Background: When I was the editor of Gilbert Magazine, I was responsible for the “Tremendous Trifles” column. It was occasionally hard to find a sufficient amount of interesting GKC material to fill the page, so John Peterson sent me a file full of Chesterton ancedotes. They were idiosyncratic, historical, and Chestertonian. He recently gave me permission to use them here. I hope y’all find them as interesting as I have over the years. Most of them have never been published.
In discussing English Liberalism, Historian Fred Reid makes a connection between the Marconi scandal and the Welsh Disestablishment Bill of 1913. The Bill’s sponsors, notably the Marconi speculators Lloyd George and Rufus Isaacs, were accused by the High Church Anglicans of a conspiracy aimed at the eventual Disestablishment of the Church not only in Wales but in England. Gilbert Chesterton supported the Anglicans; and Cecil Chesterton, in his newspaper The New Witness, accused the ministers of a pattern of corruption and abuse of power that included both the undermining of English institutions (i.e., Disestablishment) and unethical insider trading (i.e., Marconi). [The Context of English Literature 1900-1930, New York: Holmes & Meier, 1980, pp. 113-14]