John Henry Clarke 1853–1931 was a British orthodox physician who converted to homeopathy (in ?1878 John Henry Clarke, Homeopathy Explained, (originally printed 1905, reprinted by Nanopathy, 1 Jan 2001). Page 5) to become a consultant at the London Homeopathic Hospital and the editor of The Homeopathic World for twenty nine years.
John Henry Clarke was also the publisher of The British Guardian, and he was the Chairman and Vice President of The Britons. John Henry Clarke was called upon to give evidence in the Pemberton Billing court case in 1918 (*see below).
John Henry Clarke also met regularly with James Compton Burnett and Robert Thomas Cooper, Thomas Skinner, and others at The Cooper Club (http://www.homeoint.org/morrell/articles/pm_coope.htm See also http://homeoint.org/morrell/british/late19.htm).
John Henry Clarke wrote Odium medicum and homeopathy, and Edmund Becket Lord Grimthorpe wrote to The Times in 1888 to protest against the prejudice of the allopathic physicians in dismissing Kenneth William Millican, which resulted in a month long battle of words in The Times. At the close of this controversy on 20th January 1888, The London Times wrote ‘… So great has been the interest excited by the correspondence, that the editor has been unable to publish only a fraction of the letters sent him. The original contention was that an Odium Medicum exists, exactly analogous to the Odium Theologicum of a less enlightened age, and no less capable of blinding men… (Federal Vanderburgh et al (Eds), Pamphlets – homeopathic, Volume 17, (1844 [onwards]). Page 30)’.
John Henry Clarke was a student of Edward William Berridge, and he taught many lay homeopaths, including J Ellis Barker, Ephraim Connor, Edward W Cotter, John DaMonte, Thomas Maughan, Noel Puddephatt, Phyllis M Speight, Edwin D W Tomkins, Canon Roland Upcher, Frank Parker Wood, and he was a colleague of Edward Bach, Marjorie Blackie, James Compton Burnett, Robert Thomas Cooper, James Douglas Kenyon, Percival George Quinton, Thomas Skinner, John Weir, Charles Edwin Wheeler, and many others. As a teacher at the London Homeopathic Hospital, Clarke taught Marjorie Blackie.
In 1905, John Henry Clarke heavily criticised the medical homeopaths for the lack of adequate training in homeopathy and he began to train lay practitioners, and to raise funds for a Professorship in Homeopathic Therapeutics in memory of James Compton Burnett. The British Homeopathic Association set out to meet the challenge of John Henry Clarke’s criticisms. John Henry Clarke dedicated his book Homeopathy Explained to the British Homeopathic Association,
John Henry Clarke attended (Anon, The Homeopathic World, Volume 43, (1908). Page 236) the 2nd International Homeopathic Congress held in London (Anon, The Medical Counselor, Volume 7, (The Michigan State Homeopathic Society, 1883). Page 347) in on 11th-18th July 1881 (Anon, The Homeopathic World, (August 1,1881)) at Aberdeen House, Argyll Street, Regent Street. John Henry Clarke was a permanent secretary of the Liga Medicorum Homeopathica Internationalis (Anon, New England Medical Gazette, Volume 46, (1911). Page 1038).
From Peter Morrell, British homeopathy during two centuries. (Staffordshire University, 1999). At the turn of the century there were four distinct though entangled threads emerging in UK homeopathy. They were the Cooper Club, the increased use of nosodes, the influence of James Tyler Kent and the general decline of medically qualified practice, which coincided with the rise of the lay practitioner… The second main phase of British homeopathy was undoubtedly the main figures of the Cooper Club… four distinguished homeopathic doctors used to meet regularly and were to have a major influence on its future.
These were Thomas Skinner, Robert Thomas Cooper, James Compton Burnett and John Henry Clarke… They met and dined weekly and shared their notes and experiences over a period roughly from 1880 to 1900… This group also continued to meet after the deaths of Robert Thomas Cooper and James Compton Burnett.
And, after the death of Thomas Skinner in 1906, John Henry Clarke continued the tradition by maintaining vigorous links with other major British homeopaths and by having regular meetings for the discussion of new ideas and of cases.
These meetings continuing after 1906 were with a select band of people who were in effect tutored by John Henry Clarke in all aspects of homeopathy. This also took place outside the British Homeopathic Society, with which John Henry Clarke more or less severed all contact after 1908. It also included several people who were medically unqualified amateur practitioners.
