Three Headmasters: (2) J. H. Badley and Bedales
JOHN HADEN BADLEY was born in Dudley, near Birmingham, in 1865, the youngest in a family of four. His father was a well-respected and comfortably successful doctor who had inherited a prosperous practice from his father.1 Still earlier generations had been doctors, but more remote ancestors had been Staffordshire farmers and small landowners. Badley remembers his father as a man who spent little time with his children, and whose reserve was somewhat forbidding. At mealtimes and very occasionally at Christmas or some such season they saw him and talked with him: on the occasion that Badley reports his father as going on holiday with the family, he stayed for only two days and ‘it was something of a relief when the visit was over ’. Recollecting in tranquillity, Badley speaks with affection and respect of the unpretentious goodness of his father in his care of poor patients and his forbearance with his son, who showed no wish to study medicine. When Badley senior died he divided his possessions equally between his four children and J. H. Badley, writing long afterwards, said: ‘It was his business ability and the value of the property he left that eventually made possible the building of Bedales.’2
KeywordsSexual Precocity Academic Record Private Income Small Landowner Prose Writing
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