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Part of
Personal papers of Henry Solomon Wellcome (1853-1936)
  • Archives and manuscripts

About this work


Henry Mounteney Wellcome was born on 26 June 1903 at 55 Welbeck Street. He was christened on 10 October, and his godparents were HM Stanley, AJ Mounteney Jephson and Mrs John W Foster. The separation agreement of 1909 granted the custody of Mounteney to Syrie until he was eleven, with HSW having him for three months each year. HSW was to pay all educational and medical costs. After going to boarding school Mounteney was to spend half the summer holiday with each parent. HSW retained ultimate control over his son's upbringing, appointing his friend Chune Fletcher to arbitrate the settlement and to act as intermediary between HSW and Syrie. After Chune Fletcher's death in 1913, HSW's solicitors, Markby Stewart, acted as arbitrator of the settlement. Both parent's became concerned over Mounteney's health from about 1909, when it was becoming clear that his educational development was not as great as it should be. While HSW advocated a system of extra instruction and a strict regime even through the summer holidays, Syrie preferred the counsel of other medical experts who advised rest and a less rigid regime. Their correspondence through Markby Stewart shows a fighting for position, using the advice of different medical and educational experts. This correspondence also covers the period of Syrie's marriage to Maugham, and HSW's decision on how it should be communicated to Mounteney. After finishing school in 1919 Mounteney was settled at a farm in Sussex, spending holidays in Brighton or Hove, and corresponding with Collett Smith and Pearson re expenses in HSW's absence. Despite the anxieties of his parents, Mounteney's correspondence from this period show him to be cheerful and enjoying life. Under the terms of the will, HSW created a settlement fund for Mounteney, to be administered by the Wellcome Trustees. Mounteney continued as a farmer, and married Jean Holland, whom he met in 1934, in 1960. She survived him on his death in 1987. See WA/HMM/CO/Chr/J.323 for Mounteney's 1945 correspondence with Johnston Saint re photographs and paintings of Mounteney as a child An interview with Mounteney was published in the 'Wellcome Journal', Aug 1986.



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