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

                        Aug 1899

 

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

                        Source: census 

 

?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

 

December 1898

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

                        1899: 81

 

20 July 1899

                        Miss Aitken and Clotilde took the Science Club to Stamford Common to collect

                        plant specimens

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

                        October 1900.

 

September 1900

                        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

 

January-June 1901

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.

 

November 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

www.stgite.org.uk/naturesstudy.html                

 

Christmas 1902

                        Clotilde spent the holiday with Ethelwyn Mackie’s family at their house in

                        Scarborough.

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

                        Source: Aldrich

 

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

                        www.ucl.ac.uk/bloomsbury-project/institutions/teachers_guild.htm

                        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.

 

 

By 1908

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.

                        Source: Aldrich.

 

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.

                        Source: Aldrich.

 

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.

Source: census

 

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

 

Summer 1936              

                        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

 

Aldrich:

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

 

The obituaries:

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:

London Higher: the Establishment of Higher Education in London editors Roderick Floud and Sean Glynn.  London: Athlone Press 1998: p240

 

Willis Dixon:

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" [1900] 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

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