Charles Jeremiah Wells – father of Charles Wells (the man who broke the bank) – lived at this house, 2 Montée des Oblats*, in Marseille. (*Since re-named rue Vauvenargues). It would appear that the house was first occupied by members of the family when Charles ‘Monte Carlo’ Wells was entering a successful phase of his career as an engineer when in his thirties, and it is thought that he may have bought it for his parents.
At the rear of the building is a steep drop, (seen in the second illustration), providing two extra storeys below the house. Nearing the end of his life, and seriously ill, Charles Jeremiah Wells wrote: ‘I have the first society here, and the first salons open to me – but can’t enjoy it – perfectly isolated – having nothing and wanting nothing – inhabiting one of my apartments – one bed – no servant – and done for by the family below. From my former habit of life it is a terrible come-down in one year.’
More photographs from my research on the man who broke the bank will follow soon ! Watch this space!!