Monica English (1920-1979)
Posted 28 December 2011 - 10:04 PM
A while back I started researching Monica English after Jeremy (froglover) found a reference that mentioned that Monica English's arts was displayed at her home at Bridge House in Gayton, Norfolk in the 1960's.
That was the kind of information that I needed to zero in on the correct family. At the time we were not even sure if Monica English was her real name.
Then the first reference I found on them was a phone directory reference in the British Telephone Books.
From the British Telephone Books covering Norfolk:
For the Year 1954
1954 -- Image No. 542 -- Original Page No. 62
English R. G. G, Bridge ho ...................... Gayton 223
This was R. G. G. English of Bridge House in Gayton, Norfolk for the year 1954.
So I was then able to start compiling information about Monica English and her husband Robert English.
Then we were able to learn more about Monica English. Her father, John Barrett, was born in Ireland and was in the British army and then worked at the Patent Office in London. Monica Barrett was raised as a Roman Catholic.
Monica's grandfather, Henry Gibson, was an important man who was instrumental in the building up the some of the sub-urban areas of London in the 1890's to the 1940's.
The Gibson family were from St. Albans.
Henry Gibson eventually bought Parsonage Farm in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire and lived there.
Monica Barrett was living at Parsonage Farm, Rickmansworth at the time of her first marriage in 1939.
Rickmansworth was only about 7 miles from where Bricket Wood.
Recently the page on Monica English underwent a major update.
In October a person contacted me and mentioned that when he was a boy he knew Monica English when his family was living at the Bridge House in 1956 to 1957 .
He shared with us information about his time there and sent some pictures of the place.
The page that I have with all the information found so far on Monica English is at this link.
Posted 29 December 2011 - 04:41 AM
As I mentioned in the last post that in October 2011, a person who lived with Monica English when his parents were at the Bridge House, Gayton, Norfolk in 1956-1957 contacted me.
In his recollections of his time with Monica English. He remember that several times a person around Monica English's age would drive up at Bridge House and he and Monica English would drive off.
He remembers him being "dashing" and the automobile would be a new (at the time) gull-winged Mercedes. A person of considerable wealth to be driving that kind of automobile.
He also remember that his name was "Mr. Fontaine".
This mysterious Mr. Fontaine who knew Monica English became interesting.
It reminded me of something from Mike Howard's article "A Very English Witch" where he mentioned some of what Lois Bourne said on the subject.
"Bourne confirms that English and Cottie Burland had become firm friends and the three met socially. English invited Bourne to become a member of the Norfolk coven, telling her that she would learn little at Brickett Wood because Gardner’s teachings were “the shadow and that he did not possess the substance.”
At first Bourne declined, but after Gardner died in February 1964 she finally took up the invitation and was initiated at Samhain of that year. English was the magistra (mistress) of the coven and was assisted by a friend called Bertram (probably not his real name) who was the magister and a wealthy businessman. "
So I was wondering if this Mr. Fontaine who used to pick up Monica English in 1956-1957 was this wealthy businessman "Bertram" who is mentioned as a friend of Monica English in Mike Howard's article.
In searching the British phone books, I came across an Andrew Fountaine who was living Narford Hall in Norfolk. This place was only 4 miles away from Gayton where Robert and Monica English were living.
Andrew Fountaine (1918-1997) was born in a family that had a lot of land in Norfolk and the family seat was Narford Hall.
Since a young age he identify himself with the Far Right Politics in Great Britain. He even fought in the Spanish Civil War on Francisco Franco's side. So there were people that were not comfortable with his politics.
From what I read, Narford Hall was sort of a center of activities in the area and there were events including shooting that were held at Narford Hall. There were kennels at Narford Hall too.
Robert English, was involved with organizing fox hunts and his wife Monica breed and trained beagles and hounds in the 1950's to 1960's Gayton.
So there were several ways of how Robert and Monica English may have met Andrew Fountaine.
