“From rags to riches” Gravesend author tells the true story of how her great aunt married the Earl of Sandwich

PUBLISHED: 16:48 11 January 2016 | UPDATED: 16:49 11 January 2016

The group at the Vedanta

The group at the Vedanta


The full story is in her new book “The Bizarre Life of Ella Sully”

The true story of one woman’s journey from domestic servant to the wife of the Earl of Sandwich has been written by a relative from Gravesend.

“The Bizarre Life of Ella Sully” by G.M Warner tells the story of one Bristol girl’s journey across the pond to California and back again, joining Hindu temples and ultimately marrying the Earl of Sandwich.

Author Gill Warner, from Lynton Road South Gravesend, said it was a story deserving of being made in to a film.

She said: “It would make a fantastic film, it’s a great rags to riches story and of course its all true.”

Mrs Warner first heard rumours of her Great Aunt being married to the 9th Earl of Sandwich from her mother, but was somewhat sceptical.

But despite her scepticism, she began researching the rumours.

The grandmother explained: “It wouldn’t have been possible without the internet.

“I started off by searching her name and she immediately popped up alongside the Vedanta, a Hindu temple in California.

“From there I spoke to one of the nuns who had met her, and the whole story unravelled.”

Starting out as one of 11 daughters of a farm labourer, Ella Sully was born in 1902, leaving school at 13 to work in a shop, and then in domestic services.

But in 1930 she left Bristol to pursue dreams of being a seamstress in the US.

Mrs Warner explained how her great-aunt would go on to meet and marry the Earl of Sandwich.

“His first wife had died, and she had given a lot of money to the temple, so when he visited within three weeks he was totally smitten by Ella.

“She was 50 at the time but still very beautiful, and soon enough she married him,

“I spoke to someone who knew her from then, they never knew about her class background and she had taught herself, losing the Somerset accent.”

The full story surrounding Ella Sully is available via Amazon and is out now.

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