This group included Noel Puddephatt, Canon Roland Upcher and J Ellis Barker, who, as proteges of John Henry Clarke, soon became important torch bearers for the movement well into the twentieth century… I have not yet seen any material evidence that the other members of the Cooper Club taught non-doctors, but they may well have done so in secret.
It would not be surprising considering that John Henry Clarke despised the rest of his profession as traitors of homeopathy in general and of British working people in particular.
John Weir and Charles Edwin Wheeler were also members. One suspects that Edward Bach, James Douglas Kenyon, Percival George Quinton and several others were also members, and taught lay persons, though there is no direct evidence and an air of secrecy shrouds the group. The Club continued to meet into the 1930s under John Henry Clarke and Charles Edwin Wheeler…
Several key features of these doctors need emphasising. They were fiercely opposed to orthodox medical practice and made a point of castigating that system at every opportunity. Not only did they castigate it, but for the usual reasons of using suppressive, dangerous drugs which did not treat the whole person and which were unsafe and productive of only illusory change in shifting symptom patterns rather than true cure. These are the same reasons that all homeopaths have used to criticise allopathy, even from Samuel Hahnemann‘s day.
These blistering attacks upon orthodoxy were mainly delivered by James Compton Burnett and John Henry Clarke and usually poured forth from the pages of The Homeopathic World , which they edited between them at various times between 1870 and 1931. It is as if they took their cue from Samuel Hahnemann himself and so felt duty bound to ‘show their mettle’ by continuing a sabre rattling tradition of such attacks. As it was, the two ‘camps’ became utterly battle hardened and staunchly opposed, as they have remained throughout most of this century.
John Henry Clarke was a busy practitioner. As a physician he not only had his own clinic in Piccadilly, London, but he also was a consultant at the London Homeopathic Hospital and researched into new remedies — nosodes.
From How I became a homeopath , John Henry Clarke wrote:
“Perhaps it may not be uninteresting to reader if I state at the outset of how my own conversion to homeopathy came about. As is usually the case, I knew nothing whatsoever about homeopathy when I took a degree in surgery, since it is rarely mentioned by professors in the ordinary medical school, and then only to be misrepresented.
After my graduation as a western medical doctor at Edinburgh Medical School, by the advise of the late Angus Macdonald (one of the best friends I ever had), I took a voyage to New Zealand in charge of emigrants.
On my return, having fixed on Liverpool as a likely field in which to start practice, I asked Angus Macdonald to introduce me to some of leading doctors in that city. This he promised to do, and eventually he did – I have the letter to this day.
They were never presented, for the reasons which will be appreciated. The relatives with whom I was staying happens to be a homeopath, and they suggested that I might do worse then to go to Homeopathic Dispensary at Hardman Street, Liverpool and see what was being done there.
As the letter came not, by way of utilizing my time I went. Like Caesar, I not only ‘went’, but I ‘saw’, ” but here the parallel ended – I did not conquer; instead homeopathy conquered me!
I may say that at this period, having absorbed over 80% (if marks go for anything) of the drug lore Sir Robert Christian had to impart, and having had sufficient opportunity for testing its value in practice, I had come pretty near the conclusion of Oliver Wendell Holmes saying, “If all drugs were cast into the sea, it would be so much better for man and so much the worst for the fish.”
I believed then (and belief has become rather fashionable since) that the chief function of a medical man was to find out what was the matter with people – if he could; and supply them with common sense – if he happened to posses any. With duty to treat people; to cure them was out of question; and it would be the better for honesty if he made no pretense to it.
After few weeks of observation at the Liverpool Homeopathic Dispensary, a case was presented to me in private. A small boy of five, a relative of my own, was brought to me by his mother. Two years before, he had been badly scratched on the forehead by a cat, and when the scratches healed, a crops of warts appeared on the site of them, and there they remained up to that time in spite of different treatment by allopathic doctor.
As an allopath I could do no more than he, so I turned to homeopathy to see if that could help me. I consulted the authorities, and found that the principal drug which is credited to producing crops of warts is Thuja Occidentalis.
I ordered this, more by way of experiment than expecting much result; but I said, if there was truth in homeopathy, it ought to cure. In a few days improvement was manifest; in three weeks the warts were al gone. Rightly or wrongly I attributed, and still attribute the result to Thuja, through it will no doubt be said that charms have done the same way.
Very well, I’d say one will give me a system of charms that I can use with precision and produce with such definite effects, I shall be very glad to try it. As it was, I concluded that if homeopathy could give me results like that, homeopathy was the system for me.
