Members of the San Luigi Orders: Maurice Beddow Bayly

Maurice Beddow Bayly (1887-1961) was a Chevalier of the Order of the Lion and the Black Cross.

He was a medical doctor by profession, graduating MRCS and LRCP. His principal work was in campaigning against vivisection for medical purposes, being a member of the Animal Defence and Anti-Vivisection Society, and against vaccination, in which connexion he was a member of the National Anti-Vaccination League.

He published many papers and pamphlets on these subjects, and in 1944 wrote on vaccination, “Perhaps the greatest evil of immunization lies in its diversion of public attention from true methods of disease prevention. It encourages public authorities to permit all kinds of sanitary defects and social problems to remain unaddressed, particularly in schools. It ignores the part played by food and sunlight and many other factors in the maintenance of health. It exaggerates the risk of diphtheria and works upon the fear of parents. The more it is supported by public authorities, the more will its dangers and disadvantages be concealed or denied.”

Concerning vivisection, he commented, “In a universe which embraces all types of life and consciousness and all material forms through which these manifest, nothing which is ethically wrong can ever be scientifically right; …in an integrated cosmos of spirit and matter one law must pervade all levels and all planes. This is the basic principle upon which the whole case against vivisection rests. Cicero summed it up in the four words: “No cruelty is useful”.

Bayly was admitted a Chevalier of the Order of the Lion and the Black Cross in February 1961, four months before his death. His letters expound his philosophy of religion. He was a member of the Liberal Catholic Church and Secretary of its church at Tekels Park, Camberley. Earlier in life, he had received the minor orders in that body, but did not proceed further “since I considered it too serious a step to take, unless I was likely to be in a position to carry out regular duties as a priest.” He was an active member of the Theosophical Society.

He wrote “All the ancient legends concerning King Arthur and his knights have an immense appeal for me, for whatever the historical facts may be the central theme of the Quest for the Holy Grail is a living reality today as it ever was and ever will be.”

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