Scroll down to find details of Alexander Pallis, a prominent Greek businessman and scholar and his children

ANDREAS PALLIS [1888-1977]

PALLIS,  Alexander [1851-1935]

Besides being a very successful businessman Alexander Pallis was a prominent scholar closely involved with the reform of the Greek language whose translation of the New Testament into Modern Greek prompted much controversy.
He was born in Piraeus in 1851 and from 1869 to 1875 worked in Manchester before spending time as part of the Greek community in Bombay. He returned to England in 1894, running the Ralli brothers businesses in Liverpool. He married Julia Ralli and the couple moved into a large mansion at 20 Aigburth Drive L17 overlooking Sefton Park. They called the house Tatoi after the summer palace of the Greek royal family. His business acumen was evidenced by the fact that when he died in 1935 he left his wife and children a sum which in today's terms would be over £12million.

However, it was as a scholar that he mainly left his mark on the world. He lived at a time when the fabric of the modern Greek nation was being built and a key issue was what form of written Greek should be used. Pallis was firmly in the school that believed that modern (or demotic) Greek should be used in church and society rather than the archaic form that was then the norm. Pallis wrote extensively in support of the movement and made a major contribution with his translations into modern Greek of Homer's Iliad and the New Testament. the publication of the latter work led to outbreaks of violence in Athens which became known as the Gospel Riots. Eight people died and 70 were injured and Archbishop Procopius of Athens, who had supported Pallis, was forced to resign. Pallis' New Testament was banned in Greece until 1924.
He also translated many works of literature into 'demotika', including Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice and Henry IV. Pallis had five children, each of whom gained some eminence in their chosen professions.

20 Aigburth Drive L17

The Pallis home, Tatoi, overlooking Sefton Park.


Pallis' life and family are detailed in a chapter of S.B.Williams' book The Greek Community of Liverpool. There is a brief Wikipedia entry.

Alec Pallis with King George II of Greece

Alexander Anastasius Pallis [1883-1975]

Alec Pallis was born in Bombay in 1883, his father being part of the Greek business community. The family returned to England in 1894 and his early years were spent at the family mansion, 'Tatoi', 20 Aigburth Drive L17. After schooling at Eton and a year at Heidelberg University Alec Pallis took a double first in Classics at Balliol College, Oxford.He began his career in the Egyptian Civil Service before moving to Greece where his speedy rise through the Hellenic Civil Service saw him appointed Governor of Corfu and then Governor of Salonika. He was active in managing the aftermath of the Graeco-Turkish conflict of 1919-22 and in 1920, whilst handing out money for wounded soldiers he was shot in the head at point blank range. Miraculously, though the bullet hit his head it emerged below his ear and he survived to serve as a deputy in the Greek parliament. Between the wars he was awarded an O.B.E.
After the German invasion of Greece in the Second World War he managed to escape the country and made his way to London where he was appointed Minister Plenipotentiary in charge of Press and Information.  He returned to Athens in 1952.


Details are taken from S.B.Williams' book The Greek Community of Liverpool.

PALLIS, Marco Alexander [1895-1989]

Marco Pallis was born in Liverpool on 19th June 1895, the son of businessman and scholar Alexander Pallis of 'Tatoi', 20 Aigburth Drive L17. Each of Marco's siblings achieved some eminence in their chosen profession but he made his mark in a multitude of fields, an outstanding mountaineer, a writer on Buddhism and Tibet and a leading figure in the revivial of early English music. He was educated at Harrow and then studied entomology at Liverpool University, travelling to British Guiana in 1911 to study insects. After playing an active role in the Greek campaign against the Ottoman Empire the First World War saw him serving as an officer with the Grenadier Guards in France. His war came to an end in 1917 when at the the battle of Cambrai he was shot in the knee.

After the war his family wealth gave him latitude to indulge his passion for exploration and mountaineering. He first visited the Himalayas in 1933, returning in 1936 when he received his first instruction in Buddhism, procaliming himself a 'pilgrim of Tibetan Buddhism'. The Second World War curtailed his travels but in 1947 he and his lifelong partner Richard Nicholson returned and were able to fulfill their long-held ambition to enter Tibet, managing to do so just before the Chinese invasion. After leaving Tibet he lived in Northern India for several years, forming a friendship with Heinrich Harrer, the one-time tutor of the Dalai Lama (portrayed by Brad Pitt in Seven Years in Tibet). Returning to England in 1951 he became a prominent voice for the Tibetan people now suffering under the oppression of the Chinese invaders. he published a number of books on Tibet and Buddhism, most notably Peaks and Lamas [1948].

Marco Pallis had studied music under Arnold Dolmetsch, the leading figure in the revival of early English music, and he became a passionate advocate and performer of chamber music of the sixteenth and seventeenth century. He was able to use his personal wealth to support Dolmetsch's drive to have the recorder introduced as an instrument in primary schools. He taught viol at the Royal Academy of Music [RAM} and composed and performed professionally for many years. His efforts and achievements were recognised by the RAM with the award of an honorary fellowship.

Pallis lived for some years at 13 Fulwood Park L17 (now demolished) before moving to London in the early 1950s.

He died  on 5th June 1989 aged 93.


The Wikipedia entry is quite comprehensive. However, providing far more insight is a video on YouTube promoted by the Buddhist Society which features a talk on Marco Pallis (lasting nearly 1 hour) by Alexander Maitland entitled The Eightfold Life of Marco Pallis.

PALLIS, Andreas [188-1977]

Andreas Pandia Pallis was a noted artist who for over twenty years ran an arts and crafts workshop on the Wirral.He was born in Bombay on 1st December 1888 and later lived in the family home at Tatoi, 20 Aigburth Drive L17. He was educated at Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge where he read biology. He also studied medicine but did not qualify to practice. After service as a medical orlderly in the Balkans he returned to Liverpool and found his true vocation after attending Liverpool Art School. In 1923 he set up an arts and craft workshop in a large house called Staplands on Hinderton Road, Neston. For over twenty years he, with his partner and associate Aristide Messinesi and teams of apprentices produced silverware, woodwork, tapestries, brocades and carpets. Included amongst their works was a gilded brass harpsichord rose which is now in the museum of Colgate State University, New York and a jewelled two foot silver ciborium(receptacle for the eucharist) which was used in Fribourg Cathedral, Switzerland.
After selling Staplands in 1947 Aristide returned to India whilst Andreas Pallis concentrated on painting. In the 1960s he lived at 130 Princes Road L8. He died in Oxford on 7th January 1977 aged 88.

130 Princes Road L8

Currently masked by scaffolding the style of the house is the same as the adjacent and more visible number 132.


There is a brief resumé of his life and career in S.B. Williams' book The Greek Community of Liverpool. A longer biography is to be found on the website.