Showing posts with label Wellcome. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wellcome. Show all posts

Friday, December 28, 2012



Syrie Maugham was the daughter of Thomas Barnardo, founder of the Barnardo's children's homes, where much child abuse took place.

Syrie's lovers included Henry Solomon Wellcome, Harry Gordon Selfridge, Brig. Gen. Percy Fitzgerald and William Somerset Maugham.

Syrie was expelled from school at aged 16.

Aged 21, Syrie was in Egypt, where she met a family friend called Henry Solomon Wellcome, who was in his forties.

Syrie and Henry were quickly married.

Mounteney and Henry Wellcome

They produced a son called Mounteney.

As Syrie and Henry spent a lot of time travelling, Mounteney did not see much of his parents.

While Henry and Syrie were in Ecuador, Henry accused Syrie of having an affair with an American businessman, Archer Harman.

Henry never spoke to Syrie again.

"One of Syrie’s siblings was mentally disabled; her first child, by Henry Wellcome... reportedly had a learning disability. The couple were extravagantly mismatched, he a sadistic and humorless 47 when they married in 1901, she fizzy, enchantingly pretty and 21... A separation agreement nine years later gave Syrie temporary custody of their son. Ultimately he was placed with a family of dairy farmers and his mother vanished from his life, giving the lie to her reputation as a doting parent."

High Gloss - The New York Times / Behind closed doors -

Syrie became the mistress of the American store owner Gordon Selfridge, who was 20 years her senior.

Syrie then had an affair with William Somerset Maugham, the mainly gay writer.

Syrie became pregnant at the same time as Maugham fell in love with Gerald Haxton.

Maugham and Haxton

The daughter of Syrie and William Somerset Maugham was called Elizabeth (Liza) Maugham.

Henry Wellcome filed for divorce, naming Maugham as the co-respondent, and Syrie became Mrs Syrie Maugham.

Maugham began spending much of his time abroad, with Gerald Haxton.

Maugham and Gerald traveled to Honolulu, Australia, Singapore and Burma... Gerald was dangerously addicted to gambling and drink, as well as sex. His preference was adolescent boys.


Syrie eventually got a divorce.

Liza (centre)

In his memoir Looking Back (1962) Somerset Maugham appeared to deny that he was the father of Elizabeth (Liza) Maugham.

He tried to have her disinherited in order to adopt his male secretary, Alan Searle.

A court decided that Maugham was Liza's biological father.

Liza was awarded approximately $1,400,000 in damages.

Liza and her husband "enjoyed the friendship" of senior members of the Royal Family.
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