I only found one picture of Andrew Fountaine on the internet, it has him at a political demonstration at Manchester in October 1977.
I showed the picture to my friend who lived with Monica English at the Bridge House in 1956 to 1957 and he thinks it could be him but he says he be can't be 100% sure. The picture was from 1977, 20 years after he seen Mr. Fountaine in Gayton, and the picture is not a close up of him and he is wearing a bowler hat, and not to mention that he is older too.
But he says that he would bet all his chips that it was Andrew Fountaine, but he wants to see a close up picture of him in the 1950's to be absolutely sure it was him.
Posted 29 December 2011 - 04:55 AM
Posted 29 December 2011 - 05:21 AM
Yesterday Tuesday December 27, 2011
I finally received my copy of the book "Dancing with Witches" by Lois Bourne.
In this book Lois Bourne does not mention Monica English by her name. She calls her "Margo" probably to hide her identity.
From Lois Bourne's book in Chapter Five
"A few weeks later, Margo and Bertram appeared at my home for tea.
I had been somewhat dazed by her revelations, but the meeting with Bertram was reality. He was a tall, heavily built man, rather swarthy in appearance, with thick black hair and very dark eyes. I have always considered dark eyes to be warm, but his were coal black, cool and had a slightly menacing quality; I felt that he could be a formidable opponent if crossed. He had a very deep voice, well-educated and cultured. He was a business man by profession and, I learned later, very wealthy. He drove an expensive-looking car…."
"The visit was pleasant, and our discussions ranged from witchcraft and magic, to music and books, but I was very much aware that he was observing me closely; for my part, I was observing him too. I gained the impression that he enjoyed a strong alliance with alcohol, and I reflected privately on the condition of his liver. It would not be true to say that I did not warm up to him, I was wary of him. He appeared to have a close relationship with Margo, and they were very comfortable together."
The description given by my friend who was living in Bridge House in 1956 to 1957:
"A man her age would often drive up the driveway in a brand new 1956 gull wing Mercedes and they would leave together. I recall my parents and Joan O'Neil having some adult conversations regarding these events. My recollection is that his name was "Mr. Fontaine".
Mr. Fontaine, I would think he would have been a local person (Norfolk anyway). I would guess that he could be best described, as the Brits would say, "dashing". Also must have had some wealth to be driving the car he had"
He also mentioned that he had had a full head of black hair.
From Lois Bourne's book in Chapter Nine
(And after the death of Gerald Gardner, Lois Bourne then decides to join Margo in her Norfolk coven on the Hallowe'en Festival or Samhain 1964).
"The ceremony of my initiation was conducted by Margo, assisted by Bertram. (My original impression of him had been tempered by greater familiarity, and I no longer regarded him as being slightly sinister - although my private observations as to the condition of his liver were unchanged.)"
Updated to include the part from Chapter Five
Edited by The Exile, 30 December 2011 - 04:43 AM.
Posted 31 December 2011 - 10:13 PM
One more last excerpt from Lois Bourne's book, Dancing with Witches. Since it deals with the Norfolk Coven.
There are more in the book that covers detail about the Norfolk coven at their meetings and the initiation of Lois Bourne in that coven and about the rituals.
You should buy a copy of the book, I find it very interesting.
(While Lois Bourne was visiting and staying at Margo's place in Norfolk the first time)
"That night we were invited to dinner with some friends of Margo and her husband. The house we visited was enormous and was reached down a long and winding drive lined with tall rhododendron bushes (all I could see in the headlights of the car, as it was already dark when we left Margo's home).
The approach to the portal - it was much too grand to be called a mere door - was by ascending a flight of steps to a terrace which surrounded the front of the house. Lights were blazing from tall windows and music could be heard from inside the house as we were greeted by a butler and escorted to meet our host and hostess.
The hall was lit by tall candles in beautiful antique silver candlesticks, and the room beyond, which was an anteroom, had a marble floor and large oil paintings on the walls, with a minstrel's gallery stretching above them. I found the size of the place very impressive as we were escorted into the dining-room where about thirty people were gathered.
