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Gould Adams Scratton, B. M. (Bride M.)



  • Existence: 1882 - 1964

Evelyn St. Bride Mary Goold-Adams was born in Shoeburyness, Essex on September 9, 1882, the only daughter of Evelyn Wynne Goold-Adams and Captain Francis Michael Goold-Adams, Assistant Superintendent of Experiments at the Royal Army's Gunnery School. Goold-Adams was killed in 1885 when a shell exploded prematurely, and Evelyn's mother remarried shortly thereafter and moved with her daughter to London. Bride attended a finishing school in Fontainebleau, was presented at Court, and met Edward ("Ned") Blackburn Scratton during one of her visits to Tulloch Lodge, owned by Sir Henry Oldham. She and Ned Scratton, an avid golfer who had inherited Prittlewell Priory in Essex, were married at St. Peter's Kensington on May 4, 1905.

The Scrattons settled first at Prittlewell Priory, and later moved to York. The couple had four children, the eldest of whom, a daughter, was diagnosed with mental retardation at an early age and raised apart from the rest of the family. Scratton served with the 1st Devon Yeomanry during World War I and saw service at Gallipoli; Bride was a volunteer at one of the military hospitals in York. In 1917, after Scratton demobilized, the family moved to Oxford, where Bride became friends with the novelist Mrs. Victor Rickard, who introduced her to Ezra Pound.

The Scrattons' marriage was troubled, and they seem to have lived apart after the war. Bride visited Paris, where the Pounds were living, in 1921 and again in 1922. In 1923 she visited Italy, likewise while Pound was there. In later years she remembered sitting with Pound and Eliot in a café in Verona, an incident said to be recalled in several lines of Canto LXXVIII. ("....So we sat there by the arena,/outside, Thiy and il decaduto.....")

Ned Scratton received a judgement of divorce on the grounds of adultery and custody of the couple's children in October 1923. Ezra Pound was the named co-respondent. Three weeks after the judgement, Ned Scratton married Gwen Stabler, whom he had met in Scarborough in the preceding year.

Bride moved to London and worked at a series of jobs, including saleswoman at Peter Jones, Ltd. and at the Claridge Gallery. She also wrote several short stories and articles. England, a collection of country house sketches, was published by Three Mountains Press in 1923, and her short story "Uncle Bertram" appeared in the February 1924 issue of Transatlantic Review. She became a Christian Scientist during this period.

Ned Scratton died of tuberculosis in May 1926 and Bride regained custody of her children over the objections of his widow and of the Scratton family. In 1929 the family moved to Cambridge, where she became a registered guide with the British Travel and Holiday Association; participated in amateur theatricals; and was Branch Secretary of the local chapter of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. She remained in occasional touch with Pound; her niece, Jean Scratton, married Peter Whigham, who became a close friend of the Pounds in the 1950s.

Bride Scratton died of cancer in Cambridge on May 6, 1964.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

William Bird Ezra Pound papers

Call Number: YCAL MSS 178
Overview: Correspondence, writings, personal papers and musical compositions by Ezra Pound dating from his sojourn in Paris during the early 1920s.
Dates: 1900-1926

Bride Scratton/Peter Whigham papers

Call Number: YCAL MSS 179
Overview: The collection contains correspondence, writings and personal papers of Bride Scratton and of Peter Whigham, her nephew by marriage. The Scratton papers include letters from Ezra Pound to Scratton discussing their personal relationship, her writings, and Pound's social and political theories; manuscripts and typescripts of short stories and descriptive sketches by Scratton and typescript carbons of three Cantos by Pound; and a small amount of personal papers, including a copy of Scratton's...
Dates: 1894-1966