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“deaf as he was, and deafer than he really was” – İsmet İnönü’s diplomatic skill – turning off his hearing aid

By H Dominic W Stiles, on 11 May 2018

İsmet İnönü (1884-1973), the Turkish delegate at the Armistice of Mudanya, and later representative in negotiations for the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, had hearing loss.  He became Prime Minister of Turkey and President. He had been a gunnery officer, so I wonder if his hearing loss was related to that.  Among other things, The Times for the 18th of November, 1922, said of him, “His reputation during the Great War was that of a safe, hard-working, rather cautious Staff Colonel, deaf, and consequently short-tempered, and a terror to slack or casual subordinates.”

At any rate, during the negotiations at Lausanne, in what Cleveland calls “a classic in the annals of international diplomacy” it seems that when Lord Curzon spoke, İsmet would turn off his hearing aid, and only turn it back on afterwards, restating his original position “as though the British Foreign Secretary had never uttered a word”  (Cleveland, chapter 10, 2016).

Later, Sir Charles Harington, in a speech quoted indirectly in The Times said,

Referring to Chanak and the Mudania Conference, Sir Charles said it was a near thing, but there were three factors in the problem. The greatest factor was Lord Curzon himself in Paris; the nextwas the splendid body of reinforcements sent to him; and the other was the friendship he formed, after the fifth day at Mudania, with General Ismet Pasha. It was quite safe to say that, difficult as Ismet Pasha was, deaf as he was, and deafer than he really was (laughter), they had made great friends. (The Times, 21st of November, 1923)

He is second from the left in this photo of the Turkish Mudanya delegation, from a postcard in our collection, where Selwyn Oxley noted Ismet Pasha (an honorary title) was deaf.

It would be interesting to know where his hearing aid came from, as I have no idea how many manufacturers were making them at that time.  If you can add anything about his hearing loss, please do in the comment field below.

William L. Cleveland, Martin Bunton, A History of the Modern Middle East (6th ed. 2016)

The Times (London, England), Saturday, Nov 18, 1922; pg. 11; Issue 43192

The Times (London, England), Wednesday, Nov 21, 1923; pg. 11; Issue 43504

Athanasius Kircher (1601/2-1680) & his Phonurgia Nova

By H Dominic W Stiles, on 4 May 2018

Athanasius Kircher was born on the 2nd of May, but he himself was it seems unsure if it was 1601 or 2. He was yet another of those great polymaths of his age.  He may have had a certain arrogance, saying in one of his books,

Already about thirty years have passed since I brought out an explanation in my Prodromus Coptus of a certain Sino-Syrian monument discovered in China in 1625 A.D.  This earned considerable praise from intelligent readers, who were astonished by the novelty of its subject matter, but there was no lack of malicious, evil critics who attacked it with sarcastic arguments and many attempted corrections. All of these, however, were stupid or obtuse. (China Illustrata)

In his book, The Seashell on the Mountaintop (2003), Cutler says,

Kircher was a giant among seventeenth-century scholars. Straddling the divide between the expansive scholarship of the Renaissance and the focused data-collecting of the emerging scientific age, he was one of the last thinkers who could rightfully claim all knowledge as his domain. (Cutler, 2003 p.68)

He also says that Kircher, who turned up in Rome just after the Gallileo trial, was in some degree the church’s answer, making Rome again a centre of intellectual activity (p.69)

The wonderfully illustrated book we have is his Phonurgia nova, sive conjugium mechanico-physicum artis & natvrae paranympha phonosophia concinnatum (1673).    There is a lot about sound and acoustics and some of the illustrations are quite frequently reproduced.  Indeed, Glassie says it was “the first book in Europe devoted entirely to acoustics” (Galssie p.228).  He includes experiments, and shows how sound will travel around a dome – exactly the acoustic phenomena that is to be heard in the Whispering Gallery of St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Certainly, some of his ideas were bizarre and strange and many wrong, but he was so prolific and interesting that it is not possible to do justice to him here.  He even had some nascent ideas about evolution.

