St Oswald’s Church was open for visitors today so I took the opportunity to photograph the bronze plaque that remembers Claudius Galen WHEELHOUSE. I wrote about him on the 9th of this month (A Fine Type of Englishman). I don’t know if this three-dimensional portrait of him is a good likeness but it does him proud.
In loving memory of
CLAUDIUS GALEN WHEELHOUSE F.R.C.S.
Born 29th Dec 1826, Died 9th April 1909
For twenty years Honorary Surgeon
To the Leeds General Infirmary
President of the British Medical
Association 1889: L.L.D. of McGill
University, Canada 1897: D. Sc. Of
Leeds University 1904: J.P. of
The East Riding of Yorkshire
1889 – 1909: Churchwarden of
this church 1890 – 1909
Some of his friends who loved and honoured him erected
NIHIL TETIGIT QUOD NON ORNAVIT
My O level Latin wasn’t up to translating so I resorted to the Internet. Two choices.
He touched nothing which he did not adorn.
He touched nothing without embellishing it.
The Memorial Plaque is located on the wall to the left of the altar.
I can’t remember how old I was when my father sat me down and explained that people lie. I do recall that he would subsequently say, often, that a particular person of his acquaintance would “lie and look at you”.
Theresa May has looked into a TV camera on hundreds of occasions in the last few years and lied to the British people. She continues to do so. She will never stop. (It’s clearly pathological.)
Claudius Galen WHEELHOUSE died a hundred and ten years ago. He was a surgeon of some renown, and in his years of retirement in Filey was variously a magistrate, churchwarden and chairman of several organizations at the centre of town life.
Ah, those were the days, when people who served the public had high ideals of duty.
At the age of 29, Claudius was engaged by Henry PELHAM-CLINTON, Earl of Lincoln and later the 5th Duke of Newcastle, to take “medical charge” of a yacht setting out on a voyage around the Mediterranean. Claudius was able to indulge his interest in photography. He was an early practitioner of the Talbot-type process, producing paper negatives from which quantities of prints could subsequently be made. (Image left by Claudius is of the Osyride Columns at Thebes. Thirteen years later a rather more famous early photographer, Francis BEDFORD, would follow in his footsteps.) The Mediterranean voyage ended in shipwreck but, safely back in England, Claudius presented his negatives to his employer. In March 1879 they were destroyed in a fire at Clumber House, along with many other works of art. Fortunately, Claudius had made an album of prints and the images lived on to illustrate some of his traveller’s tales.
One particularly wonderful story, told by Pam Smith, concerns a remarkable encounter between Claudius and another Filey ancient.
In memory of CLAUDIUS GALEN WHEELHOUSE F.R.C.S., born 29th of December 1826, died 9th April 1909.
‘Waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus’
And of AGNES CAROLINE, his wife, born October 10th 1824, died April 13th 1911.
Claudius died at Cliff Point, the former Coastguard House at the end of Queen Street.
It may seem inappropriate to now take you back to Brexit but I watched a video this morning, made by a fine type of Swedish Man, and wanted to share it.
On the 3rd April 1881, the census enumerator found William Robert Geatches TOUT boarding with about a dozen other 21-year-old students, at the Diocesan Training College, in York. Three months later he died at the Coastguard House, Cliff Top, Filey.
A week or so before Christmas that year, William was remembered at the College’s Prize Giving Ceremony. The Principal, Rev. G. W. De Courcy BALDWIN, introducing the Very Rev. Dean of York, honoured guest and prize-giver, said that this yearly gathering was in many respects the most pleasing of their College meetings, but continued:
No retrospect, however, could be altogether pleasant in this world of change, and they had had their share of trials. A plain, simple white marble tablet had just been placed in their chapel to the memory of one of the most promising young men he had ever had under his care. William Tout, a senior student of that college, died at his parents’ home in Filey in July last. He was a young man of great intelligence and many virtues, among which moral and physical manliness, unswerving integrity, and, thank God, a deep sense of religion were conspicuous. The simple memorial to which the speaker alluded had been erected at the sole cost of William Tout’s fellow students, by whom he was loved as well as respected.
The College, in Lord Mayor’s Walk, has been incorporated into York St John University but you can read about its Victorian existence here.
In the spring of 1891, the sadly reduced Tout family was living in Cliff Terrace, part of present-day Belle Vue Street, rather than Cliff Top. The Coastguard house was occupied by the retired surgeon and Justice of the Peace, Claudius Galen WHEELHOUSE. While looking in local newspapers for Tout information, I found an intriguing snippet.
In a report on Local Board business (Miscellaneous Items) –
Mr. Tout, coastguard officer, sent an application to the board for leave to erect a target near Mr. Wheelhouse’s property for the coastguard men to practice at. It was decided that the site be inspected before leave be given.
Scarborough Mercury, 9 February 1878
In 1881, at the age of 54, Claudius was still happily and successfully knifing people in Leeds, but had clearly settled on the place – and the house – in which he wished to end his days.