I was unaccountably shy to be amongst so many strangers, and, although it was a pleasant evening and I gradually relaxed and became more at ease, I was very much aware that I was being observed. Margo later told me that everyone present was a member of the coven. On subsequent occasions when I stayed at her home I met other members."
This was probably Narford Hall which was about 4 miles from Robert and Monica English's home at Gayton, Norfolk. Narford Hall was the home of Andrew Fountaine.
You can go on the internet and use Google Images and search "Narford Hall" and there are some images that can be seen of the place but unfortunately most are from a distance. But you can tell that Narford Hall was large.
Also in the earlier post it mentioned that Lois Bourne also said of Bertram in Chapter Five, Page 52 " and, I learned later, very wealthy"
That could be because it was Bertram's home that she later had the dinner at.
Bertram = Andrew Fountaine ?
Edited by The Exile, 01 January 2012 - 03:39 AM.
Posted 31 December 2011 - 11:59 PM
The identity of "Bertram" of the Norfolk coven
. . . English invited Bourne to become a member of the Norfolk coven, telling her that she would learn little at Brickett Wood because Gardner’s teachings were “the shadow and that he did not possess the substance.”
I have heard the phrasing "did not possess the substance" before, just not in regard to this particular source. I was a little surprised to see it here, as it triggered an immediate memory from my childhood. It's a little fuzzy, but it has still really piqued my interest. I am finding this a most enjoyable read. I love stories about real people, being themselves.
Posted 01 January 2012 - 12:50 PM
How strange some find it
That when one looks ... they were everywhere ..
and yet some can see nothing when they look back! lol
Once again fabulous work.
Posted 04 January 2012 - 04:13 AM
I recieved an email from a member of the Fountaine family
and she mentioned in her email:
"According to my mother in law Monica eventually left Bob and married someone
else - not sure who."
So her comment cements the fact that Andrew Fountaine and his wife
knew and were friends with Robert and Monica English in the 1950s to 1960s era.
Wonder who was the next husband of Monica ?
Posted 04 January 2012 - 04:30 AM
Peeling the layers and looking in the crevices.. really enjoy this type of stuff.. Thanks for sharing your hard work.
Most witches don’t believe in gods. They know that the gods exist, of course. They even deal with them occasionally. But they don’t believe in them. They know them too well. It would be like believing in the postman. T.P.
In order to understand the living.. you have to commune with the dead..
You are a tiny little soul carrying around a corpse.-- Epictetus
All experience is an arch wherethrough gleams that untravelled world whose margin fades for ever and for ever when I move.
Posted 09 January 2012 - 10:17 AM
I am always impressed by your research techniques.
Posted 09 January 2012 - 12:28 PM
...Wonder who was the next husband of Monica ?...
As you know the area in which she lived are you able to research public divorce and marriage records of the county?
Posted 29 February 2012 - 04:44 AM
Sorry about the time it took to get back.
Thank you for the comments, LdyShalott, Anjeaunot, and Michele
Posted 29 February 2012 - 04:56 AM
Monica English in the New Forest
A short while back, I found more information about the whereabouts of Monica English in the period of 1942 to 1953.
So the web page on her history has to be updated again with all the new information.
But the main thing found was that I placed her in the New Forest area of Hampshire in 1952 to 1953.
In 1950, Peter Earle Barnes and Mary Monica Barnes were living at Brigstock, Northamptonshire. Peter Earle Barnes was the Hunt Master for Woodland Pytchley Hunt in Northamptonshire. He was the master for the seasons of 1950 to 1952.
In 1952, Peter Earle Barnes was the Master and Huntsman at the Wilton Hunt Kennels in Salisbury, Wiltshire which is just across the border from the New Forest area of Hampshire. He was listed as living at Manor Farm in Broad Chalke, Wiltshire.