Antonio Baldigiani wrote around 1678,

Poor old Father Kircher is sinking fast. He’s been deaf for more than a year, and has lost his sight and most of his memory. He rarely leaves his room except to go to the pharmacy or to the porter’s room. In short, we already consider him lost since he xcannot survive many more years. (Findlen, )

Findlen goes on to say that this was a litte exaggerated as he continued to write and indeed publish into the last year of his life.

He died on the 27th of November, 1680.

Cutler, Alan  The Seashell on the Mountaintop (2003).

Findlen, P., Athanasius Kircher: The Last Man Who Knew Everything (2004)

Glassie, John, Man of Misconceptions: The Life of an Eccentric in an Age of Change (

https://www.strangescience.net/kircher.htm

Phonurgia Nova

The Kircher Correspondence

Asthma Patient Information

By H Dominic W Stiles, on 1 May 2018

A post from our Clinical Librarian, Abir Mukherjee @ClinicalLibUCLH 

Some basic patient information on asthma as a condition and management can be found at the following sites:

  • Patient Info provides a printable overview of asthma as well as how to manage it and what things may act as triggers. https://patient.info/health/asthma-leaflet
  • NHS Choices also discusses causes, triggers and complications in simple language. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/asthma/
  • The British Lung Foundation provides a range of information on causes, symptoms , management and has a specific section for asthma in children. https://www.blf.org.uk/support-for-you/asthma
  • The AAIR Charity (Asthma, Allergy & Inflammation Research) focusses on effective treatments and cures for allergic diseases, notable research has included the identification of an asthma gene. It has some basic background information for patients on its website. http://www.aaircharity.org/

Asthma – 5 articles on treatment from 2018

By H Dominic W Stiles, on 1 May 2018

A post from our Clinical Librarian, Abir Mukherjee  @ClinicalLibUCLH

Here are five recent articles on asthma treatment from 2018:

  • Akhbari, M., Kneale, D., Harris, K.M. and Pike, K.C., 2018. G460 (P) Interventions for autumn exacerbations of asthma in children: a systematic review. Cochrane Reviews
  • Chang, Y.S., 2018. Non-pharmacologic Therapies for Severe Asthma. In Severe Asthma (pp. 123-129). Springer, Singapore.
  • Larsson, K., Ställberg, B., Lisspers, K., Telg, G., Johansson, G., Thuresson, M. and Janson, C., 2018. Prevalence and management of severe asthma in primary care: an observational cohort study in Sweden (PACEHR). Respiratory research, 19(1), p.12.
  • Licari, A., Castagnoli, R., Brambilla, I., Marseglia, A., Tosca, M.A., Marseglia, G.L. and Ciprandi, G., 2018. New approaches for identifying and testing potential new anti-asthma agents. Expert opinion on drug discovery, 13(1), pp.51-63.
  • Sobieraj, D.M., Weeda, E.R., Nguyen, E., Coleman, C.I., White, C.M., Lazarus, S.C., Blake, K.V., Lang, J.E. and Baker, W.L., 2018. Association of Inhaled Corticosteroids and Long-Acting β-Agonists as Controller and Quick Relief Therapy With Exacerbations and Symptom Control in Persistent Asthma: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA, 319(14), pp.1485-1496.

Chang (2018) identifies inhaler technique and adherence as the the key factors of successful management in severe asthma. He discusses factors to aid self-management such as patient education to maintain regular medications; a written action plan and awareness of environmental triggers such as inhalant allergens, smoking, air pollution, respiratory infections, and obesity.

Licari et al (2018) in their review provide a comprehensive and updated overview of the currently available, new and developing approaches for identifying and testing potential treatment options for asthma management. They discuss future therapeutic strategies for asthma needing the identification of reliable biomarkers that can help with diagnosis and endotyping, in order to determine the most effective drug for the right patient phenotype. Furthermore they conclude that a better understanding of the mechanisms of airway remodeling will likely optimize asthma targeted treatment.

Pike et al (2018) in their Cochrane systematic review found that seasonal omalizumab treatment from four to six weeks before school return may reduce autumn asthma exacerbations. Negative associations included injection site pain and treatment costs.

