Edward Platt



3rd son of James & Elizabeth Platt.


Edward was born 22nd April 1872 and was educated, firstly at Matlock in Derby, followed by Cheltenham College.

He, like his brother Francis, played for Gloucester Football Club playing in goal; he only played a few competitive games, preferring to play friendly ones.

Edward, unlike his brother, did not go into the family business; instead he studied & became a solicitor in 1895.

On the 1891 census he is stated as being an articled clerk to a solicitor.

During his years as a practising lawyer he was a member of the Café Royal group and an intimate friend of Arnold Bennett, Augusta John & Jacob Epstein. Through some of his contacts in this group he became professionally engaged in lawsuits arising out of the trials of Oscar Wilde.

He also became involved with the notorious Count Esterhazy, the real villain in the famous Dreyfus case. In fact it was in Edward Platt’s London chambers that Esterhazy, who had fled from France, dictated the confession which, among other things, eventually helped the innocent Captain Dreyfus to escape from the hellish prison on Devil’s Island.

Edward gave this up in the late 1890’s to become a highly successful prolific writer, writing under the pseudonyms Paul Trent & Wilmot Kaye.

He married Ethel Margaret Willmott, who was the youngest daughter of Albert Willmott of Sherborne.

They had two daughters, Catherine Marion Platt (b.09/08/1901), born in Paris & Joan Margaret Platt (b.29/12/1902), born in London.

Catherine married Roger Van Houten; they had one daughter, Suzanne (b.1924), and lived in Sydney Australia.

Joan married Richard Henry Ashton on 04/06/1934 and has two children, Virginia Elizabeth Ashton (b.20/05/1935) and a son, Richard Paul Ashton (b.19/02/1938) they live in Sheldon, South Devon.

Edward’s first 3 books were published under his pseudonym of Wilmot Kaye, but thereafter he was known privately & professionally as Paul Trent.

Between 1907 & his death in 1946 he wrote 104 books, some he himself frankly admitted were ‘potboilers’; but a few had some literary merit and at least two were made into films in the 1930’s.

He deprecated the use of bad language in novels, and was of the opinion that women showed lack of restraint in writing more than men.


A list of some of the Books he wrote.


The Blackmailer             1914

Nesbit’s Compact           1915

The Master of the Skies  1920

The Blackguard              1923

The Craven my Story     1929

The Crooked Samaritan  1933

The Island Murder          1934

Shattered                      1934

Mr Justice Philbank         1934

Quayle of the yard         1935

The Air Bandits              1935

Quayle’s First Case         1936

Red Mirage                    1937

A Modern Portia             1938

Private & Confidential     1940


He died 21st May 1946, in hospital at Hammersmith, at the age of 74 and was known as one of the most prolific fiction writers of his day.

Ethel died a year later in 1947.


Comments about this page

  • Ethel Wilmot is my great grand mother and Roger Van Houten is my grandfather (he disappeared in WW2 believed dead)… He and my grandmother (I believe you may have my grandmother’s name incorrect, I will check) only had ONE child, my mother Suzanne, born in 1924, who lives with me in Melbourne Australia. My mother married Donald McQuade and had 2 children, being myself and my sister Catherine. My sister has one child Talulah Yunkers, who is currently on scholarship studying cello at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. 

    We have visited with my mother’s cousins Virginia and Richard in Shauldon, (which was quite delightful), and I can confirm that you have their side of the family correctly noted.

    Hope this is helpful

    Letitia McQuade

    By Letitia McQuade (29/03/2016)

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