Clotilde Rosalie Regina von Wyss was initiated into the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn on 8 February 1897, taking the German motto Mehr Licht. She was iniatiated at the GD’s Amen-Ra temple in Edinburgh; she was living at 17 Cornwall Street Edinburgh at the time. Later she moved to 26 Gondar Gardens West Hampstead and was a member of the GD’s Isis-Urania temple in London. However, she never seems to have done the work necessary to progress in the GD beyond the lowest grade and probably dropped out of the GD quite soon.
Before I start: how do you pronounce Clotilde’s Swiss-German surname? You pronounce it: fon veess.
Clotilde von Wyss is one of the best-documented GD members. Not (I suppress a sigh here) that that’s saying much. However, I do have good information on most of her life and I also find her one of the most interesting of the GD members I have studied: a dynamic personality, very attractive, but also (to one at least who knew her) alarming, even perverse and threatening. So this biography is quite a long one, divided into two parts:
1) a relatively straightforward Life, by date
2) aspects of her life in more detail - family, career in teaching
3) aspects of her life in more detail - Marie Stopes and other girls at North London Collegiate School; Ethelwyn Mackie
6 November 2013: thanks to Nigel Shepley of St George’s School Edinburgh and Nicola Feggetter of North London Collegiate School for helping sort out where Clotilde went to school, and her brief life as a school-teacher.
Part 1: Clotilde’s Life by Date
Sources referred to very briefly in the date list can be found at the end of Part 1 below the ‘basic sources’ section. What was happening in Clotilde’s life is in italics; the sources for it are in my normal Times New Roman
13 Aug 1871 Clotilde was born, in Zürich
Sources for the year and the place: all the obituaries; Aldrich
Source for the day and the month: British Library Additional Manuscripts number
58538; Stopes Papers volume XCII ff 222. Letter Clotilde to Marie Stopes 22
probably in Clotilde’s childhood, possibly in her early childhood
Clotilde’s parents separated
Source: British Library Additional Manuscripts number 58538; Stopes Papers volume XCII ff 222. Letter Clotilde to Marie Stopes 2 February 1900
childhood Clotilde spent her early years in Switzerland
Sources: obituary Linnean Society
?by 1884 Clotilde’s mother (also Clotilde) moved to north London with her two daughters, the GD’s Clotilde and Martha
Sources: obituary Nature; British Library Additional Manuscripts number
58538; Stopes Papers volume XCII ff 222. Letter Clotilde to Marie Stopes
?August 1901 in which Clotilde says her mother has returned to live in Switzerland
after 16 years away.
1884-91 Clotilde was at school, most likely at South Hampstead High School, run by the Girls’ Public Day School Trust. The school’s motto was Mehr Licht, reputedly the last words of Goethe, which Clotilde later chose for her Golden Dawn motto.
Sources: Aldrich, who had access to the archives of the Girls’ Public Day School Trust at the Institute of Education.
?late 1880s ?1890s
Clotilde read a great deal of theosophy, though she doesn’t seem to have joined the Theosophical Society.
Sources: British Library Additional Manuscripts number 58538; Stopes Papers volume XCII ff 222. Letter Clotilde to Marie Stopes 22 August 1899, in which she speaks of her reading as quite a long time in the past. And TS Membership Registers 1888 to 1900: I didn’t see Clotilde’s name in them (though I might just have missed it).
1891 Clotilde was living with Clotilde the elder and sister Martha at 12 Medley Road Kilburn; a small street backing onto the railway just west of West Hampstead station. The house was next door to the pub on the corner with Iverson Road
?1891-94 Clotilde trained to be a teacher, at Maria Grey College in north London. She graduated with the Cambridge Teaching Certificate, with distinction
Sources: obituaries Nature; Journal of Education and School World volume 52 1920 p136
1895 Clotilde started her first job as a teacher
Source: entry for Clotilde von Wyss at the Teachers’ Registration Council
1895-97 Clotilde was teaching at St George’s High School Edinburgh
Source: St George’s School archives; details sent to me September 2013 by the school’s historian and archivist, Nigel Shepley.
