The Pearson Family

Arthur Cyril Pearson

Arthur Cyril Pearson's signature
Rev. Arthur Cyril Pearson's signature
source: One Hundred Chess Problems (3rd edition, 1883)
Title: Reverend

Birth: 9 January 1838, in Springfield, Essex, England

Baptism: at Springfield, Essex, England

Father: Arthur Pearson, Rector in Springfield, Essex, 1827-86

Mother: Sophia Jane Gepp

Education: M.A. Balliol College, Oxford. Matriculated 16 October 1856, aged 18, B.A. 1860, M.A. 1872

Married: Philippa Massingberg Maxwell-Lyte on 15 September 1864, in Guildford, Surrey, England

Children: Occupation: Clergyman. Rector of Drayton Parslow, Buckinghamshire from 1877 to 1886 and of Springfield, Essex, following his father in 1886.

Death: 8 November 1916 in Hastings district, Sussex, England, aged 79

Notes: Arthur wrote a book of chess puzzles One Hundred Chess Problems first published in 1878.

Census & Addresses:
1878 (Dec): Drayton Parslow Rectory, Buckinghamshire (preface to One Hundred Chess Problems)
1881: Rectory, Drayton Parslow, Buckinghamshire
1883 (Apr): Drayton Parslow Rectory, Buckinghamshire (preface to 3rd ed. One Hundred Chess Problems)


Cyril Arthur Pearson

known as "Arthur"

Cyril Arthur Pearson
Sir Cyril Arthur Pearson (1918)
source: wikipedia
Title: Sir Cyril Arthur Pearson, 1st Baronet, GBE

Birth: 24 February 1866, in Wookey, Somerset, England

Father: Arthur Cyril Pearson

Mother: Philippa Massingberg (Maxwell-Lyte) Pearson

Married (1st): Isabel Sarah Bennett in December 1887 in Amesbury district, Wiltshire, England. Isabel was the daughter of Canon Frederick Bennett, of Maddington, Wiltshire.

Children: Married (2nd): Ethel Maud Fraser in 1897, in Hampstead district, London, England. Ethel was born in 1870, in Hampstead district, Middlesex, the daughter of William John Fraser.

Children: Occupation: Arthur started as a journalist, working six years for George Newnes before leaving in 1890 to form his own publishing business, creating the sucessful periodical Pearson's Weekly. He built up a newspaper empire that included the Daily Express, the Birmingham Daily Gazette and the Evening Standard.

Arthur started to lose his eyesight due to glaucoma, and from 1910 onwards, he began to divest himself from his newspaper interests and applied himself and his considerable philanthropy to the blind. He became president of the National Institute for the Blind in 1913, and in 1915 he founded St. Dunstan's Hospital for those blinded in World War I, primarily by gas attacks. This letter was written by Pearson to the mother of a Canadian soldier blinded in the war.

Pearson was an active writer, penning a number of tourist guides and, under the nomme de plume Professor P R S Foli, he wrote books on fortune-telling, and interpretation of dreams and handwriting. In 1919, Pearson wrote a history of the St. Dunstan's home entitled Victory over Blindness. He corresponded and shared Braille books with Helen Keller. In one letter she comments "I can never thank you enough for the world of pleasure you have given me in these twenty-two volumes. And all kinds of pleasure too, the soul-stirring witch shades of The Dark Forest, the delightful 'ill-written autobiography' of Joseph Vance, the galloping narrative of Sherlock Holmes's adventures, the diplomat's diary, so rich in the unworked ore of history. But above all I have your Victory over Blindness in Braille. Reading it myself seems like feeling the inspiration of your presence. How your words, passing under the finger-tips of the blind, will pulse new hope and energy into them. Truly you are the St. Dunstan of the sightless throughout the world."

Death: 9 December 1921, in St Marylebone district, London, England, as a result of a fall in his bath.