In 1952 to 1953 season there was Mr. Bryan L. Day and Mrs. P. E. Barnes listed as Masters of the New Forest Beagles in Hampshire.
So naturally I suspected that the Mrs. P. E. Barnes was Mary Monica Barnes.
But wanted to be sure. What I did was bought a copy of the Baily's Hunting Directory for the year 1952-1953. I noticed that they list the full address of the current Masters of these Hunts.
So a few days ago I got the book and scored another hit.
On page 345.
New Forest Beagles
Uniform - Green coat and stockings, white breeches, black velvet cap.
Jt. Masters - (1952) Mrs. P. E. Barnes, Manor Farm, Broad Chalke, Wilts. T.N. - Broad Chalke 230; and B. L. Day, Esq., Rose Cottage, Hawkslease, Lyndhurst, Hants. T. N. - Lyndhurst 168.
16 1/2 couples of hounds, 15 1/2-inch Stud Book Beagles.
So Peter Earle Barnes and Mrs. P. E. Barnes addresses matches -- Manor Farm, Broad Chalke, Wilts.
Mrs. P. E. Barnes was indeed Mary Monica Barnes.
Their marriage soon crumbled and Peter Earle Barnes faced Bankruptcy proceedings against him from 1953 to 1957
Monica married Robert English in 1953 and moved to Gayton, Norfolk where Monica became a Master of a Hunt in Gayton starting in 1953 and Robert English became a Huntsman starting in 1955.
So we have Monica in the New Forest in 1952-53, she may have been there earlier if she known Robert English earlier.
Robert English lived there during the 1940's and his first wife's family was living in Burley, New Forest from 1922 to 1943.
Gerald Gardner was in the area from 1939 to 1945 and did visited the New Forest area probably several times in the early 1950's. I will make a separate post showing Gerald Gardner in the area in 1951.
Edited by The Exile, 29 February 2012 - 05:00 AM.
Posted 11 June 2012 - 03:51 AM
Just finished updating the webpages on Monica English, Robert English, and Peter Earle Barnes. Mostly the 1940's to early 1960's updated
It includes all the new stuff that was posted on this thread earlier plus a little more.
Hope some more people will come forward with more information or pictures on Monica English.
Page on Monica English
Posted 11 June 2012 - 02:45 PM
Wonderful work Bill. I find these histories you put together ver fascinating
Posted 12 June 2012 - 02:28 PM
Posted 12 June 2012 - 09:13 PM
Bill, I think the mark on the back of the Canvas says Made in Sweden, I can't make out the brand run across the top of the mark, but on the bottom I can make out MADE . SWEDE so I am pretty sure.
Thanks Sara - I looked at that picture again and I do see faintly the word SWEDE at the bottom. Perhaps at the top is the company name.
Would of been more interesting if it was somekind of coded symbol that Monica made on it.
Edited by The Exile, 12 June 2012 - 09:14 PM.
Posted 26 June 2012 - 03:08 AM
As usual I'm always checking the internet for any new stuff that might be listed since the previous time I checked. This time I found a gold nugget !
Like I was blasted back to the past.
I finally got to see what Monica English looks like. Still not a close up yet. But the picture that I have on the webpage has her back to the camera.
This one is from the Daily Mail showing Monica English posing as painting a picture and with her hunt beagles on the side of her home in Gayton, Norfolk
I ordered a 12 x 8 picture for me to have in hand. Don't know if it will be okay for me to use the picture on the website. Will ask permission.
And this is the link to that page if anyone wants to order a copy.
Link to Daily Mail Pictures
Edited by The Exile, 26 June 2012 - 03:11 AM.
Posted 26 June 2012 - 04:25 PM
Posted 27 June 2012 - 12:20 AM
As a fellow artist, I adore seeing her paint like that with all her pets around. My kitty is often looking up at me or sitting my chair while I paint. And of course cat hair is a texture in anything I do
LOL! I know what you mean about the cat hair.... It has become an ingrediant in any "project" lol