Source for the school: www.st-georges.edin.sch.uk. Marie Stopes was a pupil at the school (see Stopes’ wikipedia page) but not while Clotilde was there
While living in Edinburgh Clotilde got to know the biologist J Arthur Thomson, probably by taking one of Edinburgh University’s extra-mural lecture courses, which he taught. His views on evolution and the natural world greatly influenced her own teaching philosophy. She also became friendly with GD member Edith Grace Collett who was studying medicine in Edinburgh.
Source for Thomson’s influence: obituary Linnean Society
Source for Collett: British Library Additional Manuscripts number 58538; Stopes Papers volume XCII ff 222. Letter Clotilde to Marie Stopes ?August 1900
Feb 1897 Clotilde was initiated into the GD in Edinburgh
Source: GD Members’ Roll transcribed in R A Gilbert’s The Golden Dawn Companion p133.
Summer term 1897
Clotilde moved to London and began work as a science teacher at the North
London Collegiate School in Camden. Marie Stopes was one of the school’s
star science pupils but NLCS already had quite a reputation for its science teaching
Sources: North London Collegiate School staff index; and the school’s own website at www.nlcs.org.uk section on famous ex-pupils; Stopes’ wikipedia page and the biographies listed in the Sources section.
Late 1890s to 1905 at least and possibly a lot longer
Clotilde gave talks on nature study, and taught it at evening classes
Sources: quite a few of them so I’ve put them in the Sources section below
22 July 1897 At its first meeting since Clotilde had joined the staff, the pupil members elected her vice-president of the NLCS Science Club. The Club president was Miss Aitken, the chemistry teacher but the committee responsible for the running of the Club was all pupils
Source: NLCS school magazine Our Magazine volume XXII number 67 November 1897: 112-13
7 October 1897
Clotilde read a paper at the NLCS Science Club: Nature’s Preparation for Rest during the winter..., illustrated with specimens collected by her and the pupil Club members
Source: NLCS school magazine Our Magazine volume XXII number 68 April 1898: 159
Miss Aitken and Clotilde led an expedition of NLCS Science Club members to Epping Forest and Chingford
Source: NLCS school magazine Our Magazine volume XXIII number 70
December 1898: 251
10 February 1899
Clotilde returned to Maria Grey Training College to give a lecture: On the
Teaching of Object Lessons
Source: NLCS school magazine Our Magazine volume XXIV number 72 July
20 July 1899
Miss Aitken and Clotilde took the Science Club to Stamford Common to collect
By autumn term 1899
Marie Stopes had been elected NLCS Science Club secretary.
Source for both: NLCS school magazine Our Magazine volume XXIV number 73
November 1899: 134
August 1899 Clotilde spent the summer vacation in Switzerland.
Source: British Library Additional Manuscripts number 58538; Stopes Papers volume XCII ff 222. Letter Clotilde to Marie Stopes 22 August 1899.
About 1899 to 1901
Clotilde had close relationships with senior pupils including Gertrude Colls, Olga Kapteyn, Christine Pugh and particularly Marie Stopes. Some kind of
sisterhood was involved, apparently along GD lines in some respects
Sources: British Library Additional Manuscripts number 58538; Stopes Papers volume XCII ff 222. Letters Clotilde to Marie Stopes 1899-1909. Also: all the
Stopes biographies listed in the Sources section below; although I interpret the
relationship with Stopes very differently
By December 1900
Clotilde, her Mother and possibly her sister too were living at 26 Gondar
Gardens, West Hampstead.
Source: British Library Additional Manuscripts number 58538; Stopes Papers volume XCII ff 222. Letter Clotilde to Marie Stopes 24 December 1899
End January/early February 1900
Clotilde’s father died; she was not with him at his death.
Source: British Library Additional Manuscripts number 58538; Stopes Papers volume XCII ff 222. Letter Clotilde to Marie Stopes 2 February 1900. I think he
died in Switzerland. Marie Stopes was very kind and understanding to Clotilde and her Mother in the first months after their bereavement.
August 1900 Clotilde spent the summer vacation with women friends in Norfolk. She
moved to a new address, 12 Gayton Crescent off Hampstead High Street; but she only stayed there a few months
Source: British Library Additional Manuscripts number 58538; Stopes Papers volume XCII ff 222. Letters Clotilde to Marie Stopes ?August 1900 and 3
Clotilde applied for a job as lecturer at the Cambridge Teacher Training
College for Women.
