Friday, 15 February 2008

Mature Students at the BSA: Hercules Henry West

Hercules Henry West (1856-1937) was admitted to the BSA in 1896/97 during the directorship of Cecil Harcourt-Smith. He was the youngest son of the Very Rev. John West, Dean of St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin. West was educated at Marlborough (1871-75) and Trinity College, Cambridge (1875-79; 7th Classic). He was awarded the Sir William Browne’s Medal for Greek Epigram (1877). (One of West's new contemporaries at Marlborough and Trinity was R.A.H. Bickford-Smith [1859-1916] who was admitted to the BSA in 1889/90.)

Henry Jackson, at the time praelector in ancient philosophy at Trinity, used to invite people to his rooms to hear "Herky" exercise his "conspicuous talent for comic mimicry" (The Times June 12, 1937). One of his best interpretations was of 'the man with the testudo'.

West's sister, Elizabeth, was married to Professor Edward Dowden who held the chair of English literature at Trinity College, Dublin. Another, Caroline, was married to the Rev. Canon the Hon. Edward Lyttleton (1855-1942), Master of Haileybury (1890-1905) and Headmaster of Eton (1905-16). Lyttleton was in the year above West at Trinity.

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