Sobierj and colleagues (2018) in a systematic review and meta-analysis discuss combined use of inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting beta-agonists (LABAs) as the controller and the quick relief therapy termed single maintenance and reliever therapy (SMART) which could be a potential therapeutic regimen for the management of persistent asthma.

A Swedish study by Larsson found that patients with severe asthma had few regular contacts with both primary and specialist care, and more than half of them experienced poor asthma control.

Please contact Hearing Library staff if you have any trouble accessing or finding these articles (or others!).

“Clacton is too dull for me” – Fred Barnard 1889-1961

By H Dominic W Stiles, on 26 April 2018

Frederick Barnard was born in Battersea Park Road, on the 13th of March, 1889.*  He was the son of Arthur Edward Barnard, who was a ‘machine man’ (mechanic) when he married in 1883, and a newsagent in 1901, and in 1911 was a confectioner, and Grace Bassage, at one time a hairdresser (1901), both from Lambeth.  Fred lost his hearing aged four (1911 census).  He became a pupil at Margate, where we find him on the 1901 census, then aged 12. By the time of the 1911 census Fred was working as a carpenter, and living with his mother’s brother, John Bassage, a dock labourer, at 505 Southwark Park Road.  His family was living in Clacton by 1901 if not earlier.

In 1911 his parents were living at Cressingham House, North Road, Clacton.

I suspect, but I cannot be sure, that when Fred’s father died in 1918, he decided to move back in with his mother to help out, losing touch with his social life in London.  At some point thereafter he contacted a friend in London, and we have the postcard with the note on the back and a portrait of Fred.

Dear Sir
Just a few lines to wish you a Bright & Prosperous New Year.
I hope you will like this photo.
I wish I was in London now because I miss many of the deaf and dumb.
Clacton is too dull for me. Please remember me to all at the club.
kind Regards
from Fred Barnard

I suppose that the club would be the National Deaf Club, or a local deaf club in south London, but could also be St. Saviour’s Church. Whichever it was, and whoever the ‘sir’ was to whom it is addressed, it looks as if it spent some time pinned to a notice board.

Fred died in 1961.
*See www.ancestry.co.uk

Census 1891 – not found him or his parents – perhaps they were missed or their names are poorlt transcribed.

Census 1901 – Class: RG13; Piece: 824; Folio: 31; Page: 3 (Fred)

Census 1901 – Class: RG13; Piece: 1695; Folio: 8; Page: 7 (parents)

Census 1911 – Class: RG14; Piece: 10229; Schedule Number: 119 (parents)

Census 1911 – Class: RG14; Piece: 1901 (Fred)

Thanks, as ever, to Norma McGilp for great assistance!

Note – I removed some uncertain information. I am pretty sure of the identification of the Fred as oppsed to other Fred Barnards of the time.

I discovered his parents from the aunt & uncle in the 1911 census when he was staying with them.  I surmised either Fred’s mother was a Bassage, or his father’s sister had married one, and I searched Free BMD for a marriage between a Grace Ann Bassage & an Arthur Edward Barnard.

The 1911 census has Arthur E. Barnard and Grace in Clacton (as in 1901), Arthur as a confectioner/newsagent, and tells us they’d had 4 children, 2 living, the other being Maude Elizabeth (1885-?) –
Census 1901 – Class: RG13; Piece: 1695; Folio: 8; Page: 7 (parents)
Census 1911 – Class: RG14; Piece: 10229; Schedule Number: 119 (parents)

Fred was born on the 13th of March 1889, in Battersea, like his sister. He was baptised the following year 17/8/1890 at Bermondsey St Mary Magdalene – London Metropolitan Archives; London, England; Reference Number: p71/mmg/028.

I suspect that the death recorded Deaths Mar 1884 Barnard, Arthur, Wandsworth 1d 417, is a first child who was named after his dad.  Likewise another child in Deaths for 1887 March, Wandsworth 1d 451, Barnard, Edith Annie, aged 0, would I suggest be the other child who died.