Source: British Library Additional Manuscripts number 58538; Stopes Papers volume XCII ff 222. Letter Clotilde to Marie Stopes 3 October 1900.
January 1901 Clotilde began work at Cambridge Teacher Training College for Women as science lecturer, doing some private teaching as well. Margaret Punnett was the Principal and Punnett’s successor, Charlotte Ainslie was also on the staff by 1901. Clotilde kept in touch with Marie Stopes and other ex-pupils as well.
At least until 1911, Clotilde kept in regular touch with NLCS and especially its
headmistress Dr Bryant.
Source: British Library Additional Manuscripts number 58538; Stopes Papers volume XCII ff 222. Letter Clotilde to Marie Stopes ?April 1900 et seq
Also: obituaries; Aldrich; census.
For Punnett’s appointment: via www.newspapers.com to Guardian of 29 March 1899 p14. For Ainslie: ODNB
By 1901 Clotilde’s mother and sister had left England. I haven’t found any evidence that Clotilde had other relations living in Britain
Source: British Library Additional Manuscripts number 58538; Stopes Papers volume XCII ff 222. Letter Clotilde to Marie Stopes ?August 1901.
Also: censuses for 1901 and 1911
Clotilde met Beatrice Ethelwyn Mackie; who was Clotilde’s own age but a student (that is, not a lecturer) at Cambridge Teacher Training College for Women
Source: British Library Additional Manuscripts number 58538; Stopes Papers volume XCII ff 222. Letter Clotilde to Marie Stopes ?August 1901.
Also: that Ethelwyn Mackie was a student at the CTTC: census 1901. Census 1911; Clotilde’s Will
Summer 1901 Clotilde returned to Switzerland, spending time with her Mother and cousins; and also went on a mountain climbing holiday with Ethelwyn Mackie.
Source: British Library Additional Manuscripts number 58538; Stopes Papers volume XCII ff 222. Letters Clotilde to Marie Stopes ?August 1901.
Marie Stopes told Clotilde that she had received a proposal of marriage from a fellow student at University College London. She had turned it down, but
Clotilde realised that Marie was growing up and apart from her. Clotilde was still in touch with other ex-pupils.
Source: British Library Additional Manuscripts number 58538; Stopes Papers volume XCII ff 222. Letter Clotilde to Marie Stopes 10 November 1901.
From November 1901
Clotilde wrote to Marie Stopes less and less often.
Source: British Library Additional Manuscripts number 58538; Stopes Papers volume XCII ff 222. Letter Clotilde to Marie Stopes 10 November 1901 et seq.
1902 London Day Training College (LDTC) was founded by London County Council: teacher-training for those going to teach in elementary schools. John Adams was its first Principal; Margaret Punnett and D R Harris were appointed as its most senior staff members, although even they seem to have been part-time only at this stage
Sources: Aldrich; IOE website archives pages; and on the fact that the LCC’s employee records no longer exist - London Metropolitan Archive’s Information Leaflet 27: An Outline of Sources for the History of Education in London
Summer 1902 Clotilde sent in a letter of resignation to Cambridge Teacher Training College
but was persuaded to stay for one more academic year.
Source: British Library Additional Manuscripts number 58538; Stopes Papers volume XCII ff 222. Letter Clotilde to Marie Stopes 8 December 1902.
?1902 ?1903 Clotilde joined the School Nature Study Union (1903-94). She remained a member until her death. Other founders included Claude Hinscliffe, curate of St George in the East CofE church, and botanist Kate Marion Hall
Sources: History of Education volume 25 (see Sources section for the rest of the details); SNSU Journal 1906-38; obituary SNSU Journal; website
Clotilde spent the holiday with Ethelwyn Mackie’s family at their house in
Source: British Library Additional Manuscripts number 58538; Stopes Papers volume XCII ff 222. Letter Clotilde to Marie Stopes 26 December 1902.
January 1903 Clotilde began teaching at the LDTC on Monday and Tuesday afternoons; in
addition to the work she was doing at CTTC. At LDTC she taught hygiene,
nature study, arts and crafts.
Source for the date: British Library Additional Manuscripts number 58538; Stopes Papers volume XCII ff 222. Letter Clotilde to Marie Stopes 8 December 1902.
