham 1911
Makers Mark - V & S
The Ellison Casket is actually the property of St Paul's Parish and is only on loan to the Wokingham Town Council for safe keeping and with permission to display it as part of the Town Silver Collection.
In a letter dated July 15 1973 to the Rector of St Paul's Church, from the Bishop of Chester, he states that many years prior to the letter date he had inherited the casket and other possessions on the deaths of the Misses Ellison, who resided at "The Elms" Broad Street, who were his Father's cousins. This appears to be borne out in a letter dated 14 January 1991 from a Mr James Swan, a member of the Wokingham Society to the Town Clerk of Wokingham Town Council, in which he states "that in the Will of Margaret Isobel Ellison, who died in 1952, several items of silver and plate, bearing the Ellison Crest were bequeathed to Reverend Gerald Alexander Ellison.
The Bishop's letter, after giving details of the casket and its contents, stated that he thought that it would be of more interest, and really belonged to the Members of St Paul's Parish. In a letter dated 5 August 1973 the residing Rector of St Paul's Church accepted the charge and thus the Ellison Casket came once again to reside in Wokingham.
In 1985 the Wokingham Town Council received a letter from Reverend Peter Rapsey, the then Rector of St Paul's, stating that there appeared to be no clear indication as to whom, in the Church or Parish, was responsible for the Casket other than that it had always been kept at St Paul's Rectory.
He personally thought it sensible, because it is to all intents and purposes, part of the Town's history and of silver, that it would be better to be kept with the Town's Silver Collection for safe custody and display. As it had been given to St Paul's Church in the first instance, it could not therefore be presented to the Town Council, therefore it was agreed by both parties that it be offered on a long free loan basis and included in the official Town Silver collection.