 

A CODA – Child of Deaf Adults – Lon Chaney

By H Dominic W Stiles, on 20 April 2018

Many children of deaf people are hearing.  In deaf studies they are sometimes called CODAs – Children of Deaf Adults.  Being a CODA has its own set of issues and problems growing up, but it also has some advantages.  A CODA child will often be roped in to interpret between parents and officials, doctors, or the world in general, but it can also give them a foot in two cultures.  One example mentioned many times in these blog pages, is the Rev. Fred Gilby.  His parents were discover that he was not Deaf, and he learnt to sign when other children were beginning to speak (memoirs p.8).

Another such child, was the famous actor, Leonidas Frank “Lon” Chaney (1883-1930).  His mother, Emma, was Deaf, the daughter of Jonathan Kennedy, a farmer from Illinois, and from the birthplaces of his children you can see how their family typified the movement of settlers west onto the prairie; Ohio, then Kansas, then Emma married in Colorado where Lon was born.  Emma’s sister Matilda and brother Orange were also Deaf.  Jonathan Kennedy founded the Colorado Deaf School in 1874, no doubt because of his Deaf children.  We have some U.S.A. institution annual reports, but not those for Colorado unfortunately.

Chaney’s father, Frank, a barber, was also Deaf, and born in Ohio.  He met Emma at the Colorado school.  It seems that Chaney was a very private man, and there are many gaps in his early life, where comparatively little is known.

It may be that his facial expressiveness was part of a skill set he acquired when communicating with his parents, then used in his theatrical life.  He certainly put his abilities to great use in silent films, portraying, for example, the deaf Quasimodo, in the 1923 film, The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

I have not had time to delve into his life, so I cannot say whether he was a true signer or not.  If you know, please comment with a source for any reference and I will update this.

Lon Chaney, the ‘Man of a Thousand Faces’ (source of photo unknown)

If you know the song ‘Werewolves of London, you may recall he gets a mention –

“I saw Lon Chaney walking with the Queen

Doing the Werewolves of London.”

Though he was the Phantom of the Opera, and his son was the Wolf Man!

See www.ancestry.co.uk for his family tree

“Brandy for giddiness, 2s” – Jonathan Swift’s Meniere’s Disease

By H Dominic W Stiles, on 13 April 2018

One of the great writers of English, Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) was plagued for much of his life by bouts of giddiness, and by increasing deafness, though in many other respects he was healthy and lived to the age of seventy-seven.  It sometimes incapacitated him for long periods.

In August 1727 he wrote to Lady Henrietta Howard,

About two hours before you were born, I got my giddiness by eating a hundred golden pippins at a time at Richmond, and, when you were five years and a quarter old, baiting 2 days, I got my deafness, and these two friends, one or other, have visited me, every year since: and being old acquaintances, have now thought fit to come together.

It seems to have begun when he was twenty, according to the autobiographical notes in Forster’s biography (p.27),  but there, there is a footnote inserted that says Swift had added, “in 1690.”  The word ‘hours’ in the letter to Henrietta Howard may be an error for, or misreading of, ‘years,’ or it could be he had forgotten precisely when it happenened.

At first he self-medicated – on the 16th of November, 1708, he wrote “Brandy for giddiness, 2s.”

Bucknill (p.495-6) quotes Swift’s ‘Journal to Stella’ for October 1710: “This morning, sitting in my bed, I had a fit of giddiness; the room turned round for about a minute and then it went off leaving me sickish, but not very.  I saw Dr. Cockburn to-day, and he promises to send me the pills that did me good last year; and likewise has promised me an oil for my ears, that he has been making for that ailment for somebody else.”  The diagnosis seems to be that he had Ménière’s disease (see Bucknill and Bewley).

Some years after the letter, several newspapers published a poem that Swift had written about his illness, both in Latin and in English (Grub Street Journal, Thursday, November 14, 1734; Issue 255), although the version with the answers seems to be later –

Vertiginosus, inops, surdus, male gratus amicis;
Non campana sonans, tonitru non ab Jove missum,
Quod mage mirandum, saltem si credere fas est,
Non clamosa meas mulier jam percutit aures.

