In Clarence's Times - Mr. Bicknell or the Rev. Bicknell?

Graham Avery writes...

"Clarence was active as a pastor, even after he gave up his work in the Church.

"I use the expression 'gave up his work in the Church' because it's misleading to say that he 'left the Church'. He didn't send a letter to the Bishop resigning his post at Bordighera; he didn't need to since, like his predecessors, he was appointed for one season.

"A person ordained as a priest continues to be 'in holy orders' unless the Church expels him, which as far as we know was not the case for Clarence. The canon law of the Church of England says that "No person who has been admitted to the order of bishop, priest, or deacon can ever be divested of the character of his order" though the Church has processes to allow clergy (by own volition or otherwise) to cease to function in the role, see article at

"One should therefore consider Clarence after 1879 as a priest of the Church of England without ecclesiastical function - in fact, he was still entitled to be addressed as 'The Reverend' though evidently he didn't want that. "


In Clarence's Time - Francis Galton in Bordighera

Francis Galton 1850sMaddalena Cataldi is here at our home near London looking at the Clarence materials for her PhD provisionally entitled ""Découvrir et Comprendre les Gravure Rupestres du Mont Bégo". Like us, she has let her mind wander over Clarence's person and his time in Bordighera and Casterino. Within minutes she had found a little gem which I had not noticed ...

Francis Galton was according to Wiki an "English Victorian statistician, progressive, polymath, sociologist, psychologist, anthropologist, eugenicist, tropical explorer, geographer, inventor, meteorologist, proto-geneticist, and psychometrician. " Hm that long list is reminiscent of someone. He is also Charles Darwin's cousin, graduate of Trinity College Cambridge like Clarence, and his contemporary.

He was staying at the Villa Rosa with Margaret and Edward Berry (he was Clarence's nephew) in February 1905 and signed their visitors' book (which is in our collection). According to letters hidden in the internet he had also been in Bordighera in 1902 staying in the Hotel de Londres. "This blessed Riviera air".I have seen no evidence that he knew or met Clarence, but in 1905 CB would have been thick as thieves with the Berrys and would have met many of their guests, especially a scientist of this repute?

NEWS - Esperanto version of the film now released

clarence c1905 esperanto star close upThe Esperanto version of our 18-minute documentary film "The Marvels of Clarence Bicknell" is now on public release via the internet. To view, now, click on .

You can also watch  "The Marvels of Clarence Bicknell" in English, French or Italian at

The Esperanto version will have its World Premier at the Italian Esperanto Association's Congress at Molicoro (Matera) Southern Italy this Friday, 1st September at 15h00.  Nicola Minnaja will lecture on Clarence Bicknell at the same event. The sneak preview at the British Esperanto Congress in Edinburgh in May went well, as did the preview at the International Esperanto Congress in Seoul, South Korea, on 22nd July.

The Esperanto version of the documentary film on Clarence Bicknell, directed by Rémy Masséglia and produced by Marcus Bicknell, was thanks to the energies and persistence of Esperanto supporters Michela Lipari (Director of the Italian Esperanto Association) and Humphrey Tonkin (President & University Professor of the Humanities, Emeritus, Hartford University, USA). <La Mirindaĵoj de Clarence Bicknell> has been voiced into Esperanto by Wera esperanto film title pageBlanke, Bill Chapman and Angela Tellier. We are proud to provide to the Esperanto community worldwide a precious memento of Clarence Bicknell's love for and support of the universal language. The response from the Esperanto community (there are about 100,000 of them worldwide) has been remarkable.

The photo of Clarence shows him wearing his five-pointed Esperanto star. I recently read in one of his diaries that he wore the green four-pointed star when he first joined the Esperanto movement in 1897, and graduated to the five-pointed star when he could read, speak and write Esperanto. Is this still the process today?

NEWS - Valerie Lester in IISL journal

Valerie Lester, working away on the biography of Clarence Bicknell for 2018, takes a moment's relief to write to us "After my stay in Bordighera in February 2015 (that terribly cold winter), Dr. Daniela Gandolfi asked me to write a report on my experience at the IISL and Bicknell museum. I did it, and I thought that was that, but lo and behold, I’m now a bona fide contributor to " Ligures ", the official revue of the Istituto Internazionale di Studi Liguri!!!!"pdf download icon

You can read Valerie's report by clicking on the pdf logo.

NEWS - new donations to The Clarence Bicknell 2018 Centenary Fund

fund thermometerTwo new major donations received to the The Clarence Bicknell 2018 Centenary Fund ... what encouraging news. Now is the time for you to support us too, see below.

The Istituto Internazionale di Studi Liguri (IISL) has been able to put €5,000 in to the fund, and the Clarence Bicknell Association (CBA) has been able to secure a donation from a USA-based trust for about €8,000 (exacty figure will be known when the transfer arrives). These two donations are in addition to the €12,736 secured form the USA by the CBA in April.

With the €25,000 raised the IISL can proceed with Phase 1 of the works on the entrance to the garden where the giant Ficus tree has swallowed the gate, and new signage. Bordighera-based Architects Alessandro Liotta & Aldo Panetta are working closely with Dr Daniela Gandolfi and planning permission has bene secured. This will be a great way to celebrate the 2018 Centenary of Clarence's death.

A few thousand euros are in the fund for the 2018 exhibitions round Europe; more details soon.

We would be most grateful if, when you read this piece, you a) join the Clarence Bicknell Association >Association >Membership b) make a donation yourself (button on the website home page) and c) make a couple of calls to contacts you might have who have the means to make a donation too.

There is SWAG! That's the current US term for gifts you'll receive from us if you donate and these include signed copies of the new biography on Clarence and/or the quality print repro of the Casa Fontanalba Visitors' Book etc. The list of what you can get is on the last page of the information about the campaign: click on the pdf link.pdf download icon