Buried: Hampstead Cemetery, West Hampstead, London, England, The funeral was described in The Star:
In little groups of twelve and twenty, blinded men from every part of the kingdom, from Aberdeen and Penzance, from Newcastle,
Bristol and Plymouth, came along to Hampstead Cemetery this morning to pay final tribute to the man who was, above all others, their benefactor and friend.
  Never before had such a moving scene been witnessed at a public funeral. It enhanced, if that were possible, the pathos of Sir Arthur's tragic end.
  They were brought to the cemetery in buses and motor-cars.
More than two hundred men of the Guards had volunteered to act as their guides, and they helped the sightless men down from the top of the buses, and then guided them gently to the graveside. There were many affecting reunions of men who had fought side by side in the far-flung lines of the war, who could recognise each other now only by the sound of voices that had never been forgotten. Some of the blinded mourners carried wreaths and bunches of flowers tributes they had brought with them from their homes on behalf of those who were blind, even as they were.
  In the cemetery itself and lining Fortune Green Road was a huge concourse of people, numbering many thousands.
  Men and women of reverent demeanour were there who had never seen Sir Arthur, but who knew him as the man who had made life
easier for the similarly handicapped.
  The service conducted at the graveside was similar to that being held at Holy Trinity Church, Marylebone, and also at the Church of St. Clement Danes, in the Strand.
  Addressing the strange gathering, relieved in its sombre hue here and there by the brighter uniforms of the Guardsmen, as 'Boys,' the Rev. J. A. Williams, chaplain to St. Dunstan's, spoke a glowing eulogy of him they had gathered to mourn.
  As he began to repeat the opening prayer, every head was bared, and there was not a movement among those who had come to hear, not to see.
  With slightly bowed heads they remained in reverent attention. The silence was intense.
  Only the remote din of distant traffic broke, now and then, the hush.
  Then, led by the band of the 1st Grenadier Guards, the mourners began the hymn 'Lead, kindly light.' At first the singing was faint, voices were not responsive in the tensity of that moment, but gradually the singing welled into mightiness as the crowd caught the tune, and to the farthest fringes of the throng by the cemetery gates, this hymn of ineffable pleading so strangely significant now rose to the heavens.
  Not a word of the service was missed by the men, and when they sang 'Abide with Me,' and 'For all the Saints,' women wiped their eyes unashamedly, and men turned away and looked across that God's acre through the mist of tears.
 The Blessing was pronounced by the Rev. J. A. Williams, and then, scarce before the last words had died away, the mighty and the shuddering opening chords of Chopin's 'Funeral March,' broke upon the congregation with an almost startling suddenness.
  Women sobbed aloud. Men were overcome.
  It was a poignant episode in a service that had seemed always poignant.  A mountain of flowers had been sent to cover the grave. There were gigantic wreaths and more humble floral tributes laid out in long rows in a corner of the burial-ground.
  Preceding the coffin, carried by a Boy Scout was an emblem in flowers of the Union Jack, surmounted by a white dove and the device ' V.O.B.' the initial letters of the legend which has been made immortal by the man who was being laid to rest, 'Victory over Blindness.'

Further Information: Census:
1881: Winchester College, Winchester, Hampshire


Ethel Pearson

Birth: 1867, in Wookey, Somerset, England

Father: Arthur Cyril Pearson

Mother: Philippa Massingberg (Maxwell-Lyte) Pearson

1881: Rectory, Drayton Parslow, Buckinghamshire


Mabel Philippa (Pearson) Menzies

Birth: 1868, in Wookey, Somerset, England

Father: Arthur Cyril Pearson

Mother: Philippa Massingberg (Maxwell-Lyte) Pearson

Married: Alfred Sydney Menzies in 1891 in Chelmsford district, Essex, England. Alfred was born in 1858, in Winchester district, Hampshire. He was vicar of Burley on the Hill, county Rutland.

