Letter from Marion Scott to Adeline Vaughan Williams

Letter No.: 
VWL768
Aug. 19th 1935

92, Westbourne Terrace
Hyde Park. W.2
but temporarily at
Calverley Hotel,
Tunbridge Wells.

Dear Mrs Vaughan Williams
 
I feel greatly ashamed that your very kind letter to me about Ivor1 should have remained all these weeks without an answer. Please forgive me, and please accept my true apologies.
I waited to write until I had been able to see Dr Robinson, the Medical Superintendent of the City of London Mental Hospital, and that was a thing which I had to wait for as his movements were very uncertain. However, at last I got an interview just before I left London for the vacation.
He was kindness and consideration itself, but far from being willing to extend any facilities for giving Ivor a fortnight's change to sea or country he was even averse to my taking him for any drives. This was due, I found, to a fear that Ivor would attempt suicide. Dr Robinson said IBG had recovered from his illness, and was out and about the garden again (though still on special diet) and he goes to church on Sundays. But he keeps himself absolutely to himself, refuses to go to any entertainments, and is so depressed that Dr R considers him very suicidal. He said to me earnestly that he would not consider it safe to send Ivor in a car even with two male nurses, and added "If you were one of my own relatives I would not say anything different to you."
On further entreaties from me that I might at least take Ivor for a drive, Dr Robinson admitted that they had had a case of a patient who had been taken out and used the chance to make away with himself. Finally Dr Robinson said most kindly that if I would come and see him again in September we would reconsider the matter then of Ivor going for a drive. So I am afraid that nothing can be done just now to give Ivor any change, though it would be so lovely if one could give him the happiness of seeing sea and hills again.
It is very kind of Gerald Finzi to be willing to go and visit Ivor. I think there is a possibility it might be a success if he could pay his first visit in company with Herbert Howells. The arrival of the two composers together would seem very natural and it would start Ivor on the right lines with Gerald Finzi.
I meant to have written all this as soon as I got away, but opportunities for letter writing have not been many; at the moment we are at Tunbridge Wells. We want to get home this week if we can as the place doesn't suit either my Father or Mother, or the Aunt (a semi-invalid) who is with us.
Dr Vaughan Williams' visit to Ivor this summer made a great impression on the Hospital staff: I can see it helped very greatly in securing the kindest personal care for Ivor.
Thank you and Dr Vaughan Williams again so much.
Yours very gratefully

Marion Scott


1.  Ivor Gurney, who died in the London Mental Hospital in 1937, had been unwell for many years.

Subjects:

Location of copy:

Shelfmark of copy: 
Finzi Box 10
General notes: 

See also VWL769.

Format: 
Letter
Original database number: 
350819