Stanley Baldwin, KG, PC 1867 – 1947 was a British Conservative politician, statesman, and major figure on the political scene in the interwar years. He served three terms as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; first from 1923–24 then 1924–29 and again from 1935–37.
Stanley Baldwin 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),
As a young man, Baldwin served in the Artillery Volunteers at Malvern, a hot bed of homeopathic influence.
Baldwin served George V (who was a patient of homeopath John Weir (he knighted him), and Edward VIII (who was also a patient of John Weir and Thomas Jeeves Horder, and who carried his homeopathic doses in powder form around with him in his pocket), and George VI (who was a patient of Thomas Jeeves Horder, John Weir and William Wilson Rorke, and who called one of his racehorses horses Hypericum, and conferred the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital with title),
Stanley Baldwin was related by marriage to Rudyard Kipling,
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 Arthur Neville Chamberlain – were to become prime ministers.
In 1861, 20 years before Baldwin was living in Malvern, Ralph Barnes Grindrod wrote:
‘… dealings with homeopaths as water patients I have every hour of the day. Often ten out of twelve of the patients at my table are strenouous believers in homeopathy; not unfrequently homeopathic physicians place themselves under my care – but simply for the water treatment.
‘You cannot walk through the streets of Malvern, you cannot enter a house, nor visit a social party, in this famous watering place, without meeting a host of believers in homeopathy.
‘You can have but a limited idea of the extended influence of homeopathic belief in this place, and of the almost controlling power it exercises on professional advancement and medical success. He must indeed fight, as I have done, a hard battle, who would attain a successful position, and yet not be a homeopathist.