1881: Rectory, Drayton Parslow, Buckinghamshire


Marion Pearson

Birth: 1869/70, in Morden, Surrey, England

Father: Arthur Cyril Pearson

Mother: Philippa Massingberg (Maxwell-Lyte) Pearson

1881: Rectory, Drayton Parslow, Buckinghamshire


Marion Isobel Pearson

known as "Isla"

Birth: 1889, in Kingston district, Surrey, England

Cyril Arthur Pearson

Mother: Isabel Sarah (Bennett) Pearson


Muriel Pearson

Father: Cyril Arthur Pearson

Mother: Isabel Sarah (Bennett) Pearson

Neville Arthur Pearson

Title: Sir Neville Arthur Pearson, 2nd Baronet

Birth: 13 February 1898, in Frensham, Surrey, England

Father: Cyril Arthur Pearson

Mother: Ethel Maud (Fraser) Pearson

Married (1st): Mary Angela Mond in 1922 in Chelsea district, London, England. The Hon. Mary Angela Mond was the daughter of the Minister of Health Alfred Moritz Mond, 1st Baron Melchett.

The New York Times February 16 1922
Sir Neville Pearson to Wed Daugh-
ter of Minister of Health.

Special Cable to THE NEW YORK TIMES.
 LONDON,  Feb. 15. - The engagement is announced of Sir Neville Pearson, son of the late Sir Arthur Pearson, and Mary Angela Mond, second daughter of Sir Alfred Mond, Minister of Health.
 Sir Neville Pearson is 24 years old, and has visited this country with his father, who became totally blind in 1912, and who died last December.  He served thirteen months on the Western front and was wounded at Vimy Ridge.  After the war he was his father's constant companion.  His father founded St. Dunstan's Hospital for Blind Soldiers in London.

Married (2nd): Gladys Cooper in 1927.
Neville and Gladys divorced in 1936.

Milestones in Time Magazine, 21 September 1936
Sued for Divorce. British Actress Gladys Cooper; by Sir Neville Pearson, publisher of Country Life; in London. Named corespondent was Actor Philip Merivale, who was bedded with Actress Cooper in the opening scene of last season's Manhattan dramatic success, Call It a Day.

from Milestones in Time Magazine, 10 May 1937
Married. Gladys Cooper, 45, British actress; and Actor Philip Merivale, 50, with whom she is playing in Close Quarters; in Chicago, four days after a final divorce was granted in London to her second husband, Publisher Sir Neville Pearson (Country Life), who named Merivale as corespondent.

Notes: Neville served for thirteen months on the Western front in World War I, and was wounded at Vimy Ridge. He followed in many of his father's footsteps, primarily as a publisher where he was chairman at Newnes Publishing Company, and as Chairman of Arthur Pearson Ltd. In 1947 he succeeded his mother as president of St. Dunstan's Hospital for blind sailors and soldiers which his father had founded in 1915. In 1977 he left Britain for the United States.

Death: 6 November 1982, in Hightstown, New Jersey, United States, aged 84. On his death, his baronetage became extinct.

Obituary: The New York Times, 9 November 1982

Published: November 9, 1982

Sir Neville Arthur Pearson, former chairman of Arthur Pearson Ltd., the publisher of Country Life magazine and other publications in Britain, died Saturday in Hightstown, N.J., where he had lived since leaving Britain in 1977. He was 84 years old.

The Pearson publications are now part of the International Publishing Corporation of London. Sir Neville had a lifetime association with St. Dunstan's, a London organization established in 1912 by his father, Sir Arthur Pearson, to train and care for British servicemen and women blinded in war. He had been president of St. Dunstan's and of Pearson's Fresh Air Fund for poor children.

He is survived by three daughters, Shirley Gary, of Fair Haven, N.J., Sally Hardy, of Henley, England, and Lady Anne Glenkinglass, of London; sixgrandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

Further Information:

Nora Pearson

Father: Cyril Arthur Pearson

Mother: Isabel Sarah (Bennett) Pearson

Olive Noel (Pearson) Arnold

Birth: 1871, in Morden, Surrey, England

Father: Arthur Cyril Pearson

Mother: Philippa Massingberg (Maxwell-Lyte) Pearson

Married: Harry Holden Arnold in 1894, in Chelmsford district, Essex, England

Census & Addresses:
1881: Rectory, Drayton Parslow, Buckinghamshire
1919: 104 Queens Rd, Brighton, Sussex (manifest of the Carmania on which her daughter Philippa arrived in New York)

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