Sources including the subjects she taught: obituaries; Aldrich; Institute of Education (IOE) website archives pages; Studies and Impressions; Willis Dixon
4 March 1903 Clotilde returned to NLCS to give a talk: Some Aspects of Spring from a
Naturalist’s Point of View. She gave it “from behind a barrage of bottles, tubes
and dishes” of pond-life specimens and flowers
Source: NLCS school magazine Our Magazine volume for July 1903.
Summer 1903 Clotilde gave up her job at the CTTC.
Autumn 1903 Clotilde started as a full-time employee of the LDTC and moved back to London.
Source: British Library Additional Manuscripts number 58538; Stopes Papers volume XCII ff 222. Letters Clotilde to Marie Stopes 8 December 1902.
By October 1903
Clotilde was living near the LDTC, sharing a flat at 18 Somerset Terrace, Duke’s Road London - a convenient but noisy street on the south side of Euston Road opposite Euston Station.
Source: British Library Additional Manuscripts number 58538; Stopes Papers volume XCII ff 222. Letter Clotilde to Marie Stopes 12 October 1903; I think she was sharing the flat with Ethelwyn Mackie although she doesn’t say so.
1903-36 Clotilde remained a staff member at the LDTC until her retirement
1903-36 However, she continued to do work outside the LDTC - evening classes, and nature-study field trips
Source: Willis Dixon
Exact dates unknown but between 1903 and 1936
Clotilde was the first woman to be a volunteer teacher at Wormwood Scrubs
January 1904 Clotilde and the NLCS’s Dr Bryant gave talks at the Hampstead Science
Society. Dr Bryant’s was on bees; Clotilde talked about earthworms.
Source: NLCS school magazine Our Magazine volume for March 1904: 19
4 June 1904 Clotilde led a group of members of the Teachers’ Guild on an expedition to
Totteridge, during which she showed them all how to lead a nature study
lesson for children
Source: NLCS school magazine Our Magazine volume for July 1904: 54
I’m not sure this means that Clotilde was a member of the Teachers’ Guild. She may just have been asked to lead this session and the one in 1906 which you can see mentioned below.
Source for the Teachers’ Guild but not for Clotilde’s possible membership of it:
UCL Bloomsbury Project see
The Teachers’ Guild records are now at Warwick University.
1905 As the LDTC began a period of rapid expansion (both in the number of students and in what was taught). In 1905 Percy Nunn and Margaret Punnett were appointed joint vice-principals and probably went full-time
1905 Clotilde’s job description changed slightly - she was now LDTC’s lecturer in nature study and drawing; I suppose she was still only part-time
Source: Art Workers’ Quarterly volume 5 1906 p140
She was also continuing to give evening classes in nature study
Source: School World volume 7 1905 piv
1906 Clotilde was on the organising committee of the 3rd International Congress for the Development of Drawing and Art Teaching
Source: Journal of Education volume 28 1906 p859
The SNSU begins to publish a journal. Clotilde is its editor until ?1936
Source: SNSU Journal; obituary SNSU Journal vol 34 1939; obituary Linnean Society
7 December 1906
The NLCS hosted a meeting of the Teachers’ Guild, during which Clotilde gave
short demonstrations of how to study pictures, and how to use pictures while giving lessons on art and composition
Source: NLCS school magazine Our Magazine volume for February 1907: 22
1907 Clotilde did some plant identification work for an author
Source: Canon Pietro Casola’s Pilgrimage to Jerusalem in the Year 1494, translated and with an introduction by Mary Margaret Newett: p378. Published 1907 by the University of Manchester in its Historical series.
Clotilde and Ethelwyn had moved to 3 Cromwell Mansions, a block of flats on the corner of King Street Hammersmith and Cromwell Avenue; near to Ravenscourt Park and tube station
1908 Clotilde contributed a short paper to the First International...Moral Education Congress: On the observation of nature as a character-building process
Source: the Congress’ Papers... pp160-61. The Congress was held at the University of London from 25 to 29 September 1908.
1909 LDTC became a school within the University of London; though it was still run by and its staff were still paid by the LCC. LDTC began to teach undergraduate courses
Sources: Aldrich; Studies and Impressions; IOE website archives pages
Clotilde’s The Child’s World in Pictures was published by Adam and Charles Black. With 62 illustrations.