Dr J.H. Clarke, Liverpool, England.
From http://www.homeoint.org/morrell/articles/pm_clark.htm Regarding John Henry Clarke by Peter Morell. John Henry Clarke… established himself as a very successful and highly influential London homeopath in the 1870s. But he ‘fell out’ with figures like Richard Hughes and Robert Ellis Dudgeon, who controlled the movement, to such an extent that all offices became closed to him, except the editorship of The Homeopathic World, which he retained to the end.
He left the British Homeopathic Society in disgust, c1900, never to ‘return to the fold.’ He thus became a powerful ‘loose cannon’ and effectively divided the movement.
This was so for two main reasons.
Firstly, he was wholly disenchanted with the direction English homeopathy had taken. He disliked the way it eventually failed to continue challenging allopathy or winning many new converts to its dwindling ranks – especially after 1900.
And it seemed to lack the will for a good fight. It simply ‘gave up’ in his view and came to occupy an all too cosy niche within Victorian society, conveniently devoting itself to serving solely the rich upper classes.
The second point is connected to the first: he started to teach laypersons all about homeopathy [e.g. Canon Roland Upcher, Noel Puddephatt and J Ellis Barker], towards whom many of his books were directed, and he became increasingly convinced that its future lay with them rather than with servile doctors who had ‘sold out’ to allopathy.
This very radical viewpoint turned out to be an astonishingly accurate premonition, really, as subsequent history has shown.
Single handedly, by the 1920s, John Henry Clarke had created a completely divided movement, composed of doctors on the one hand, and lay practitioners on the other. And it was mainly the latter who carried British homeopathy forward throughout the dismal 1930s, 40s and 50s, their light never dimming.
Yet the two strands had little contact with, and only contempt for, each other. Even in the 1960s, homeopathy was still very much a ridiculed medical minority and deep in the doldrums.
Not until the late 70s did it start taking off again, and that was mainly due to the lay revival, not to any action on the part of the doctor homeopaths – who, in fact, never lifted a finger to promote homeopathy.
And why should they? From their lucrative London practices in Harley Street and Wimpole Street?
It is quite true that Clarke was a typical early century right wing fascist and an anti Semite, which does not endear him to anyone today. How weird, therefore, that he formed such a fruitful allegiance with J Ellis Barker, who was a (radical Marxist) left winger?
J Ellis Barker was handed the editorship of The Homeopathic World in the spring of 1932, just after John Henry Clarke died, and this brilliantly stage managed act caused great ripples of embarrassment to flow through UK homeopathy; a pervasive horror, really, that this prestigious position hadn’t been passed, as expected, to another doctor, but to a lay practitioner and a German immigrant to boot!
How sweet John Henry Clarke’s revenge must have been, even from the grave! He must have lain smiling in his coffin. With some justification, John Henry Clarke regarded his fellow doctor homeopaths as the vilest of traitors to homeopathy, who had succeeded only in turning themselves into the easily manipulated and servile puppets of their rich aristocratic clientele.
He regarded them with enormous contempt.
Thus we can justly regard John Henry Clarke as the single most important English homeopath of this century and truly the darling of the movement. In terms of bold and experimental ideas and methods; for his writings; for his fierce independence; his great energy, which he poured into homeopathy with abandon; as a political force within the movement; and finally for his deep radicalism regarding lay practice, he towers like a colossus over all the rest.
From him flows nearly every tradition or strand within the fabric of modern British homeopathy, other than Kentianism.
Yet it is surely a very rich irony, that a right wing fascist should come to be the one who turned his back on the stuffy homeopathic establishment, accusing them of humbug in their failure to give homeopathy to the masses!
Ironic also that it took his alliance with the Marxist, J Ellis Barker, to establish a new lineage of British homeopathy, wholly devoid of any roots within the class system, and thus to truly transform it into a ‘tool of liberation’ Ivan Illich style….
Whatever else we might think of him as a human being, if it weren’t for the wayward John Henry Clarke, and the laypersons he taught, there would be precious little homeopathy practiced in the UK today; it would still be the exclusive and minority preserve of the stuffy old rich and titled.
It was John Henry Clarke who broke the mold and it was his lay practitioners who have revived its fortunes in recent years.
From http://www.homeoint.org/biograph/clarkeen.htm ‘… Anyone who had met Clarke but a few times, even only once, must have been impressed with the feeling of an exceptional human being, a forceful personality, a man apart.
