Henry Havelock Ellis

Henry Havelock Ellis


Vol V

Pg 121

b.2 February 1859 d.8 July 1939

LSA(1889) *FRCP(1936)

Henry Havelock Ellis, who was named after a distant relation on his mother’s side, Henry Havelock, of Indian Mutiny fame, never practised beyond doing occasional general practice as a locum tenens. He was the son of Edward Peppen Ellis who married his cousin, Susannah Wheatley. Following a private education and five years as a teacher in Australia, he entered St. Thomas’s Hospital at the age of twenty-one and took the L.S.A, in 1889. Two years later he married Edith Mary, only daughter of Samuel Oldham Lees, a landed proprietor, of Ashton-under-Lyne. They had no children.

Ellis spent his days studying English art and literature, and collecting facts about normal and abnormal sexual behaviour. He published several books, among them seven volumes under the title Studies in the psychology of sex (1897-1928.7 vols), Man and woman, a study of human secondary sexual characters (1889), and A Study of British genius (1904). He was elected a Fellow in 1936. He died on 8 July 1939.

Richard R Trail

* He was elected under the special bye-law which provides for the election to the fellowship of "Persons holding a medical qualification, but not Members of the College, who have distinguished themselves in the practice of medicine, or in the pursuit of Medical or General Science or Literature..."

[Brit.med.J., 1939, 2, 203-04 (p); Daily Telegraph, 11 July 1939 (p); J. ment. Sci., 1940, 86, 192-3; Lancet, 1939, 2, 164-5, 229 (p); Med.J.Aust., 1939, 2, 232 (p); Sunday Times, 18 Jan. 1959 (p); Times Literary Supplement, 15 July 1939 (p); D.N.B., 1931-1940, 258-60; A. Calder-Marshall. Havelock Ellis: a biography. London, 1959; J. S. Collis. An Artist of life: a study of the life and work of Havelock Ellis. London, 1959; Havelock Ellis. My life. London, 1940; H. Peterson. Havelock Ellis, philosopher of love. London, 1928, bibl. Ports, by H. Bishop, c. 1924-5, and by H. Channing Stephen; information about other portraits in D.N.B.]

Post publication addition

Ellis was an associate member of the UK Eugenics Society in 1908 and vice-president in 1911. For more information see Our values