Clotilde contributed an article Nature Study in the City School, to Child Life: A Magazine for Kindergarten Teachers published by the Froebel Society of Great Britain and Ireland.
Source: Child Life volume XI new series 1909 pp47-49
Seen July 2013 at Roehampton University archive: studentzone.roehampton.ac.uk
Clotilde’s article Ideal and Real was published in Broad Lines in Science Teaching
Source: Broad Lines in Science Teaching editor F Hodson. London: Christophers of Lancaster Place 1909: pp23-36
April 1909 As ex-pupil Olga Kapteyn was in England on a visit, Clotilde decided to hold a tea-party for “the old biology class”.
Source: British Library Additional Manuscripts number 58538; Stopes Papers volume XCII ff 222. Letter Clotilde to Marie Stopes 29 April 1909. Evidence from the 1911 census suggests Clotilde was sharing the flat with Ethelwyn Mackie.
29 April 1909 Clotilde wrote her last letter to Marie Stopes, inviting her to the tea-party.
Source: British Library Additional Manuscripts number 58538; Stopes Papers volume XCII ff 222. There are no more letters from Clotilde in the Stopes Papers
after the note written on 29 April 1909. I guess either Marie Stopes didn’t go to the tea-party; or she did and there was a quarrel of some kind.
Academic year 1909/10
Clotilde was doing 25 hours per week teaching at LDTC. This was the most of any of LDTC’s senior staff but even the 2 vice-principals were doing 22 hours or so and Clotilde didn’t have their admin duties.
1910 Clotilde’s The World in Pictures published by Adam and Charles Black; with 57 illustrations, 32 in colour. Subsequent editions in 1910, 1912, 1917 and 1919
1910 Clotilde’s Beasts and Birds. A Nature Book for Boys and Girls was published by A and C Black. Originally with 55 black-and-white illustrations, it was reissued in 1912 and again in 1919 with 31 of the 55 in colour
Academic year 1910/11
Clotilde’s teaching hours per week increased to 30. Half way through the year, the first of a series of part-time tutors was appointed to help with Clotilde’s drawing and nature study commitments.
March 1911 Clotilde gave the NLCS library a copy of her The Child’s World in Pictures
Source: NLCS school magazine Our Magazine volume March 1911: 12
1911 Clotilde and Ethelwyn Mackie were sharing a flat in Hammersmith. Ethelwyn was a secondary-school teacher employed by Middlesex County Council.
1912 Clotilde’s Gardens in their Seasons. A Nature Book for Boys and Girls was published
Source: I saw this book via google. The British Library doesn’t have any copies of it so I haven’t been able to find out the full publication details
1914 Clotilde (with two other women) was elected a Fellow of the Linnean Society
Source: Proceedings of the Linnean Society 126th session November 1913-June 1914 p15, p70; Proceedings of the Linnean Society 127th session p1; obituary Linnean Society
World War 1 LDTC started teaching post-graduate courses. There was a huge drop in the number of male students and rise in the number of women staff - sustained through the 1920s as so few male students or staff return from the War
Source: IOE website archives pages
From 1915 LDTC began to teach an MA course
Sources: Aldrich; Studies and Impressions; IOE website archives pages
1919 Clotilde contributed drawings to Percy Nunn’s The Teaching of Algebra
Source: The Teaching of Algebra (including Trigonometry) by T Percy Nunn. London: Longmans Green and Co 1919
1922 John Adams retired as Principal of the LDTC; Percy Nunn succeeded him and was also appointed Professor of Education, University of London
Sources: Aldrich; Studies and Impressions; IOE website archives pages
1926 Clotilde was now LDTC lecturer in the theory and practice of education. I’m not sure whether she’s full-time by now; but this sounds like a full-time job to me
Source: University of London Calendar issue of 1926 p150
Clotilde was one of many education professionals who sent a written submission to the Hadow Report on higher education. Her boss Percy Nunn was one of those called to give evidence in person
Source: The Hadow Report 1926 seen July 2013 at www.educationengland.org.uk: The Hadow Report into The Education of the Adolescent. London: HMSO p261
Marie Stopes’ Sex and the Young was published; it contained a section on the dangers of unrecognised lesbianism and homosexuality in schools; and especially the dangers to the pupil of teacher/pupil relationships. Stopes used examples from her own experience and observation, particularly of one woman teacher, anonymous then but now identified as Clotilde von Wyss.