He was literally a man apart, as he took his work and his mission so seriously that he gave himself very little time to mix with others. Perhaps, also, there were very few with whom he felt in harmony.
He was a prodigious worker, as his published works testify, to say nothing of the hosts of private patients from all parts of the world. He was editor of The Homeopathic World for altogether twenty nine years.
He was indeed an outstanding character, and if one can compare him with another, it is with him who was probably the greatest homeopath that the United States has produced James Tyler Kent.
They had the same forcible way of expressing themselves combined with an inherent retiring nature, the same intolerance of anything second rate, especially as relating to their beloved system of therapeutics, the same scorn and contempt for time servers.
And each gave to the world of Homeopathy the greatest and most valuable book that their respective countries have produced, indeed, in our opinion, the two most indispensable works written since the days of Samuel Hahnemann – the Dictionary of Materia Medica and the Repertory of Materia Medica.
John Henry Clarke wrote:
John Say Clarke LSA 1833, MRCS England 1838, MD King’s College Aberdeen 1851, was an orthodox physician who converted to homeopathy, and he took part in a Festival in aid of the London Homeopathic Hospital in 1853. John Say Clarke practiced at 1 Cannonbury Park, Islington.
*Philip Hoare, Wilde’s last stand: decadence, conspiracy & the First World War, (Duckworth Publishers, 1997). Multiple Pages – see page 54 where Philip Hoare claims that John Henry Clarke was a founder member of The Vigilantes, alongside his colleague Noel Pemberton Billing… and that John Henry Clarke was also an advocate of Malthusian ideas. I have searched and searched, but at this time I cannot confirm that John Henry Clarke was ever a member of The Vigilantes, let a lone a founder. Indeed the Verbatim report of the Billing’s Trial lists the original founding documentation of The Vigilantes, and John Henry Clarke is NOT mentioned therein (Anon, Verbatim Report of the Trial of Noel Pemberton Billing, M.P. on a Charge of Criminal Libel, (Gale, Making of Modern Law, 13 Feb 2012). Pages 481-484 Constitution of the Vigilantes and Copy of the Original Deed of Constitution of the Vigilantes and list of members put before the Court item XXVI Appendix). Nor can I find any connection between John Henry Clarke and the Malthusian League, though I suspect these will come to light as John Henry Clarke would have known the Drysdales (http://sueyounghistories.com/archives/2008/07/29/the-drysdale-family-and-homeopathy/) who were very closely involved. Remember that Charles Darwin was also an advocate of Malthusian ideas and extremely close to the Drysdales to boot. Most of British intelligentsia at this time would have supported Malthus… I wonder where Philip Hoare got his connections from and if he can produce references for them?
John Henry Clarke was also member of The Britons Publishing Society: From http://www.ebay.com/itm/SIGNED-Dr-J-H-Clarke-John-Henry-homeopath-homeopathy-Anti-Semitism-BRITONS-/111571645622?pt=UK_Collectables_Paper_RL&hash=item19fa3034b6 ‘… founded in 1923, was an offshoot of The Britons. According to scholar Gisela C. Lebzelter, The Britons split because: … internal disagreements proved paralysing. Seven members were excluded in November 1923, and three executives members, J. H. Clarke, the famous British homeopath, R. T. Cooper [Robert Thomas Cooper] and W. A. Peters, seceded to establish ‘The Britons Publishing Society’. On December 15, 1923 the three executed a memorandum in which they expressed their organizational purpose as follows: “propagating views in regard to the Jews, the Christian Religion, the Government of the British Isles and the British Empire, and other matters which, in our opinion from time to time, it is in the interests of the British Public should be expressed and distributed and to do anything at all which, in our opinion, equips us for this purpose. The Society to be conducted not for the purpose of making profit…’
*John Henry Clarke was involved with a antisemitic fascist organisation called The Britons (James Webb, The Occult Establishment, (Drew, 1976). Pages 128-136, especially 131-135, and page 173. See also John Yarker, The Arcane Schools, (Cosimo, Inc., 1 Mar 2007). Multiple pages. The French Freemasons made the decision to align with esoteric Jews under The Grand Orient realignment under Napoleon III in 1848 (or thereabouts) (and especially in 1877 when the French branch split with Britain) to access the Kabbala. Michael Goldfarb, Emancipation: How Liberating Europe’s Jews from the Ghetto Led to Revolution and Renaissance, (Simon and Schuster, 3 Nov 2009). Multiple pages). Mega infighting between occult or ‘illuminated’ groups led to vicious political infighting between various governments across the world, and such groups swirled around ‘illuminated’ politicians creating a general sense that ‘something was drastically wrong with society’.