DOCTOR: Deaf, giddy, helpless, left alone.
ANSWER: Except the first, the fault’s your own.
DOCTOR: To all my friends a burden grown.
ANSWER: Because to few you will be shewn.
Give them good wine, and meat to stuff,
You may have company enough.
DOCTOR: No more I hear my church’s bell,
Than if it rang out for my knell.
ANSWER: Then write and read, ’twill do as well.
DOCTOR: At thunder now no more I start,
Than at the rumbling of a cart.
ANSWER: Think then of thunder when you fart.
DOCTOR: Nay, what’s incredible, alack!
No more I hear a woman’s clack.
ANSWER: A woman’s clack, if I have skill,
Sounds somewhat like a throwster’s mill;
But louder than a bell, or thunder:
That does, I own, increase my wonder.

Although he lived to a good age, Swift’s final few years seem to have found him the victim of what Bewley calls, ‘terminal dementia’ (p.604).
Bewley, Thomas, The health of Jonathan Swift.  J. R. Soc. Med. 1998;91 :602-605

Bucknill JC. Dean Swift’s disease. Brain 1881;4:493-506

Forster, John, The Life of Jonathan Swift, Volume 1

The Works of the English Poets. With Prefaces, Biographical and …, Volume 40

Three Deaf Tailors of Plymouth

By H Dominic W Stiles, on 6 April 2018

This photo, shows three tailors of Plymouth who were deaf.  The photo probably dates from 1910/20.  It is possible that one of men, on the right or in the centre, may be Edward John Tavenor (1855-1938), who was born in Plymouth, but attended the Old Kent Road Asylum where he is listed in the 1871 census.  Perhaps those in the photograph are a little young looking, but perhaps the photo is a little older than my guess.

At any rate, Edward was not born deaf according to the 1861 census, and so he probably lost his hearing having already acquired some speech.  He was involved in the local Plymouth and District Deaf and Dumb Mission for a number of years as a member of the committee.  At that time the missioner was Hiram Blount, who was himself deaf.  Edward married a Deaf lady, Susannah Creber, in 1880.  I am not sure if she was educated locally or not.

I have touched on the Plymouth Mission before, and there is a rich seam of Deaf history to be mined here.

1861 Census – Class: RG 9; Piece: 1442; Folio: 68; Page: 56; GSU roll: 542813 (Edward)

1861 Census – Class: RG 9; Piece: 1454; Folio: 85; Page: 27; GSU roll: 542815 (Susannah)

1871 Census – Class: RG10; Piece: 601; Folio: 112; Page: 5; GSU roll: 818907

1891 Census – Class: RG12; Piece: 1744; Folio: 140; Page: 43

1901 Census – Class: RG13; Piece: 2093; Folio: 27; Page: 46

1911 Census – Class: RG12; Piece: 1725; Folio: 24; Page: 42

Plymouth Mission Annual Reports for 1915, 1916, 1919, 1920, 1922, 1924 (we have incomplete holdings)

“Edmond Searle, lately deceased, was so famous at curing all sorts of Deafness” – the Searls of Pye Corner & their Rival, Graves Overton

By H Dominic W Stiles, on 23 March 2018

Last year while searching for something completely different, I came across the name Margaret Searl or Searle, around 1700, in Smithfield, London.  She has a brief mention in the excellent book by C.J.S. Thompson, The Quacks of Old London (Barnes and Noble, 1993).  She was the last of her family it seems, who had carried out a business near Pye Corner, which is where the Great Fire of London ended. What we can glean from advertisements of the time, on Bills that survive and in contemporary newspapers, is that her father Edmund or Edmond, together with his nephew we must assume, Samuel, set up in business from at least 1668, ‘curing deafness.’  The first record I have come across for Edmund, is his burial on the 7th of July, 1695, at St. Sepulchre’s Church, Holborn, which is opposite the Old Bailey.  His son, Samuel, was buried in the same church on the 17th of December, 1699.

