Sue Young Histories

Harold Edgar Tyrwhitt 1890 - 1960

June 27, 2009

Reverend Harold Edgar Tyrwhitt 1890? - 1960? was a British lay homeopath, a chemist and druggist, Trywhitt was also a Theosophist, who also lived in India, and in Minehead in Somerset.


Rev Harold E Tyrwhitt MPS of Minehead, Somerset. This man is not listed in any Crockford’s Clerical Directory from 1947-67. He is listed in the Register of Chemists and Druggists for 1952 as Harold Edgar Tyrwhitt of Beaconwood Hotel, Minehead, Somerset, who qualified as MPS on 12 July 1923. We can assume therefore that he was probably born c.1900; also mentioned in Heal Thyself 1948 under ‘radiesthesia’.

In the 1930’s a diverse range of assorted lay therapists (mostly homeopaths, herbalists, vegetarians, antivivisectionists, bonesetters, diet therapists, hydrotherapists) became active, including probably 500+ lay homeopaths.

Most towns at that time had a herbalist and a homeopath. Leading figures of the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s include Noel Puddephatt, J Ellis Barker, Rev Harold Tyrwhitt, Leslie J Speight and Phyllis M Speight, Edward W Cotter, Arthur Jenner (born c1916), Frank Parker Wood, Eric F W Powell, George Pettitt, Harry Benjamin (c1890-c1950), Darnell Cooper and Edwin D W Tomkins.

Harold Trywhitt wrote The Silent Song, and many poems published in the Indian Theosophist Magazine.

Of interest:

Gerald Hugh Tyrwhitt Wilson, 14th Baron Berners1883 – 1950 also known as Gerald Tyrwhitt, was a British composer of classical music, novelist, painter and aesthete.

Gerald Trywhitt was an advocate of homeopathy.

Berners was born in Apley Park, Shropshire, in 1883. The Berners family were descended from King Edward III of England.

His father, a naval officer, was rarely home, which left Berners to spend most of his childhood with his mother and grandmother. He was raised by a grandmother who was extremely religious and self-righteous, and a mother who had little intellect and many prejudices. His mother ignored his musical interests and instead focused on developing his masculinity, a trait Berners found to be inherently unnatural.

The eccentricities Berners displayed started early in life. Once, upon hearing that you could teach a dog to swim by throwing him into water, the young Gerald promptly decided that by throwing his mother’s dog out the window, he could teach it to fly. The dog was unharmed, though the act earned Berners a beating.

After devising several inappropriate booby traps, Berners was sent off to a boarding school in Cheam at the age of 9. It was here that he would first explore his homosexuality; for a short time, he was romantically involved with an older student. The relationship was abruptly ended after Berners accidentally vomited on the other boy.

After he left prep school, Gerald continued his education at Eton College. Later, in his autobiographies, Berner would reflect on his experiences at Eton, claiming that he had learned nothing while there, and that the school was more concerned with shaping the young men’s characters than supplying them with an education.

As well as being a talented musician, Berners was a skilled artist and writer. He was a ubiquitous presence in British literary circles of the 1920s and 1930s.He appears in many books and biographies of the period, notably portrayed as Lord Merlin in Nancy Mitford’s The Pursuit of Love. He was a friend of the Mitford family and close to Diana Guinness.

Berners was notorious for his eccentricity, dyeing pigeons at his house in Faringdon in vibrant colors and at one point having a giraffe as a pet and tea companion.

He was also subject throughout his life to periods of depression. These became more pronounced when Berners, who had lived in Rome during 1939-1945, found himself somewhat out of favour after his return to England.

He died in 1950 at Faringdon House, bequeathing his estate to his companion Robert Vernon Heber Percy, who lived at Faringdon until his own death in 1987.

His friends included the composers Constant Lambert and William Walton and he worked with Frederick Ashton, and was friends with Cecil Beaton and Oliver Messel.

Lieutenant Colonel Bellers of Baston Manor, Abbey Dore, *Pontriles, Herfordshire is also noted in James John Garth Wilkinson’s address book in 1895 (Swedenborg Archive Address Book of James John Garth Wilkinson dated 1895), is this Lieutenant Colonel Ernest Vernon Bellers (1856-1927

James John Garth Wilkinson also has another Vernon in his address book - W H Vernon at 34 Gaisford Street, Kentish Town, and also at 45 South Hill Park, Hampstead (Victorians did tend to move rather frequently) (Swedenborg Archive Address Book of James John Garth Wilkinson dated 1895)

See also /archives/2009/12/14/william-warren-vernon-1834-1919/ William Wykeham Tyrwhitt Drake (1851-1919) or his brother Thomas William Tyrwhitt Drake (1849-1900) and Miss Mary Tyrwhitt Drake (?-?) were members of a local family who owned the Amersham Estates, and were keen fox hunters. They sold land for the development of the Metropolitan Line railway. James John Garth Wilkinson had the names and address of Tyrwhitt Drake and Miss/s Mary) in both of his address book at Dulas Court, *Pontriles, Herefordshire. They may have been friends of James John Garth Wilkinson’s daughter Florence Attwood Mathews, who lived at *Pontrilas Court. (Swedenborg Archive Address Book of James John Garth Wilkinson dated 1895. _See also Swedenborg Archive _Address Book of James John Garth Wilkinson ‘Where is it’ dated 1.10.1892),


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