Source: Sex and the Young by Marie Carmichael Stopes. London: Gill Publishing
Co Ltd 1926: especially Chapter 5 and even more especially pp53-54
1927 Clotilde’s The Teaching of Nature Study was published by A and C Black. Further editions were published in 1928 and 1930
1927 Clotilde’s Living Creatures: Studies of Animal and Plant Life was also published by A and C Black
1931 Clotilde was now the LDTC’s lecturer in biology
Source: Journal of Education volume 63 1931 p395
Clotilde’s The Elements of Biology was published by Christophers. There were
subsequent editions in 1932 and 1935
1932 LCC handed control of LDTC to the University of London and it became the University’s Institute of Education (IOE). Percy Nunn was appointed its first Director
Sources: Aldrich; Studies and Impressions; IOE website
1933 IOE’s Margaret Punnett retired. Punnett had got through so much work that her job had to be split into two. Clotilde was offered the part of it that was called Warden of Women Students; but declined it, with many thanks.
Sources: Aldrich, Willis Dixon
1934 Clotilde’s Biological Drawings. First Series, Animal Studies was published by the University of London Press
Clotilde and her boss Percy Nunn both retired from the IOE.
Sources: obituaries; Aldrich; Willis Dixon; IOE website archives pages
Clotilde (?and Ethelwyn) moved out of London, to Mousehill Down near Godalming, where she was able to spend more time on her studies of wood ants
Source: obituary Linnean Society
Clotilde acted as advisor to the producers of a documentary film on Wood Ants. She was present when the film was shown at a Film School that summer. The film was described as,“the climax to careful observational work on the part of children”.
Sources: British Film Institute (BFI) website at explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b69cbc974: Wood Ants, 1936 made by Gaumont-British Instructional. The film was about the communal life of ants, and had been supervised by “C. von Wyss”
Sight and Sound volumes 5-6, published by BFI 1936: p157
Visual Aid Year Book issued 1949 by the Daily Mail School Aid Department; p177 as being 1 reel long, with some sound. Obviously it was still being used in schools then
Source: Willis Dixon
7 November 1938
Clotilde died. Ethelwyn Mackie and Ethelwyn Mackie’s nephew were executors of Clotilde’s Will
Sources: all obituaries; Aldrich; Probate Registry records for the Will
1950 Clotilde’s Biological Drawings. Second Series, Botanical Studies was published by the University of London Press. Her First Series, Animal Studies was reissued
Unknown date but possibly as late as 1955
Two booklets were published which Clotilde prepared as part of a SNSU series helping teachers to do nature study classes: Seeds and Seedlings; and The School Aquarium
1956 Ethelwyn Mackie died
Source: Probate Registry records
1968 Clotilde’s booklet Simple Experiments with Seeds and Seedlings (possibly a reissue of the SNSU booklet Seeds and Seedlings) was published, edited by M J Wootton
I’ve done two more files for this biography of Clotilde von Wyss: one on her family and her teaching career; and one on her personal life including her relationships with Marie Stopes, Olga Kapteyn and Ethelwyn Mackie. If you’d like to read them, please go back to our main GD Members’ page and click again.
BASIC SOURCES I USED for all Golden Dawn members.
Membership of the Golden Dawn: The Golden Dawn Companion by R A Gilbert. Northampton: The Aquarian Press 1986. Between pages 125 and 175, Gilbert lists the names, initiation dates and addresses of all those people who became members of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn or its many daughter Orders between 1888 and 1914. The list is based on the Golden Dawn’s administrative records and its Members’ Roll - the large piece of parchment on which all new members signed their name at their initiation. All this information had been inherited by Gilbert but it’s now in the Freemasons’ Library at the United Grand Lodge of England building on Great Queen Street Covent Garden. Please note, though, that the records of the Amen-Ra Temple in Edinburgh were destroyed in 1900/01. As far as I know, the records of the Horus Temple at Bradford have not survived either.