The resurgence of ‘illuminism’ during the late 19th century also led to a resurgence of the medieval fear of usury. The success of Jewish bankers and the fear of Napoleon III in Britain fed into the 20th century ‘… the source of the greatest good is also the source of the greatest evil… (James Webb, The Occult Establishment, (Drew, 1976). Page 135)’. There are many sensible reasons for keeping occult or ‘illuminated’ science secret (to prevent vested interests distorting and manipulating this esoteric information), and there are equally many sensible reasons for releasing these secrets in exoteric forms so the general public stand half a change of surviving this manipulation. Either way, esoteric and exoteric information will be manipulated and distorted by those with personal reasons to do so, and the resulting dog and cat fight is the true beating heart of our species anyway ( Charles George Harrison, The Transcendental Universe: Six Lectures on Occult Science, Theosophy, and the Catholic Faith : Delivered Before the Berean Society, (SteinerBooks, 1993). Multiple pages.
From http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Dr-John-Henry-Clarke-IATROS-SIGNED-Anti-Semitism-JOHN-FOWLES-Copy-/111197498147?pt=Antiquarian_Books_UK&hash=item19e3e32b23 “IATROS” ( Dr. J.H. Clarke) “The Sword” – Later Reprinted as “The Call of the Sword” by Financial news. JOHN FOWLES Copy. The famous author’s own copy of this exceptionally scarce item. Inscribed & signed by Doctor John Henry Clarke, this book was later republished as “The Call of the Sword”. It has the blind stamp of John Fowles Library, Lyme Regis. This is an extremely rare self-published book in excellent condition.
‘… The Britons was an anti-Semitic and anti-immigration organization founded in July 1919 by Henry Hamilton Beamish. The organization published pamphlets and propaganda under the imprint names of the Judaic Publishing Co. and subsequently the Britons Publishing Society. These entities engaged primarily in disseminating anti-Semitic literature and rhetoric in the United Kingdom, and bore hallmarks of the British fascist movement. Imprints under the label of the Judaic Publishing Co. exist for the years 1920, 1921, and 1922…’
According to scholar Sharman Kadish: ‘…
But the most extreme group disseminating anti-Semitic propaganda in the early 1920s—indeed the very first organization set up in Britain for this express purpose—The Britons.
The group was founded in London in 1919 by Henry Hamilton Beamish, who had developed an antisemitic viewpoint when he spent time in South Africa and saw that all the industries there were controlled by Jews. Beamish became involved with the Silver Badge Party, although by 1919 he had left Britain altogether after losing a libel case brought by Sir Alfred Mond.
Despite the disappearance of Beamish, the Britons continued under John Henry Clarke, a well-known homeopath who served as Chairman and Vice-President (with the Southern Rhodesia-based Beamish continuing as President) from the formation of the group until his death in 1931. Clarke helped the party to work with the right wing of the Conservative Party, and the Britons attracted such members as inventor Arthur Kitson and Brigadier-General R.B.D. Blakeney.
The group claimed that its only aim was to get rid of all the Jews in Britain by forcing them to emigrate to Palestine. Only those who could prove English blood up to grandparent level were allowed membership (despite the name ‘Britons’). Eschewing the street politics of predecessors such as the British Brothers League, group activities centred mainly on publishing, with journals such as Jewry Uber Alles, The British Guardian and The Investigator (which began publishing in 1937 and used a swastika as its emblem with the motto ‘For Crown and Country, Blood and Soil) appearing regularly. They also published a number of books on the topic, including an imprint, allegedly a translation by Victor E. Marsden into the English language, of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. It is to be noted that Victor E. Marsden had died on October 28, 1920. The Britons had ceased publication of their previous version of this imprint, and Norman Cohn states that the Marsden version first came out in print in 1921. However, the earliest imprint bearing the name of Marsden and held by the British Library bears the date of 1922, and the Library’s online catalog shows that it was imprinted by the Britons Publishing Society. There is no scholarly work on Victor E. Marsden, a former correspondent for The Morning Post, and there has not yet been an accounting of how precisely his name came to be associated with the publication of the The Protocols. And it is at this time that this notorious text was exposed as a plagiarism, conclusively, in August 1921, by Philip Graves. The previous translation was made allegedly by George Shanks for Eyre & Spottiswoode Ltd. (printers), the King’s printers.
