Arthur Neville Chamberlain 1869 – 1940

Arthur Neville Chamberlain 1869 – 1940 was a British Conservative politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from May 1937 to May 1940.

Chamberlain owed his education to homeopathic philanthropist Josiah Mason ( Trustee and member of the Management Committee, and major sponsor of the Birmingham Homeopathic Hospital, and the Co-founder of the Mason Science College in Birmingham, which evolved into the University of Birmingham, Josiah Mason was a close friend and homeopathic patient of James Gibbs Blake),

Chamberlain was the son of Joseph Chamberlain (who worked with homeopath, journalist and historian J Ellis Barker), and who was the driving force behind the foundation of the University of Birmingham and was its first Chancellor, alongside homeopath James Gibbs Blake, President, Chairman of the Trustee and the Chairman of the Council of the Mason Science College in Birmingham, and a Co Founder and Vice President of the University of Birmingham, and Josiah Mason, a Trustee and member of the Management Committee, and major sponsor of the Birmingham Homeopathic Hospital and the Co-founder of the Mason Science College in Birmingham, which evolved into the University of Birmingham).

Chamberlain was a colleague of Stanley Baldwin,

As you might imagine, Josiah Mason became extremely wealthy and in the 1850s he turned his thoughts to philanthropy. In 1858 he opened almshouses in Station Road, Erdington, Birmingham, for spinsters and widows over 50 and orphan girls, providing accommodation in furnished rooms 14ft x 11ft with coal, gas and a small annual income provided.

These premises proving inadequate to the purpose, in 1869 a second, larger orphanage was opened in Bell Lane (now Orphanage Road), Erdington, with rooms for 26 women and dormitories for 300 children. (The health of the children was placed under the care of two homeopathic practitioners James Gibbs Blake (trustee) and Edward Wynne Thomas).

This huge, Italianate building, dominated by three tall towers, cost £60,000 to build and was endowed to the tune of £200,000. After differences of opinion with Anglican supporters, who were less keen than Josiah Mason on helping poor children, Josiah Mason decided to go it alone and found all this money, which amounted to a huge fortune in those days, himself. Later a new wing was added to enable a total of 500 children to be accommodated….

In 1870 Josiah Mason embarked upon his greatest charitable project, drawing up trust deeds for a college of science. This being intended to equip its graduates to serve local industry, the curriculum was confined to maths, physics, chemistry, natural sciences, physiology and engineering. Literature and theology were specifically excluded.

The college, which was situated in Paradise Street in the city centre, cost Josiah Mason £170,000 in building costs and endowments. It was opened in 1880. Two of its earliest alumni – Stanley Baldwin and Neville Chamberlain – were to become prime ministers.

Of interest:

Chamberlain was a colleague of James Richard Stanhope 13th Earl of Chesterfield and 7th Earl Stanhope, whose great grandfather Philip Henry Stanhope 4th Earl Stanhope was a secret agent, an amateur homeopath and a lifelong keen researcher into the occult, and close friend of Edward Bulwer Lytton,

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