Family history: freebmd; ancestry.co.uk (census and probate); findmypast.co.uk; familysearch; Burke’s Peerage and Baronetage; Burke’s Landed Gentry; Armorial Families; thepeerage.com; and a wide variety of family trees on the web.
Famous-people sources: mostly about men, of course, but very useful even for the female members of GD. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Who Was Who. Times Digital Archive.
Useful source for business and legal information: London Gazette and its Scottish counterpart Edinburgh Gazette. Now easy to find (with the right search information) on the web.
Catalogues: British Library; Freemasons’ Library.
Wikipedia; Google; Google Books - my three best resources. I also used other web pages, but with some caution, as - from the historian’s point of view - they vary in quality a great deal.
SOURCES FOR CLOTILDE VON WYSS
The Institute of Education 1902-2002: A Centenary History by Richard Aldrich. London: IOE Univ of London 2002 pp20-21 and there’s a photograph of her as well. This is an official history of the IOE and it’s based on the IOE’s own archives including employee records. It was lucky for me that Clotilde ended up an employee of IOE rather than the LCC; otherwise her record would have been destroyed by now
Nature volume 142 issue of 26 November 1938 pp944-45; it was written by “R.F.S.”, someone I haven’t identified so far
Proceedings of the Linnean Society 151st session October 1938-May 1939: p265
School Nature Study Union Journal volume 34 1939; I haven’t got the page numbers for this as I haven’t seen the original publication
History of Education volume 25
History of Education volume 25 number 2 June 1996 pp181-98: The School Nature Study Union 1903-94, by E W Jenkins and B J Swinnerton of Leeds University where the SNSU archive now is.
Studies and Impressions:
Studies and Impressions 1902-1952. London: Evans Bros 1952 for the University of London Institute of Education
London Higher: the Establishment of Higher Education in London editors Roderick Floud and Sean Glynn. London: Athlone Press 1998: p240
The Institute: A Personal Account of the History of the University of London Institute of Education 1932-1972 by C Willis Dixon. London: University of London IOE; p11. Willis Dixon knew Clotilde personally; but only as a junior member of staff when she was one of the most senior members.
For Clotilde’s relationship with Marie Stopes:
The Stopes Letters referred to in the Life. And these biographies:
Marie Stopes: A Biography by Keith Bryant. London: The Hogarth Press 1962. He quotes from letters between the two, but doesn’t name Clotilde or even say she was one of Marie’s teachers.
Marie Stopes:A Biography by Ruth Hall. London: Virago 1978. Hall names Clotilde and identifies her as the young woman teacher castigated anonymously by Stopes in Sex and the Young.
Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution by June Rose. London and Boston Mass: Faber and Faber 1992.
Clotilde’s evening work publicising nature studies:
Nature volume 61 1900 p283 a section on the Teaching of Botany covers a meeting held at the Imperial Institute on “Jan 10"  at which Miss von Wyss of North London Collegiate School read a paper. Pp283-84 summarises the paper.
The Publishers’ Circular and Booksellers’ Record volume 72 1900 p44 had a reference to Miss von Wyss of the North London Collegiate School giving a paper on Object Lessons in Botany.
PNEU Notes volume 12 number 9 1901; edited by Miss Russel of 26 Victoria St p160 news items sent in by several of its branches including the one in St John’s Wood. At the St John’s Wood branch meeting of 14 December ?1900 at North Hall, Mortimer Road, Clotilde read a paper: Nature Studies in the Home. In it she made an argument that she came back to very often: that encouraging children to do nature study at home could form the basis of “much moral instruction” pointing out that humans “have life in common with all organisms”. Seen 21 July 2013 at website www.amblesideonline.org which is the archive of the magazine The Parents’ Review: A Monthly Magazine of Home Training and Culture edited by Charlotte Mason.
The School World volume 7 1905 published by Macmillan and Co: piv has an announcement for a forthcoming series of 6 lectures by Miss von Wyss at the Hampstead Library, Prince Arthur Road: the Biology of Spring. The course would run on one evening each week over February and March and would include practical work. Clotilde was described as lecturer at the London Day Training College.
I couldn’t find any sources for Clotilde doing this kind of work after 1905. Perhaps she was obliged to do less of it as her time became more taken up with her LDTC and regular voluntary work.
Copyright SALLY DAVIS
20 August 2013