Unfortunately for Samuel’s widow Margaret, who was I assume his cousin, a former servant or apprentice of Edmund’s, Graves Overton, gave out that Margaret was dead, and that he had the secret of the deafness cure [I reproduce the text with the orthography of the original] –

WHereas Mr. Edmond Searle, lately deceased, was so famous at curing all sorts of Deafness, this is therefore to Advertise all Persons that Graves Overton, his only Servant , lives at the Hand and Ear in Pye Corner, alias Gilt-spur-street, near Newgate, where he performs the same Cures by his Masters secret Method. There being now, none of his Masters Family living but himself, that performs the said Cure. (Friday the 1st. of March, 1700, Old Bailey Records)

Another advertisement says, “Graves Overton, who Cures Deafness and is the only Surviving Servant of Mr. Edmund Searle, who was famous in that art, lives at the Hand and Ear in Pye Corner, next Giltspur Street.” (May 29, 1701)

He must have had the first advertisement for a while in 1700, as a month before that, this riposte appeared in The Post Boy (Issue 753) refering to ‘The [Old Bailey] Sessions paper’ –

This ding-dong of rivalry must have gone on for a while.  Here is the text of one of Margaret’s bills which survive –

Margaret Searl, Wife to the late Samuel Searl, Famous for Relieving and Curing deafness, Depending on any External Obstruction Of the Organ of the Ear; Who had Practised This art above Thirty Eight Years past, and Communicated the Secret to me only, who Practis’d it with him, in his Life time, for many Years, after the same Way and Method. Still living in Pye-Corner, over-against the Golden Ball, by West-Smithfield, London; (though it is Reported that I was Dead, by some Pretenders to deceive the World) where I am ready, upon any Occasion of that Nature, to serve such as apply themselves to me: Being the Surviver of my Father Edmund Searl, and late Husband Samuel Searl. Whereas several Servants of my Father Edmund Searl, have put out Bills for Curing of deafness. This is to Certifie, That neither my Father, or Husband, ever Instructed, or Communicated this Secret to any of their Servants, or any Apprentice whatsoever. (1706, 18th Century Collections Online)

When Overton’s daughter Mary was baptised, on 17/12/1693-1694, he was living with his wife Rebecca on Snow Hill, just around the corner, and they were still there when his son John was born in 1696.  Overton had married Rebecca Walserd in Temple Church, on the 25th of November, 1692.  Overton died in 1704, and was buried at St. Sepulchre’s on the 4th of March.

Poor Margaret Searl – the quacks multiplied, as they tend to, and it seems Overton was not her only rival, for in The Post Boy for January 16th, 1701, we read (with spellings accurately rendered),

WHereas Graves Overton does put out Bil’s for Curing of Deafness; This is to certify all People, that Mr. Edmund Searl declared before his death, that he never did instruct him in that Art, especially being a Turn-over to him, nor any other of his Apprentices that were bound to him, if they would have given Two hundred Pounds down, as can be Attested by several Persons. Neither did Mr. Samuel Searl ever instruct Thomas Lamb, his Brother-in-Law in Curing of Deafness, nor any thing but a Barber’s Trade, nor any other Person but his Wife, who (being the Survivor of those two famous Men) lives still at the Old House in Pye-Corner, who practis’d with her late Husband Samuel Searl in his Life-time, and now does after the same Way and Method with good success.

From this then we learn the not surprising fact that the Searls (also sometimes ‘Serle’) were barbers, the trade with which surgeons in England had a close association for 200 years.  I wonder if he had any association with St. Bartholomew’s Hospital which is right opposite Pye Corner.  At any rate, it is perhaps unfair to call them quacks as their deafness ‘cures’ were probably harmless, while a doctor of the time was far more likely to kill you.

Margaret Searl[e] was buried in St. Sepulchre’s on the 29th of March, 1709/10, and what became of the ‘cure’ we can only guess!

London Metropolitan Archives; London, England; Church of England Parish Registers, 1538-1812; Reference Number: P69/SEP/A/001/MS07219/003

Post Boy (1695) (London, England), February 3, 1700 – February 6, 1700; Issue 753.

Post Boy (1695) (London, England), March 12, 1700 – March 14, 1700; Issue 769.

Post Man and the Historical Account (London, England), September 24, 1700 – September 26, 1700

Post Boy (1695) (London, England), January 14, 1701 – January 16, 1701; Issue 901.