Known from 1922 onwards as the Britons Publishing Company, this publishing entity produced material for such groups as the British Union of Fascists. It was largely inactive during World War II, although the group continued to exist until the late 1940s.
British Brothers League · British Fascists · British People’s Party · British Union of Fascists · The Britons · Britons Publishing Society · English National Association · Imperial Fascist League · The Link · National Fascisti · National Socialist League · Nordic League
Defunct post-1945 political
parties and groups British Democratic Party · British Empire Party · British League of Ex-Servicemen and Women · British Movement · British National Party · Column 88 · Constitutional Movement · Flag Group · Freedom Party · Greater Britain Movement · League of Empire Loyalists · National Democratic Party · National Fellowship · National Independence Party · National Labour Party · National Party · National Socialist Action Party · National Socialist Movement · New Britain Party · New Nationalist Party · Northern League · Official National Front · Our Nation · Patriotic Party · Racial Preservation Society · Union Movement · White Defence League · White Nationalist Party
Active political parties
and groups Blood and Honour · British National Party · British People’s Party · Casuals United · Christian Council of Britain · Combat 18 · England First Party · English Defence League · International Third Position · League of Saint George · National Democrats · National Front · National Socialist Movement · Nationalist Alliance · November 9th Society · Racial Volunteer Force · Redwatch
Pre-1945 people John Amery · A.F.X. Baron · Henry Hamilton Beamish · John Beckett · Hastings Russell, 12th Duke of Bedford · Noel Pemberton Billing · R.B.D. Blakeney · John Henry Clarke · Roy Courlander · Barry Domvile · William Evans-Gordon · Robert Forgan · Neil Francis Hawkins · J.F.C. Fuller · William Joyce · Arnold Leese · Rotha Lintorn-Orman · Diana Mitford · Unity Mitford · Lady Cynthia Mosley · Sir Oswald Mosley · Gerard Wallop, 9th Earl of Portsmouth · Alexander Raven Thomson · Graham Seton Hutchison · Nesta H. Webster · Henry Williamson
Post-1945 people Ian Anderson · Richard Barnbrook · Derek Beackon · John Bean · Jane, Lady Birdwood · Eddy Butler · Jonathan Bowden · Andrew Brons · A.K. Chesterton · Mark Collett · David Copeland · Mark Cotterill · Nicky Crane · Sharon Ebanks · Richard Edmonds · Andrew Fountaine · Nick Griffin · Jeffrey Hamm · Anthony Hancock · Ray Hill · Derek Holland · Tom Holmes · Colin Jordan · Arthur Kemp · John Kingsley Read · Richard Lawson · Tony Lecomber · Michael McLaughlin · Eddy Morrison · John Morse · Abdul-Aziz ibn Myatt · John O’Brien · Denis Pirie · Kevin Quinn · Anthony Reed Herbert · Robert Relf · Simon Sheppard · Ian Stuart Donaldson · Keith Thompson · John Tyndall · Richard Verrall · Martin Webster · Martin Wingfield · John Graeme Wood
Related articles Anglo-German Fellowship · Battle of Cable Street · Candour · British National Front election results · British National Party election results · Europe a Nation · List of British fascist parties · National Democrats election results · Organisation for the Maintenance of Supplies · Political Soldier · Spearhead · The Flag Group · History of British fascism since 1945…’
From http://www.cherishedtelevision.co.uk/maudallan.html ‘…Pemberton Billing was the independent Member of Parliament for East Hertfordshire and attracted some notoriety for his extreme right-wing views and homophobic conspiracy theories. Lord Alfred Douglas was the erstwhile love and ultimately the nemesis of Oscar Wilde who had died in 1900. Douglas was produced in court as the key witness for Pemberton Billing, who acted in his own defence. Pemberton Billing had certainly chosen well in Douglas, as he had not one good word to say about Wilde, and betrayed his old friend totally in court. In 1916 Noel Pemberton Billing, with his wife Lillian founded ‘The Vigilantes’, a society designed to fight corruption in the British public sector. Pemberton Billing was also the proprietor of a publication called the ‘Vigilante’ (formerly the ‘Imperialist’), in which, in the edition of January 26 1918, had put Maud Allan’s sexuality and reputation into doubt. Pemberton Billing had personally described Maud Allan as a “lewd, unchaste and immoral woman”. In the early part of the 20th century, these slurs on a person’s character were sufficient justification for a criminal libel prosecution to be brought before the courts. The trial began on May 29 1918 at the Old Bailey in London before Mr. Justice Darling and lasted for six days….’