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The origins of the Huxleys and the Spooners are not apparent. The Huxleys are possibly related to the biologist, T. H. Huxley who was an associate of Charles Darwin and worked with him on ‘the Origin of the Species’. There are a number of prominent biologists in the family, but unfortunately I have been unable at the time of writing to make any direct connections. Nor have I found any connection to Aldous Huxley and Elspeth Huxley the writers. As far as the Spooners are concerned, the family seem to be descended from one WILLIAM CHARLES SPOONER about whom nothing is known except his death, which occurred in 1885 and the fact that he had a son named William.
EDWARD OKE SPOONER F.R.C.S. was the son of William. He was a doctor and a surgeon and he wrote medical books. He married Emma Huxley.
CHARLES RODNEY HUXLEY and his wife Maria Ann had four children, Emma, Charles, Maria and James. Charles Rodney was a glover.
EMMA HUXLEY was born on 14th August 1818 at Newgate. She went to school at Vanburgh Castle, Blackheath, and at midsummer 1830, she won a ‘reward of merit’ from Mrs Browne. Emma ran a music school. She married Edward Oke Spooner and they had a daughter Emma Jane Spooner. After her husband died Emma and her daughter took in lodgers, one of whom was Thomas Terrell who was to become Emma Jane’s husband.
Some of the other Huxleys and Spooners mentioned in miscellaneous notes, from which this history of the Balean family tree is collated, are as follows:
MILDRED, PHYLLIS, MURIEL, ENID & SYBIL HUXLEY were the daughters of Emma Huxley’s brother James. He was a doctor in Torquay. The family is mentioned as friends in Agatha Christie’s autobiography. Apparently they were regarded as somewhat scandalous for their unorthodox behaviour and bohemian tendencies. Only their father’s high standing as the best doctor in town and their mother being ‘well connected’ saved them from being ostracised by Torquay society. Apparently Agatha once performed in one of their performances of Gilbert and Sullivan’s, The Yeoman of the Guard, and Muriel was at one time her best friend. Isabel Terrell would mention going down to Torquay and visiting her cousins there.
Dr EDWARD TENNY CASWELL SPOONER, C.M.G., M.A., M.D., F.R.C.P. was a nephew of Emma Jane Spooner (Terrell) and cousin of Isabel. He was born on 22nd May 1904. He graduated from Claire College Cambridge with a first in Natural Science Tripos. He was a Commonwealth Fund Fellow at Harvard University Medical School, from 1929-1931. Fellow of Claire College, Cambridge. Professor of Bacteriology and Immunology, London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Dean of London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 1960-70. Member of the Medical Research Council. Member of the Board of Governors, University College Hospital, London. Chairman of the West Indies Special Committee. His wife was Colin Mary Steward. He died in February 1992.
Dr WILLIAM HENRY SPOONER nephew of Emma Jane Spooner (Terrell), was born in 1909 and died 1st August 1958 in a sailing accident off the coast of Brest. He lived in Blandford.