Post Boy (1695) (London, England), May 27, 1701 – May 29, 1701; Issue 940

Title: Samuel Searl, famous for relieving and curing deafness, depending on any external obstruction of the organ of the ear; Date: 1680-1689 Reel position: Tract Supplement / E8:1[75]

Title: Margaret Searl, wife to the late Samuel Searl, famous for relieving and curing deafness, … Date: 1706 Reel position: Tract Supplement / E8:2[59]

A Deaf suffragist – Kate Harvey 1862-1946

By H Dominic W Stiles, on 16 March 2018

Born Felicia Catherine Glanvill, but also known as ‘Glanville’ and as ‘Kate,’ little is known about the youth of this deaf suffragist.  Her father’s familiy was from East Surrey, her grandfather being a ‘philosophical instrument maker.’  She was born in Peckham in 1862, and named after her mother, Felicia Catherine La Thangue, whose father was a mariner.  Her mother died when she was young, in 1870, and her father Frederick then died when she was about sixteen, in 1879.  Grandmother Felicia, her mother’s mother, was described as a Professor of Music on the 1871 census, and I wonder if she took over care of her three grand daughters.  At any rate I was unable to find the three sisters on the 1881 census, so all we can say about her is that she lost her hearing at some point after 1871, probably as a result of illness but after acquiring speech.  She was certainly not noted as ‘deaf’ on the 1901 census, but, as said on many occasions in these pages, that does not always reflect the reality of a person’s hearing loss.

At some point in her 20s, where and when I cannot say, she met met Frank Harvey, a cotton merchant, and they married in India at Cuddapah, Madras, on the 12th of November, 1890.  Perhaps the family have records, perhaps not, but there may be more to discover.  Her youngest sister Edith married first, in the Cambridge registration district in 1889, while Florence married a Joseph Hopley in 1900 , who was five years younger than her.  The reason I have looked at the family, is that sometimes it allows a glimpse of the reasons why people made choices, such as whether to marry or not.  Perhaps Kate, as we will now refer to her (perhaps she preferred to use her second name), felt forced into marriage, and the Women’s Suffrage movement helped her assert herself.

After her marriage Kate had three daughters (and it seems the third Rita had a male twin Rex, who died in 1906, but that needs confirmation), but then her husband Frank died in 1905.  Her marriage left her with money, a governess for her daughters, and four servants, in stark contrast with her sisters whose husbands were skilled manual workers.

Kate was involved in early meetings of the National Society for Women’s Suffrage (NSPU) (Woodford, p.7, quoting a thesis by Gillian Rutter).  After her husband’s death it seems she became  a physiotherapist, albeit untrained, and was heavily involved in voluntary work with East London poor (ibid p.9).  At some point she met Charlotte Despard, through whose diaries we get a much better picture of Kate Harvey. They lived together, and protested together, forming a close bond.  I will not repeat the full story here as others have already covered it in greater depth, but after a siege of her home, bailiffs eventually broke in, and The Times tells us,

Mrs Catherine Harvey, of Bromley, a member of the Women’s Freedom League, has been conveyed to Holloway Prison to undergo two month’s imprisonment. At Bromley Police Court some five weeks ago Mrs. Harvey was ordered to pay fines amounting to over £16 under an Insurance Act application and over £5 under the Kent County Council prosecution. She declined to pay, and her presentimprisonment is the outcome of her refusal. (The Times, 1913)

After the war she took up work with children again, running some form of school at Hartfield in Sussex. Her close relationship with Despard weakened. Running of that school was taken over by The Invalid Children’s Aid Association from 1924 to 1927, but then she took up running the school again.  You can read more about Kate Harvey in the article by Doreen Woodford, who investigated to what extent she signed.  After conversation with a witness, it seems that Harvey used finger-spelling rather than sign language.

She died at her house of Wroth Tyes, Hartfield, in 1946.

I could not find her in the 1911 census.  Perhaps I did not look hard enough, but I suppose it is possible she refused to fill in the form.
Article from The Vote, June the 17th, 1911

The Times (London, England), Wednesday, Sep 03, 1913; pg. 4; Issue 40307

Woodford, Doreen A. ‘A Deaf Fighter for the Rights of Women.’ Deaf History Journal, 1999, Vol.2 (3) p.7-21

https://web.archive.org/web/20160304000606/http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/womens-suffrage-movement-the-story-of-kate-harvey-516710.html